To visit one is to fall in love and vow to adventure again and again. You don’t have to be a junkie of World History to experience a deep, thrilling sense of curiosity of the who, what, where, and how of the sites. Though we would argue the never-ending expanse of boundless knowledge is as life fulfilling as chasing the rains of Serengti.
The sheer scale of Africa’s size and age – people lived here for thousands and thousands of years before walking to Europe and Asia – has led to a shared belief among all archeologist about sites. It is difficult not to find something.
Still, there are just 90 UNESCO sites in Africa. In comparison, there are:
499 in Europe & North America
99 in China
20 in Japan
35 in India
All of the above is swallowed up by the landmass of Africa, pretty much.
Why does the World Heritage List poorly represent Africa, where such sites occur in abundance? Money.
Countries pay UNESCO a lot of money for designation. It is an expense governments are challenged to justify when citizens live in crushing poverty. In more ways than one, they become left out of the tourism revenue windfall that other countries reap.
Another reason is that sites in the vast majority of Africa countries are not given the fame of an UNESCO “high priority” project; translation, they are so poorly preserved and require too much
time and money to become profitable destinations. So traditional investors routinely bypass the continent to support places in Europe and Asia where that celebrity status abounds.
In a world where all cultural, historical, and natural heritage, wherever they are, should be preserved, it is perhaps this conservation crisis – where you have to have money to make money – that offers the greatest promise for hope. You.
Go on vacation with us and become local co-investor in the big picture of change.