Many of the world’s best known pieces of architecture can be found in Europe, Asia and America, but there is so much more to the industry. It might come as a surprise that Africa is home to some of the world’s most amazing architectural wonders. The continent is packed with ancient and modern constructions alike, which millions of tourists flock to see every year.
Each African nation from Sudan to Egypt to South Africa has its own iconic architectural creations, many of which have even won international awards for their creative ingenuity. Others, like the pyramids of Giza, have inspired plenty of video slots and bingo Australia games as well. Here are Africa’s top 5 architectural wonders that you should see on your next overseas trip!
#5: Corinthia Hotel Khartoum – Sudan
The Corinthia Hotel Khartoum is a legendary Sudanese hotel with a 5 star rating. It is based in Khartoum, the capital city of the nation, at the point where the White Nile and Blue Nile rivers meet. The hotel also offers access to the city’s business, commercial and administrative hubs, making it popular among businessmen and travellers.
The towering architectural creation is made mainly of steel and glass, and was opened to the public on August 17, 2008. It boasts 18 floors, 57 suites and 173 rooms, as well as panoramic views of Khartoum and the Nile. The building was designed to mimic a ship’s sail, and is best known for its curved oval façade.
#4: Aksum’s Giant Stelae – Ethiopia
Aksum is an ancient Ethiopian city that is considered to be one of the world’s first architectural hubs. Based near the nation’s northern border, the city’s constructions were the heart of ancient Ethiopia when the Aksumian Kingdom was the most powerful kingdom between Persia and the Roman Empire.
The sprawling ruins date back to somewhere between the 1st and 13th centuries, and include massive stelae, royal tombs, obelisks and ancient castle ruins. The obelisks, called stelae, were the tallest single stone structures to ever have been erected in the ancient world. Their purpose and age is still a mystery to modern archaeologists today.
#3: Reunification Monument – Cameroon
The Reunification Monument can be found in the city of Yaounde in Cameroon. It was designed by local sculptor Gédéon Mpando and was unveiled in 1974. Its twin spirals symbolise the unification of the two Cameroons – the Anglophone and Francophone regions of the country. The monument stands in the capital city and is one of Cameroon’s largest tourist attractions. Think of it as the nation’s answer to France’s Eiffel Tower.
#2: Cliff of Bandiagara – Mali
The Cliff of Bandiagara in the Land of the Dogons is a massive cultural and architectural landscape in Mali. The nation’s sandstone cliff stands 500 metres above its lower plateau, and has a length of over 150km. Today, the Dogon people inhabit the cliffs, attracting plenty of attention with their stunning architecture.
The area is known for its beautiful alters, houses, granaries, sanctuaries and communal meeting places, known locally as Togu Na. The cliff is very challenging to access, and is riddled with secret tunnels that are used as a means of defence for its inhabitants. Still, its towering sandstone constructions with tiny windows and sloping straw roofs are one of Africa’s most breathtaking attractions.
#1: Pyramids of Giza – Egypt
Almost everyone knows about the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt’s most famous monuments dating back to 2575 BC. The pyramids stands on the rocky planes of the Nile River’s west bank, and their designations correspond to the ancient Egyptian kings for which they were built.
The pyramids are truly an incredible example of ancient architecture and engineering, and to this day, we still don’t fully know how they were constructed. Over 2.3 million blocks of stone were quarried, transported and assembled to form Khufu, just one of these 5.75 million ton structures. Their sides also rise at angles of exactly 51°52′, and are perfectly oriented to mimic the four cardinal points of a compass.