Top 11 Most Fascinating And Oldest Castles In Africa • illuminaija

Top 11 Most Fascinating And Oldest Castles In Africa


Top 11 Most Fascinating And Oldest Castles In Africa

Africa has some of the most exciting forts and castles in the world. They are rich in history and full of interesting facts. Castles in Africa have been featured in movies like Gladiator and Game of Thrones, and some African royalty even kept lions as pets in their palaces. 

Such stories of greatness are in sharp contrast to the other side of forts involving slavery and invasion. 

As the saying goes, age before beauty. We begin with the strongholds that have stood the test of time. 

1. Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe 

According to UNESCO, it was built during the Shona civilization between the 11th and 15th centuries. The site is unique in that the stones were placed without mortar, which is like building without cement. 

2. The Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali 

Top 11 Most Fascinating And Oldest Castles In Africa


We start this list with the largest mud building in the world found in Mali. It is an excellent show of Sudano Sahelian African architecture and was modelled after an 11th Century mosque. 

3. Cairo Citadel, Egypt 

Built by Salah ad-Din in 1176, it was the seat of the Egyptian government for over 700 years, as its location makes it very difficult to attack. 

4. Citadel of Qaitbay, Egypt

 It was built where one of the seven wonders of the ancient world once stood, the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The lighthouse collapsed after a series of earthquakes between the 11th and 14th centuries. List of the greatest ancient mysteries of Africa 

5. Fasil Ghebbi, Gondar Ethiopia

This is one of the best in Africa, and it was built in 1636 CE. Fasilides Castle is located in Gondar mainly because there was no Malaria in the high altitudes. 

Haile Selassie kept his lions in this castle complex. If you want to be amazed by Ethiopian architecture, check out the churches of Lalibela. 

6. Ait Benhaddou, Morocco 

Top 11 Most Fascinating And Oldest Castles In Africa

This fortified village is the Gondar of the North. This Moroccan site has been featured in Hollywood films like Gladiator, The Mummy, and, most recently, Game of Thrones. 

7. Cape of Good Hope Castle, South Africa

Also known as Kasteel de Goede Hoop, it was built in the 17th century as a bastion fort. It is the oldest colonial building in South Africa. 

8. Ribat of Monastir, Tunisia 

It was founded in 796 by Harthama ibn A’yan. The Tunisian ribat is the oldest of several fortifications built by Arab invaders in North Africa. List of 12 famous wonders of the world 

9. Fort Santa Cruz, Algeria

Top 11 Most Fascinating And Oldest Castles In Africa

The fort Santa Cruz is very famous and has a breathtaking view. Strategically, it is a masterpiece because invaders can be spotted from very far, and it is also connected to three other forts via underground tunnels 

10. Taleh, Somalia 


It is the largest of five forts erected by Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, the leader of a Somali- Muslim kingdom. It was built in the early 1900s but was destroyed in 1920 by the British. 

11. Duwisib Castle, Namibia 

It is one of the few castles where visitors can spend the night enjoying the stars’ ethereal views in the night sky. The highest dunes in the world are just a stone’s throw away. 


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