From tropical rainforests to beaches, waterfalls to caves, and other tourist destinations, Africa is richly blessed. While many people love visiting popular destinations on the continent, many do not know about the most sacred religious places.
Thinking of visiting some non-conventional destinations in Africa, we have a few places you might want to conquer.
Le Forêt Sacrée de Gbêpleu is one of the dwelling places of spirits known as sacred forests. Since it is a taboo to go inside the forest to cut down the trees or even collect its fruits, the tourist value of these sacred forests is not that high due to the restrictions and laws guiding the forest. Fortunately, this sacred forest serves as home to monkeys and other animals and is free from any exploitation from humans, which includes activities like hunting. As habitats of the sacred forest, these animals are considered sacred, and in few places, they cohabit with humans.
Few Christian Cave churches can be found at the base of a mountain known as the Mokattam Mountain. These churches chiseled out of the mountain can be found in the outskirts of Garbage City, a neighbourhood filled with garbage collectors or Zabbaleen.
In 1975, the first cave church was chiseled out. It was during the period that the Christian community of the Zabbaleen believed they would no longer be persecuted for their beliefs. Presently, cave churches are scattered all over the site with the largest being St. Simon containing over 20,000 people.
The python temple is found in Ouidah and is dedicated to pythons. Surprisingly, believers of this temple have strong voodoo beliefs and come to the temple to make sacrifices to the pythons. They believe that the pythons can grant their heart’s desires. Every day at 2 PM, ceremonies are held in the temple. People are welcome to the temple at any time. In the temple, there are shrines spread across as well as a snake pit. However, before entering the temple, you will have to pay an entrance fee and a camera fee. In addition, you would most likely be asked to donate to the snakes.
Graveyard Pointe Lascars
One example of Mauritius’ religious melting pot is the graveyard at Pointe Lascars. Under the shady branches in this graveyard, Christians, Muslims and Hindus are all given their lots to gather and engage in their religious activities. A shrine can be found just next to where religious banners are hung at the far end of the graveyard on the shore where a huge tree stands with air roots.
Mosque in Larabanga
Founded in the early 15th-century, about 50 years before the first Portuguese castle at Elmina, the ancient mosque in Larabanga is believed to be the oldest building in Ghana. Although the mosque isn’t as unique as other mud-and-stick mosques found in northern Ghana, the mosque was built out of mud and sticks in so-called West Sudanese style.
More so, the mosque is considered to be a “Ghanaian Mecca” for local Muslims according to myths and legends. As a site of tourist attraction, every tourist who visits the Mole National Park, pays a short visit to the mosque to see the oldest building in Ghana. However, excluding the usual crowd of would-be guides and donation scammers, the mosque is truly fascinating.