Southern and East Africa has a recorded history dating back to the 15th Century, but its unrecorded history can be dated back to 4 million years ago! So there is something in Africa for anyone interested in history, whether it be in stone age cultures, early civilisations, trade routes, voyages of discovery, the colonial scramble for Africa or the struggle for independence.
Africa is the birthplace of humankind. The early hominids Australopithecus walked in the Rift Valley of East Africa and lived in caves in South Africa between 4 million and 2 million years ago. There are hominid and human places of interest throughout Africa, but especially in the Rift Valley and at the Sterkfontein Caves in South Africa.
Africa has borne witness to many lost civilisations and ruined cities: the Swahili city of Gede in Kenya and Great Zimbabwe and the other ruins scattered across Zimbabwe, northern South Africa, and eastern Mozambique. In more recent times, colonial powers have left reminders of their presence across Africa in the distinct architecture they left behind.
This history of Africa has been a bloody one, with frequent wars, invasions and the subjugating of one people by another. For those with an interest in military history, there are any many battlefields to be visited.
If you are interested in the fight for independence by African countries and the casting off of their colonial masters, each country has museums documenting the struggle. In South Africa you can learn about the struggle against Apartheid throughout the country.
There are many specialist history tour guides whose knowledge of the past brings to life the events and legendary characters, the villains and heroes that made this continent such a melting pot of cultures.