Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page
Sukur: a culture of the Mandara mountains

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 1999
Size of heritage:

Longitude: 13,572°
Latitude: 10,741°


The Sukur Cultural Landscape, with the Palace of the Hidi (Chief) on a hill dominating the villages below, the terraced fields and their sacred symbols, and the extensive remains of a former flourishing iron industry, is a remarkably intact physical expression of a society and its spiritual and material culture.

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The Sukur Cultural Landscape, located in the Madagali Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. This remarkable landscape is not only a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Sukur people but also a reflection of their harmonious coexistence with nature. Spanning an area of approximately 40 square kilometers, the Sukur Cultural Landscape is a captivating blend of architectural marvels, agricultural terraces, and sacred sites.


The history of the Sukur Cultural Landscape dates back over 500 years. The Sukur people, believed to have migrated from the nearby Mandara Mountains, settled in this region and established a thriving community. They developed a unique architectural style known as the "Sukur Vernacular Architecture," characterized by the use of local materials such as stone, mud, and thatch. The landscape also showcases the Sukur's advanced agricultural practices. The community ingeniously constructed terraces on the slopes of the hills, enabling them to cultivate crops such as millet, sorghum, and maize. These terraces not only served as a means of sustenance but also contributed to the overall aesthetic appeal of the landscape.

Current State

The Sukur Cultural Landscape faces several challenges that threaten its preservation and sustainability. One of the primary concerns is the encroachment of modern development. The increasing population and demand for infrastructure have led to the expansion of nearby towns and villages, placing pressure on the landscape. Additionally, deforestation poses a significant threat to the Sukur Cultural Landscape. The clearing of land for agriculture and the extraction of timber have resulted in the loss of native vegetation, disrupting the delicate balance between the natural and cultural elements of the site. To address these challenges, various conservation efforts have been initiated. The Sukur Cultural Landscape was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999, bringing international recognition and support for its preservation. The Nigerian government, in collaboration with local communities, has implemented measures to protect the landscape, including the establishment of a management plan and the training of local guides. Furthermore, the Sukur Cultural Landscape has become a center for cultural tourism, attracting visitors from around the world. This has not only provided economic opportunities for the local community but also raised awareness about the importance of preserving this unique heritage site. In conclusion, the Sukur Cultural Landscape in Nigeria is a remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Sukur people. Its architectural wonders, agricultural terraces, and sacred sites are a testament to the harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. While facing challenges such as encroachment and deforestation, the landscape is being protected through conservation efforts and cultural tourism. The Sukur Cultural Landscape stands as a symbol of Nigeria's diverse cultural heritage and the need for its preservation for future generations.