Africa holds critical and unique biodiversity, but conservation is challenging because of the complexity of landscapes and their history, and the multitude of drivers and stakeholder perspectives. Palaeoecology can help in developing a nuanced understanding of landscape history that can inform pressing conservation issues, including climate change integrated conservation strategies, fire management, management of herbivores and rewilding, ecosystem restoration, sustainable use of natural resources, and management of cultural landscapes. To be useful, however, the data from palaeoecological proxies needs to be converted into metrics that are useful and accessible to conservationists and managers, requiring rigorous calibration against modern and instrumental data sets, alongside sound chronologies. Palaeoecologists can help in enhancing the applied value of their work by interpreting it in ways that are underpinned by sound ecological theory in ways that are relevant to pressing conservation questions. The design of projects and the interpretation and application of data can be used as starting points for interdisciplinary, collaborative approaches with stakeholders. Finally, the modelling of palaeoecological data can help stakeholders to explore landscape changes and the effect of management interventions under different scenarios of climate and land-use change in the future.