Nairobi National Museum, Where Heritage Lives On!


Gedi Offers The Coastal Experience Taking You Back In Time

The museum is open 356 days a year from 0830hrs -17300hrs. Built in 1929, this is the flagship museum for the National Museums of Kenya, housing celebrated collections of Kenya’s History, Nature, Culture and Contemporary Art. 

Historical Background


The Museum was initiated in 1910 by a group of enthusiastic naturalists who needed a place to preserve their collections of various specimens.

After using various locations to store their collections, construction of the current museum began in 1929 which was officially opened in September 22nd 1930.

On October 15th 2005, the museum closed its doors to the public for an extensive modernization and expansion project the outcome of which was an impressive and magnificent piece of architecture that puts it in competition with other world- class museums.

The museum later re-opened in June 2008 and continues to draw visitors from all walks of life.

In addition to offering visitor’s with Kenya’s rich heritage, the museum is also well known as a unique events venue

Gedi Ruins

Gedi ruins are the remains of a Swahili town. It traces its origin to the twelfth century but was rebuilt with new town walls in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This rebuilding is connected with the emigration of many citizens of Kilwa to Mombasa, Malindi and other places along the coast.

With its numerous inhabitants, the town became wealthy reaching its peak in the fifteenth century. This is evidenced by the presence of numerous ruins, comprising of a conglomeration of mosques; a magnificent palace and houses all nestled in 45 acres of primeval forest. In the first half of the seventeenth century the last families left the town.

Gedi’s eventual abandonment to nature is believed to be as a result of a number of factors, like the Wazimba raid along the East African coast in 1589, the removal of the Sheikh of Malindi and the Portuguese to Mombasa in 1593, the falling water table as shown by the deepening of the well outside the Great Mosque and the overhanging menace of the Galla, a hostile nomadic ethnic group from Somalia.

Gedi remains the first intensively studied archeological site at the coast. In 1927, it was gazetted as a Historical Monument. Gedi indigenous forest is a sacred site for traditional rituals and sacrifices for the surrounding community.

Don’t Miss Box: 

• The Snake Park

• Botanical Gardens

• Medicinal Plants Exhibition

• Dining and shopping experience

Need To Know Box:

• Key Facilities: Shops, Restaurant, Botanical Gardens

Article by Ms. Sharon Mwelu Kyungu PR Manager, National Museums of Kenya


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