Museums in Kenya

Kenya is famously known for 'Big game' with large numbers of wildlife in over 40 national parks and reserves in the country. The country also has its fair share of international publicity through the exhibition of its historical, scientific, artistic, and cultural interests. There are a number of Museums, Monuments as well as cultural centers across Kenya that offers an insight to Kenya's history and origin, with exhibits dating back to the prehistoric era. Some of these stunning museums including Nairobi National Museum, Karen Blixen Museum, Fort Jesus Museum, Gedi Ruins and Museum, Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi gallery, Kenya National Archives among many others.

Nairobi National Museum

Nairobi National Museum is located at the Museum Hill – a few minutes drive from Nairobi Central District. It house a collection of Kenya’s history, nature, culture and contemporary art, making it a one stop for visitors to sample Kenya’s rich heritage, both for education and leisure.The museum also offers shopping and dining facilities to the visitors, as well as botanical gardens that offer a serene environment.

Bomas of Kenya

Bomas of Kenya is a tourists village located in Langata, Nairobi. It was established by the government as a tourist attraction to preserve, maintain and promote rich and diverse cultural values of various tribal groups of Kenya. Different aspects of the Kenyan culture are displayed at Bomas, including living styles, crafts, music and dancing. On most occasions, visitors are treated to traditional dances and acrobatics.

Karen Blixen Museum

Karen Blixen Museum is a colonial house, where Baroness Karen Blixen lived with her husband. The Museum is famed for the “Out of Africa” film, an account of Karen Blixen’s life in Kenya, as per the autobiographical book. It was built in 1912, and bought by the couple in 1917, and it became the farm house for their 4,500 care farm, of which 600 acres was used for coffee farming. A visit to this museum provides an opportunity to step back in time and gain an insight into this remarkable woman's life. Views of the Ngong Hills can be admired from the beautifully landscaped gardens of the museum.

Fort Jesus Museum

The Fort Jesus Museum, is a world heritage located in Mombasa,the coastal region of Kenya. It was built by the portugueses in the 16th century to guard the old port of Mombasa, and served as a place of safety and security for the Portuguese living on the Coast. It also served as portuguese military fortification and was later converted to a prison when it fell under the British rule in 1895. Fort Jesus houses a collection of of items preserved over the years to dating back to the 14th and 19th century, that were used by the Portuguese and Omani Arabs. Some of these items include an ancient Portuguese chair, Persian chest, drums, plates and gourds.

Gedi Ruins and Museum

Gedi is a historic town, located 94 km north of Mombasa town. The town was built entirely from rocks and stones, and inhabited by Swahili people of East Africa. The Gedi ruins are remains of this swahili town and it traces its origin to the Twelfth Century. In 1929, the Gedi historic town, which occupy an area of 44 hectares of land, was declared a protected monument. This museum/monument has numerous ruins, comprising mosques, a magnificent palace and houses all nestled within 45 acres of forest.

Nairobi Railway Museum

The Nairobi Railway Museum is a railway museum in Nairobi, Kenya, adjacent to Nairobi railway station. Its dedicated to the history of the country’s rail network and contains exhibits from the defunct East African Railways. It was opened in 1971 by East African Railways and Harbours Corporation and is operated by Kenya Railways.The museum has maintained its rail connection which allows for the efficient movement of museum exhibits for maintenance and placing items in the collection. The museum's collection also includes early diesel locomotives and passenger coaches. One of the display locomotives, 301 (2301) was used in the 1985 movie, Out of Africa.

Kenya National Archives

Kenya National Archives and Documentation Services is located at the edge of the central business district in downtown Nairobi along Moi Avenue next to Ambassadeur Hotel. It was established by an Act of the Parliament of Kenya in 1965 and was placed under the office of the Vice President and the Minister of Home Affairs. It is currently under the office of the Vice-President and State Department for National Heritage and Culture. It contains African artifacts that were collected in the 19th century, with upto 40,000 volumes of public records and archives. It's the largest Pan-African art gallery in Africa and it contains ancient art collections from different regions and communities of Africa.

Nairobi Gallery

Nairobi Gallery is a National Monument, located right in the heart of Nairobi City next to Nyayo House, at the intersection of Kenyatta Avenue/ Uhuru Highway. The museum presents temporary art exhibits and houses the Murumbi African Heritage Collection, as well as exhibitions of local and international artists. It is housed by the old provisional commissioner building, which was built in the 1913, and was referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded here.

Lamu Museums

Lamu Museums is a World Heritage Site, located in the North Coast. It is one of the most beautiful and serene locations on African continent with attractions including the Lamu Fort, Lamu Museum, German Post Office, Swahili House and the Takwa Ruins. The exhibits on display at the museum, represents the material culture of the various coastal peoples in the context in which the items are used. Upstairs there are administrative offices, laboratories, a workshop and a restaurant named Mazingira (swahili word for Environment) at the rooftop.