(Kenya, KE, East Africa)
Visitors to Kenya in search of the origins of man won't be disappointed. There are plenty of opportunities to find out more about the rich history of early man through the many exhibits held in Kenya's museums.
The National Museums of Kenya (NMK) organisation has greatly enhanced the country's cultural scene and this govermental body is responsible for maintaining the various museums and similar attractions. Many of the most popular museums are understandably to be found within the capital of Nairobi
, although other very noteworthy offerings are located in Kapenguria, Kisumu and Lodwar.
Karen Blixen Museum
Address: Karen Road, Nairobi, Kenya, KE, Africa
Tel: +254 20 882 779
Situated some 15 km / 9 miles from Nairobi itself, the Karen Blixen Museum is a great place to visit if you happen to be one of the many devotees of the Oscar-winning film, 'Out of Africa'. The museum certainly owes the popular movie a great deal. Its makers, Universal Film, paid for the restoration of the building itself, which was once part of Karen Blixen's home and coffee farm. Visitors can tour the rooms inhabited by Karen Blixen between 1917 and 1931 either by themselves, or with the help of an experienced guide.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 18:00
Address: Station Road / Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi, Kenya, KE, Africa
Railways have played an important role in East African history for many years, so a visit to the Railway Museum of Nairobi is a great way to find out more about Kenya's history and geography. Located at one end of Nairobi Station, the museum is home to a vast and varied collection of railway relics, steam locomotives and rolling stock, some of which date back to those pioneering days when railway engineers had to deal with the likes of man-eating lions as part of their daily work. After browsing the exhibits, it may be possible to take a ride on a steam tourist train, although be aware that these run very intermittently.
Open hours: daily - 08:15 to 16:45
National Museum of Kenya
Address: Museum Hill Road, Nairobi, Kenya, KE, Africa
If you are interested in getting to know more about Kenya and its fascinating history, then its National Museum is as good a place to start as any. This long-established attraction houses a comprehensive collection of artefacts relating to the history, art and culture of the East Africa region. Five permanent exhibitions cover everything from Human Origins to Cultural Dynamism and Creativity.
Open hours: daily - 09:30 to 18:00
Address: Nairobi Road, Kisumu, Kenya, KE, Africa
A recreated full-size traditional Luo homestead is the main attraction of this small local museum, offering a useful insight into life in a traditional Kenyan village. The homestead comprises several thatched huts, as well as a cattle 'kral' and granary. The Kisumu Museum also has a small display of pottery exhibits, paintings and objects relating to everyday Kenyan ethnic groups. A tortoise pen, crocodile pond, a modest fresh water aquarium and snake park add to the main attractions.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 18:00
Koobi Fora Museum
Address: Lodwar, Kenya, KE, Africa
Since the late 1960s, some 2,000 hominid and animal fossils have been uncovered at Koobi Fora's archaeological sites, located near Lake Turkana. One discovery, Australophithecus Susu Lato, is thought to date back over two million years and was unearthed by the famous palaeontologist Dr. Richard Leakey. The Koobi Fora Museum is home to many of these finds, which also include crocodile fossils that measure an impressive 14 metres / 45 feet.
Open hours: daily
Address: Kapenguria - Lodwar Road, Kapenguria, Kenya, KE, Africa
Tel: +254 54 62050
The Kapenguria Museum is devoted to the period of history in which Kenya struggled to reach independence. Photographs, written archives, and artefacts relating to key players in the independence movement are among the exhibits, and together they offer an insight into the country's final days as a colony. Indeed, the museum itself is housed within the prison in which many of those who fought for independence were imprisoned. Alongside are displays of traditional homestead life and culture relating to the main local tribes.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 18:00