Experience Kenya Logo
Museums in Kenya
museums_siyu_fort Kenya is a country with a rich history. We have come a long way and this is evident through the many historical monuments that are spread through out the country. Here, you will learn more about Kenya and what had been happening. "To know thy roots is truely to know thyself. "
Siyu Fort

Siyu is one of the Swahili settlements in the Lamu archipelago, and has a history dating from at least the 15th century. The present village of Siyu is still known for its well established leather craft, including sandals, belts and stools.

It became famous in the late 19th century, when it resisted Omani domination, culminating in the building of a Fort as an effort by the Omani Arabs to subdue the residents of Siyu. Apart from the impressive fort, which is open to the public, Siyu is also host to the remains of magnificent tombs and mosques.

Takwa Ruins

The ruins of Takwa are located on Manda Island, a 30 minute boat ride from Lamu town. Here one can witness the remains of a thriving 16th century Swahili trading post. Among the more notable features at Takwa is the unique Friday Mosque with a large pillar atop the qibla wall; while the significance of the pillar is not known with certainty, some believe it to symbolise the burial of a Sheikh below the wall. A day's visit is quite a unique experience, and can be complimented by a picnic or overnight camping.

Thimlich Ohinga

Declared as a National Monument in 1983, Thimlich Ohinga serves as an example of the dry stone enclosures widespread in the South Nyanza area of Western Kenya. Similar in construction to the well known ruins of Great Zimbabwe in southern Africa, the Thimlich Ohinga structures represent some of the finest examples in East Africa.

About 46 kilometres northwest of Migori town in Nyanza Province lie these striking stone wall enclosures nestled among the trees and shrubs of a gently sloping hill. From a distance the hill seems more like a forest, with Euphorbia candelabrum towering above all the other trees and shrubs. From here, one can see how the hill got its name: in the DhoLuo language spoken in Nyanza Province, 'Thimlich' means literally 'frightening dense forest'. As one moves closer to the hill, it seems less like a forest. Winding along a narrow car track, one comes to a small, traditional Luo homestead. Behind this compound, and on the rest of the hill, lie the enclosures whose architecture is not only captivating but is also unique. The homestead and its adjacent enclosures form the Thimlich Ohinga Prehistoric Site.

The site's name combines the description of the hill as seen from a distance of the hill from a distance ('Thimlich'), and the presence of stone enclosures (Ohinga-sing./Ohingni-pl.) on the hill. It is most likely that when researchers from the National Museums of Kenya began working at this site in 1980, the hill was much more forested than it is today.

In addition to its scenic location, the site is famous mainly for its stone wall enclosures which were built around 500 years ago. They are the results of the Late Iron Age (LIA) settlers in the Lake Victoria region. The first communities to settle here, mainly of Bantu origin, introduced this stone building tradition to meet their security requirements and also to exploit the environmental resources effectively: abundant rocks on the hilly areas were a ready resource to construct complex villages or cities. As a result, both early (Bantu) and later (Nilotic) settlers in the region constructed about 521 enclosures in 139 localities in the entire Lake Victoria region.

Thimlich is well placed in the south-western tourist circuit, and forms a perfect stop-over for those on their way to or from the nearby Ruma National Game Park, Gogo Falls, the Macalder gold mines, and even the distant but well-linked Maasai Mara Game Reserve.

Back To National Museums


  » Parks & Game Reserves
» Beaches
» Must-go Places
» Beautiful Scenery
» The Great Rift Valley
» Mountains
» Lakes
» Forests
» Cities & Towns
» Important Maps
» Wild Animals


EK Tours and Travel
Bruce Hse, Standard Str.
P.O. Box 41811-00100
Nairobi Kenya

E-mail: info@experiencekenya.co.ke

Home | Sitemap | Contact Us
© 2017
Experience Kenya | Disclaimer | Top