Museums in Kenya are managed by National Museums of Kenya (NMK) which is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament. The museums role is to collect, preserve, study, document and present Kenya’s past and present culture and natural heritage. NMK manages Regional Museums, Sites and Monuments of national and international importance alongside priceless collections of Kenya’s living cultural and natural heritage.
Key Regional museums on Kenya tourism circuits
Nairobi National Museum
The Museum offers a one stop for visitors to sample the country’s rich heritage both for education and leisure. In addition to the museum, visitors are treated to a variety of shopping and dining facilities, as well as botanical gardens and nature trails that offer a serene environment.
The museum is open on all 356 days throughout the year from 0830hrs -17300hrs. Nairobi National Museum is located at the Museum Hill, approximately 10 minutes drive from the Nairobi city center. It houses collections of Kenya’s History, Nature, Culture and Contemporary Art.
It is ideal place to tour when in Nairobi
Nairobi Gallery is located in the heart of the beautiful City of Nairobi. The building housing the Gallery was built in 1913, it was the old Provincial Commissioners’ office building fondly referred to as ‘Hatches, Matches and Dispatches’ because of the births, marriages and deaths that were recorded here. Today, the building is a National Monument and serves as a museum holding temporary art exhibitions. A tour can be arranged when in Nairobi.
Karen Blixen Museum
Karen Blixen Museum is located 10km from the city center at the foot of the Ngong hills. The house where the museum is located was built in 1912. The house and the land surrounding it were bought in 1917 by Karen Blixen and her husband, Baron Bror von Blixen with the intention of setting up a coffee plantation .The Blixens separated in 1921 and Karen continued to stay on the property and run the plantation until she left Kenya in 1931 after series of personal tragedies. The house gained international fame with the release of the movie ‘Out of Africa’ an Oscar winning film based on Karen’s an autobiography with the same title.
The Museum is open to the public every day from 9.30 am to 6pm including weekends and public holidays. Guided tours are offered. The museum shop offers handicrafts, posters and postcards, the Movie ‘Out of Africa’, books and other Kenyan souvenirs. The grounds can be rented for wedding receptions, corporate functions and other events.
A half day tour is ideal for this museum.
Fort Jesus Museum
Fort Jesus Museum is located in the city of Mombasa at the Kenyan coast. The fort was built in 1593 by the Portuguese and was meant to secure their safety. The Fort became a Museum in 1962 and is now an important historical landmark in the East African region. The exhibits in Fort Jesus Museum includes archaeological excavations from Fort Jesus, Gede, Manda, Ungwana and other sites. Other objects on display were donated by individuals including Mrs. J.C. White, Mr. C.E. Whitton and Mrs. W.S. Marchant. A tour of the museum can be arranged while in Mombasa.
The Lamu Museums are located in the Lamu Archipelago, one of the most beautiful & serene locations on the African continent and a World Heritage Site.
The museums in Lamu include Lamu Fort built in 1813, Lamu German post office established in 1822 by the Germans and also the unique architecture of the houses in Lamu. It is ideal to tour this museums when you are in Lamu town.
The Museum is located in the lake side city of Kisumu in the western part of Kenya. Kisumu museum stores and disseminates information on cultural and scientific issues with emphasis on Western Kenya. Exhibits include cultural history. The museum provides educational services to schools in its neighborhood. A tour to the museum is ideal when visiting western Kenya.
This are the remains of a Swahili town at the Kenyan coastal town of Malindi. It was built around the twelfth century. Its numerous ruins, comprises of a conglomeration of mosques; a magnificent palace and houses all nestled in 45 acres of primeval forest.It is an ideal site to tour when you are within the coastal town of Malindi.
Other regional Museums
This museums mostly showcase the culture and heritage of the surrounding local communities and also artefacts from archaeological areas and exhibition ethnographic collections.
This Museums include:
- Malindi Museums
- Kitale Museum
- Desert Museum
- Kariandusi Museum
- Meru Museum
- Hyrax Hill Museum
- Kabarnet Museum
- Narok Museum
- Rabai Museum
- Wajir Museum
- Tambach Museum
- Nyeri Museum