Gede Ruins is a 12th Century Swahili village that was mysteriously abandoned some 600 years ago…
…but is now a National Museum to be experienced. The ruins are heavily overgrown with beautiful indigenous forest trees, baobabs and tamarind, leaving room for the mind to imagine the grandeur of the village in its zenith.
The ruins of Gede are the relics of one of the Arab-African settlements found along the East-African coast. Experts believe that at its peak of prosperity about 2,500 people lived in Gede. There are still various speculations as to why the town was abandoned during the 16th or 17th century.
However, after Gede was abandoned, the relic remained undisturbed by humans, but was overtaken by nature. The ruins at Gede were rediscovered in the 1920s and became a Historical Monument in 1927. Since then, about 18ha have been excavated to reveal several mosques, a palace, residential houses and elaborate pillar tombs, creating a mystifying and perplexing atmosphere.
Taking a guided tour through the ruins and the museum teaches about the fascinating culture of the Swahili people and the ancient town they constructed. Additionally, you can walk along the nature trail network which comprises 40 different species of plants and leads to lesser ruins throughout the forest.
Gede Ruins is also an excellent place to observe wildlife. Forest birds like Turacos, Malachite Kingfishers, Paradise flycatchers and African Harrier Hawks. Also look out for Sykes Monkeys and the endemic Golden Rumped Elephant Shrew.
The Gede Ruins National Monument & Museum is open daily from 7am to 6pm.