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Gede Ruins, Watamu
Fast Facts




Watamu 80202
Coast Province, Kenya
+254 42 32065
Ancient Ruins
Points of Interest Nearby

Gede Ruins


Photo by Juliana

We may never know why the Swahili built Gede so far from the ocean nor what caused them to abandon their village yet its quite obvious why one would want to visit this ruin: Gede is one of the best preserved Swahili settlements on the Kenyan Coast. Lost to tamarind and baobab trees for over 300 years this extensive site once suppoted a population of 2500. The most interesting ruins include a palace, Great Mosque and complex water system. Archealogists believe the site was first settled in the 12th century and reached its peak in the 15th century. The regal tombs and distant artifacts uncovered at Gede suggest that it was an important trade center and prosperous village. Theories of Gede's ruin include a Wazimba raid in 1589, removal of the Sheikh of Malindi, a depleted water supply, and fear of the Galla, a nomadic ethnic group from Somalia. But as no written records exist there are no definitive answers.
Getting There
The Gede Ruins are located roughly 4 km west of Watamu and 15 km south of Malindi. The site is located just off the Mombasa-Malindi Road and is accessible from the main road to Watamu. The ruins are within walking distance of the Gede matatu stage.
Things to Keep in Mind
The site is open daily 7:00 - 18:00. The best time to visit is early morning or late afternoon. There is a small museum near the entrance. Guided walks can be arranged at the gate. Guidebooks are available at the museum. Wildlife is frequently sighted on the nature trail.
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