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Gede Ruins

It was day 7 of my ‘I’ll go when I can afford it’ Coast trip, something I like to do every year. I discover new places and sometimes people. On this day, Gede Ruins.

Everyone was up bright and early (me included, I’m not a morning person at all, you can imagine my disappointment when I realized coast has mornings too, the only pic you see are sunny sandy beaches) and after rushing about to get ready, our driver arrived one hour later.

Gede ruinsSomewhere past Kilifi

Eventually we left, packed into a mini van with family and friends our Saturday plan was to go to Malindi with a stopover at Gede ruins.I guess that means that a post about Malindi is coming up soon.

The drive there was incident free in fact at one point or the other we all slept. I can’t exactly remember how long it took us to get to Gede from Nyali but I can safely say more than an hour but less than 2 hours

Gede ruins are the remains of a Swahili town, located in Gede which is a village that lies 16 km south of Malindi town and approximately 90 km North East of Mombasa. It traces its origin in the twelfth century but was rebuilt with new town walls in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Gede ruinsTomb of The Fluted Pillar

There are no written records of the town but excavations have revealed that the Muslim habitats traded with people from all over the world e.g. China and Italy. Various items excavated from the ruins can be viewed in the museum on site.

If my memory serves me right the town was divided into 3 sections. There is an outer wall and an inner wall. The poor aka ma-sufferer lived outside the outer wall while the middle class (S/O to all my middleclass people who get blamed for everything these days) lived between the outer and inner walls, the rich obviously lived within the inner wall.

Gede ruinsMap at the entrance showing the layout of the ruins


Gede ruinsThe Great Mosque


Gede ruinsInside the Great Mosque


Gede ruinsAncient tree that kind of looks like if it wanted it could walk off the site


Gede ruins


Gede ruinsAerial view of the ruins from the tree house 

It costs Kshs. 50 to go up the tree. The experience is a bit scary (read rickety looking steps) but well worth it. Revenue collected from the tree house goes to the local community. You pay the fee for the tree house when paying your guide.

Gede ruins


Gede ruinsTomb of some VIP


Gede ruinsThe Women’s court.

It was noticeably smaller than the men’s one.

Gede ruinsThe building that holds the museum, restaurant and offices

Gede Ruins can easily be accessed by public transport. From Mombasa town take a matatu heading to Malindi and get off at Gede. From there you can either take a tuktuk or a motorcycle taxi to the ruins. You can also choose to walk to the ruins; the distance is manageable on foot.

For more information you can go to the National Museums of Kenya website  http://www.museums.or.ke/content/blogcategory/22/28/

We also had to pay for a guide. There is no standard fee for one so make use of your negotiation skills. I wouldn’t say you need a guide; in fact you’re free to walk around the ruins by yourself however you learn a whole lot more by having a guide to show you around.

If it gets exhausting walking in the heat around the ruins, there is a restaurant near the museum where you can get refreshments. You choose to carry your own. Just make sure you don’t leave litter lying around.

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  1. November 7, 2013 at 5:17 pm — Reply

    I love it. Nice

  2. […] where an ancient temple once stood, some of the ruins still exist Temple point was once a port into Gede (an ancient Swahili Kingdom) and the ruins are those of a mosque. The below ruin is a mimbar; a […]

  3. Stella
    January 13, 2023 at 10:01 am — Reply

    Very informative. Thanks

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