Village that offers more than culture

Malone and I had planned to meet on a Saturday afternoon at Galleria shopping mall. We reckoned instead of sitting down all afternoon in Java Coffee house we could visit somewhere we’ve not been and get entertained, as we catch up. We quickly drove to Bomas of Kenya and it was the best decision we made that afternoon. Bomas of Kenya was started by the Government of Kenya in 1971 as wholly owned subsidiary of the Kenya Tourist Development Cooperation (KTDC) the Company was established to Preserve, Maintain and Promote the Rich Diverse cultural values of various ethnic groups of Kenya and to act as a tourist attraction centre thus Bomas of Kenya is expected to preserve the authenticity of the Kenya’s Cultural values and to portray them in the pure form. At the Bomas of Kenya currently we have forty seven (47) different traditional dances collected from different tribes of Kenya. We arrived just in time for the traditional dance shows and were entertained with dances from the Giriama, Maasai, Borana, and Bukusu communities which was topped up with a colorful acrobatic show. Bomas of Kenya is a cultural centre that showcases the diverse cultures that make up Kenya in terms of different communities’ lifestyles, music, and dance as well as crafts. The objective of Bomas of Kenya is to preserve Kenya’s heritage and culture which is under threat of erosion by modernity and westernization. Activities include watching traditional dances from the 42 tribes of Kenya and visiting traditional village houses for the different Kenyan tribes. The institution is located 10 Kms from the capital city. This means it is very accessible from the many international hotels and conference facilities in Nairobi. The fact that is near the major international and local airports- Jomo Kenyatta and Wilson Airport means it also very accessible to international and domestic tourists. It is also located next to the game filled Nairobi National Park. Thus one can combine cultural-wildlife-town tour circuits. The charges vary from Kenyan citizen, resident to non-resident visitors, all in Kenya shillings as below:  

  Adult Child Student
Kenyan Citizen 100 25 20-30
Resident 100 25  20-30
Non-resident 600 300 300

Note: Charges are accurate as of the date of this post. However, according to a recent newspaper Ad by the management charges are set to be increased by 50% for residents and 40% for non-residents as of July 1st, 2017 . Cultural dance performances are every day – Monday to Friday from 2.30 pm to 4 pm. On Weekends and public holidays, dance shows start from 3 pm to 5.15 pm. One could actually check beforehand which dances are being performed on their website on the ‘Today’s shows’ segment. Bomas of Kenya traditional villages showcase family settings for various Kenyan tribes like the Maasai, Kikuyu, Kamba, Luo, Mijikenda, Kuria, Kisii, Kalenjin, Samburu, Borana, Somali among others. It’s interesting to learn that in almost all communities, the husband, 1st wife, 2nd wife and 3rd wife lived in different houses. Some communities have a separate house for the married sons and unmarried sons. We didn’t see any community with girls’ house. The villages open daily from 10 am to 6 pm. The path interconnecting the different community settings is so straightforward that you don’t need a guide.   How to Get there Board matatu no 125 or 126 Rongai bound and alight at Galleria/Bomas bus stop. Walk towards Langata road to Forest Edge road (about 1-minute walk) and turn right. The bus fare should be around KES. 50 ($0.5) from downtown.   Uber taxi will cost you around KES. 700 while a regular taxi will cost you between KES.1,000 and 2,000. Driving Driving to Bomas of Kenya is straightforward. From whichever direction you’re driving – Karen or Langata road or Magadi road, when you get to the Galleria interchange, take the Forest Edge road (On your right if coming from downtown and on the left, if coming from Karen. Utamaduni restaurant Utamaduni restaurant  you can pop in and try Kenyan traditional food from the different communities like nyama choma, muthokoi from the Kamba community, mukimo from the Kikuyu,  Ugali, and fish from the Luo community among others. If you ask me Utamaduni restaurant should not have forks and knifes as many Kenyan communities used their hands when eating   Additional Tips

  • Parking is free
  • Bomas of Kenya has a children’s play area to keep your child busy as you get entertained for Kes. 50 per child for 4 hours.
  • The compound is picnic friendly but beware of the baboons. And don’t feed them, please.

We had so much fun, learnt about our country cultural history and did our catch up. I’d highly recommend Bomas of Kenya for a weekend afternoon, or week day if you can.

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