Self-Guided 'Ghost' Tour of the Kenyan Coastline
Ghost tours can be as exciting or as understated as you want them to be. The Kenyan Coast has some of the coolest horror stories/ spaces so make sure you check them out!
1. Gedi Ruins (Malindi)
Gedi is a town that lies 94km North of Mombasa City and is built entirely of stones and rocks. It, incredibly, dates back to the 15th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Through careful, conscientious preservation, you can still see some of its original foundations to date. A mosque, pillar tombs and a palace have also been excavated.
The town was surrounded by two walls: an inner one where the rich lived, an outer one where farmland and plantations accompanied multiple wattle houses (for the middle class), and the outside was left for the poor to settle. Noblemen kept their riches in stone buildings with no windows, entering through a secret door on the roof, and a beautiful forest makes way for the King's court. There is also a stunning dated coral tomb, with Arabic script markings, which overlooks the Great Mosque.
While it is not known why the town was abandoned, no wealth of any kind has been found, so the people had time to pack and leave. Take the time and visit this beautiful piece of history that has persevered through time to reach you today.
2. Kongo Mosque (Diani)
Arab merchants spent their time exploring the Indian Ocean Coastline, creating new trade paths. They settled and made a mosque on the silky sands of Diani. The Diani Persian Mosque was ready by the 14th Century and open for prayer. Once the Arabs left, the abandoned Mosque became a part of the forest, and home to native species.
306 years ago, Sheikh Mwenye Kombo searched for the Mosque, found it and began the journey to restore it to glory. The original builders had used coral stone, and restoration happened with stones and modern materials. The Mosque is now still in use and can be visited at any time.
3. Mackinnon Road Mosque (on the road between Voi and Mombasa)
Seyyid Baghali was a Punjabi- Muslim foreman who worked on the railways and was renowned for his strength. It was said that the laden kadais (large bowl) carrying cement blocks and various other items would always be carried above his head (never on). His strength, pious and helpful nature were a great asset. He died, along with two others, on the railway tracks when a trolley they were managing lost control and killed them.
Buried in a simple grave, the cloth was changed every year, and members of all faiths would stop by and workshop the grave. The Mosque was built after travellers attributed their safety to visiting the grave.
Which of these interesting destinations will you be visiting next?
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