Geographical location

Gede is located in coast province, Kilifi district. It lies 16 km south of Malindi town and approximately 90 km North East of Mombasa along the road to Watamu..

Historical Background

It dates back to the late 13th century and was abandoned in the early 17th century. The exact reason as to why the town was abandoned is not actually known though it is assumed that the town was plundered and destroyed by unknown invaders in the 17th century. Another school of thought alleges that the inhabitants of the town abandoned it after receding ocean waters depleted the available water from their wells. In 1927, the Gede ruins were declared a historic monument and much excavation and preservation work was carried out such that large areas of this ancient town are now revealed, including the pillar tombs, the palace and a great mosque. A Nature Trail of deciduous forests dominates the inner and outer walls of the ruins bearing testimony to the vegetation that used to exist in this place before colonisation by humans. A small museum has been set up to exhibit ancient Arab, Chinese and Phoenician porcelain excavated from the ruins. Guided walks can also be arranged.
Currently the Monument is under the care of the National Museums of Kenya and in addition to being a very important archaeological site; Gede indigenous forest is a sacred site for traditional rituals and sacrifices for the surrounding community.