Kitale Museum was initially established as a private museum by the late Colonel H. Stoneham. It was then known as the Stoneham Museum after the Colonel who, until he died in 1966, had been a large contributor and collector of the artefacts held within it. It was later bequeathed to the National Museums of Kenya and finally opened to the public. Among its exhibits include cultural artefacts of the peoples of Western Kenya and their natural history. Col. The museum maintains Stoneham’s collection of publications. The publications can be consulted by special request.
After his death, Colonel Stoneham willed funds as well as his entire collection, including an extensive insect collection, to the Kenyan government. The items formed part of the first exhibits at the Kitale Museum. The museum became the first domestic museum opened in Kenya. In 1974, after acquiring 5 acres of land and putting up a new museum building, its name changed to Kitale Museum under the National Museums of Kenya. Here are five things you can do there:
1. Go on Nature Walks
Take quiet walks in 30 acres of a Nature Reserve where a makeshift indigenous riverine tropical forest established in 1977 sits. The forest is home to the rare De Brazza monkey and several reptiles, mammals and bird species. Here, you will experience what it feels like to be inside an actual Kenyan rainforest. While here, remember to visit the Swedish-sponsored Vi Agroforestry Centre at the Olof Palme memorial building.
2. Learn About Biogas
Learn everything about biogas as an alternative source of energy in conservation at the biogas plant.
3. Do Some Souvenir Shopping
Buy souvenirs at the well-stocked shop which sells locally made handicrafts.
4. Take a Culture Trip of Kenyan Tribes
See an assortment of cultural items gathered from various tribes within Kenya including the Bukusu, Luo, Luyha, Maasai and the Turkana. You will see things like replicas of these people’s traditional Kenyan homes, weaponry, utensils and native musical instruments.
5. Take a Mini-game Drive
See the Nile crocodile, leopard tortoise and various poisonous snakes such as the puff adder, rock python, gaboon viper and rhinoceros Viper.
Whenever you are in Kitale, consider a visit to the Kitale Museum. It is about 380 KM by road from Nairobi and about 1 KM from the outskirts of Kitale.