A little-known fact by most domestic and international tourists is that Kenya is a hotspot for battlefield tourism.

A little-known fact by most domestic and international tourists is that Kenya is a hotspot for battlefield tourism. The First World War shook the European continent. It claimed the lives of millions of people during the period from 1914 to 1918. One of the battlegrounds for the Germans and the British was Taita Taveta. Here, the Germans sneaked into Kenya and kidnapped some men from the Wakasigau community. Late at night, the men had to take the Germans to the British encampment in the county. The British were ambushed by the Germans, which caused the region to be declared an active war front. 

Taita Taveta offers a distant experience. For those curious to indulge in the perfect blend of culture, battlefield tourism, and wildlife, Taita Taveta is the best place for this experience. Here’s a breakdown of the Tsavo Battlefield circuit.  

Tsavo Battlefield Circuit 

Tsavo is a place that’s rich in insights. From every angle you toss your eyes, a history and a piece of culture are attached to it. When you go for the battlefield tour, one of the stopovers you’ll visit is the Voi CWGC Cemetery. This cemetery contains 137 graves of WWI casualties. One of the burial sites is the tomb of an unknown soldier. Visitors are allowed to place a wreath in honour of the fallen. 

When you go for the battlefield tour, one of the stopovers that you’ll visit is the Voi CWGC Cemetery.

After the cemetery, you can stop by the Tsavo Railway Station. This stop over is where the famous ‘man eating lions of Tsavo,’ killed some of the Indians working on the railway, back when Kenya was part of the British East Africa Protectorate. The British Press liked to call the railway the “Lunatic Line” because of the considerable waste of wealth and human life suffered during its construction. They built the railway in 1898. 

You can visit the Voi CWGC cemetery, the Tsavo and Samburu railway, and Mzima Springs in a day. We toured Fort Mzima, Crater Fort, and Kichwa Tembo Fort the next day. A fort is a fortified building that gives you a strategic position. These forts served the British in their battle against the Germans. 

After an early breakfast on day three, we toured the Maktau CWGC Indian memorial. During an ambush by the Germans, the Indians died defending General Malleson. This place commemorates their sacrifice. Next is Salaita Hill, strategically located between Pare Mountains in the south and Mt Kilimanjaro in the west of Salaita. The hill was a solid defensive position for the Germans in 1914.

The British attacked Salaita Hill three times, suffering defeat each time. The Snipers Baobab is another magnificent site. According to the story, a German woman had taken refuge in this magnificent Baobab Tree. She sniped at the British Empire troops as they tried to attack Salaita Hill.

Taveta CWGC European WW1 Cemetery

This cemetery is a burial site mainly for those killed during the attacks that were made on Salaita and the surrounding area. Some buried here died from the Latema and Reata Ridges battle. The cemetery also has German war dead. Visitors to the graveyard get to place a ceremonial wreath on the Cross of Sacrifice.

Battle Trenches, Artifacts & Forts 

The World War I travel spots allow you to see the battle trenches, artefacts, and forts used during World War 1. Mashoti Fort, Mbuyuni, Serengeti, and the Former Taita Taveta police station are rich with battlefield accounts. Serengeti, for instance, is a dummy fort that the Germans built to deceive the British that they were holding the area in force. It later became a staging post for the British when attacking Salaita Hill.

Serengeti, for instance, is a dummy fort that the Germans built to deceive the British that they were holding the area in force. It later became a staging post for the British when attacking Salaita Hill.

There are many other sites not mentioned here. Yet, within five days, you can visit the main destinations in the Tsavo battlefield circuit. Taita Taveta is a fantastic place with welcoming communities. During our trip with Mlilo Tours, we experienced something that exceeded our expectations. E.g. Staying in top-rated ecosites such as Severin Safari camp and Voyager Ziwani. 

Battlefield tourism is just starting in Kenya. Hopefully, more people will travel to these lesser-known destinations that are vibrant with culture and history.