Cate and I had planned to meet on a Sunday afternoon at Galleria shopping mall. We reckoned instead of sitting down all afternoon in Java Coffee house or Artcaffe 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.
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.
Bomas of Kenya Entrance Fees
The charges vary from Kenyan citizen, resident to non-resident visitors, all in Kenya shillings as below:
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 .
Bomas of Kenya dance hours
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
Bus or Van (Matatu)
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.
Taxi/ Uber Taxi
Uber taxi will cost you around KES. 700 while a regular taxi will cost you between KES.1,000 and 2,000.
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.
Although we didn’t make it to Utamaduni restaurant (we had lunch at Galleria), 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 😛
- 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.
If visiting Kenya and don’t have much time at hand, here are a few other recommended places to visit.
Do you know about your community tradition, lifestyle and how they dance? Tell us on the comments box below.
Carolina | My Global Attitude