Rabai Church Museum: A Historic Gem and Cultural Cradle of Christianity
The Rabai Church Museum, situated in Kaloleni, approximately 25 kilometers northwest of Mombasa and just a short half-hour drive from the city, holds great historical significance in the context of Christianity and European education in Kenya, with a history dating back over 150 years. Initially built in 1846, it stands as the first church structure in the country and continues to be an important historical monument in East and Central Africa.
Adjacent to the church is the Krapf Memorial Museum, established in 1994 to commemorate the early missionary events.
The Rabai Museum is housed within the original church building, which retains its rustic charm from the 19th century. Johann Ludwig Krapf, a pioneering German missionary and explorer in East Africa, constructed this medieval religious architecture. Inside the museum, visitors can explore religious and cultural artefacts and records depicting the challenging campaign to spread Christianity despite local resistance and animosity.
Johann Ludwig Krapf and Johannes Rebmann played pivotal roles in establishing the church, making their work a focal point of the museum. As one of Kenya’s earliest churches, it serves as a tangible reminder of the initial involvement of European missionaries in the country and the broader East Africa region.
The Rabai Museum offers a diverse range of collections that shed light on the history of Christianity and the Slave Trade. Additionally, it features cultural artefacts belonging to the Mijikenda people. Visitors can admire regalia and traditional clothing, such as the hando (a short skirt) and kishutu (coloured fabric), as well as tools used in the preparation of traditional food. These exhibits provide a fascinating glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Rabai Museum Entry Fees:
Citizens of Kenya:
- Adult: Ksh 100
- Below 16 years: Ksh 50
Residents of East Africa:
- Adult: Ksh 400
- Below 16 years: Ksh 200
- Adult: Ksh 500
- Below 16 years: Ksh 250
- Monday to Saturday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
- Sunday: Closed
Rabai Church Museum Contacts
Location: Rabai Church Museum,
North-west of Mombasa, off the Nairobi-Mombasa highway.
Kilifi County, Kenya.
Phone: 020 3742741