In this article, we will look at Kitale National Museum and its entrance fees. Kitale Museum is located about 1 kilometre from Kitale town centre in Trans Nzoia County.  In December 1974, the museum, at the time known as the National Museum of Western Kenya, Kitale Museum, was opened to the public. It was the first domestic museum to be developed in Kenya and the first regional museum in the Kenya Museum Society

The Kitale Museum is one of the most significant cultural heritage sites in the North Rift region. Visitors to the museum can explore traditional artefacts and exhibitions, making it a popular destination for tourists and school groups.

Originally known as the Stoneham Museum, the gallery was named after Colonel Hugh Stoneham, a Second World War veteran. The museum is home to a variety of animals, including different species of birds, reptiles, insects, monkeys, and tortoises. The museum’s scenic picnic sites are also occasionally used as a wedding venue.

As you enter the museum, you will be welcomed by a massive model of a dinosaur, which is believed to have roamed the vast terrain that is now the country’s grain basket. The museum’s vast collection includes anthropological items, including the history of early humans, which was contributed by the founder, Colonel Stoneham.

The gallery also features live snakes, some of which are poisonous and non-venomous, such as the Gabon viper, rhinoceros viper, puff adder, forest cobra, black mamba, and rock python. The museum is also home to a tortoise and two crocodiles that are over 40 years old. The museum showcases cultural artefacts from various ethnic groups, including the Nandi, Bukusu, Sabaot, and others, all representing the region’s heritage.

The picnic site is one of the museum’s most popular attractions, making it a favourite spot for couples and families seeking solace from their busy lives. The picnic site is located in a serene environment surrounded by indigenous trees,

Additionally, the Kitale Museum has a nature trail that was created in 1977. The nature trail contains rare plants and animals, and it is a serene tree-lined area that resembles a Kenyan rainforest. The museum is an excellent resource for students taking cultural anthropology and related studies.

Kitale Museum History

It was originally known as the Stoneham Museum, after the amateur naturalist, Col. Hugh Stoneham, founded the first Stoneham Museum, a private museum, in 1926. He had a collection of insects, other animals and books collected from 1894 to 1966. The museum was later bequeathed to the National Museums of Kenya. He willed his collections as well as funds for a new museum building.

The new museum building was erected on five acres of land on the outskirts of Kitale town. The curator at the time of the opening was Mrs Linda Donley, the first curator. In 1983, the Kitale Museum started a centre called Olof Palme Memorial Agroforestry to promote agroforestry in West Pokot.

The museum was ranked alongside the National Museum of Mali, the Zanzibar National Museum of History and Culture, the Cape Coast Castle Museum in Ghana, and the National Museum of Ethiopia.

Others featured in the top 10 museums to visit in Africa included the Apartheid Museum in South Africa, the Benin City National Museum, The House of Slaves and Door of No Return in Senegal, the National Museum of Yaounde in Cameroon, and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Ghana.

Things to Do at the Kitale Museum

1. Learn the history of mankind

Fossils collected from archaeological sites dug up by researchers are displayed to show the scientific belief in the evolution of man from structural development to tool advancement.

2. Learn the Kenyan culture 

Kenya is rich in culture, some of which is not known to many. The museum offers insights into various cultural groups and their practices in terms of agriculture, meals, clothing, ceremonies, ornaments, artefacts, and musical instruments. These groups include the Nandi, Pokot, Luhya, Luo, and Turkana people of Kenya.

3. Wildlife Education

Get to walk through the practical representations of Fauna in Kenya. The statues of Wildlife, birds and insects found in Kenya. Learn their names and distinct features, from bodies to skeletons.

4. Conservation empowerment

The museum has partnered with several government organisations, NGOs, institutions, and individuals to ensure tree and environmental conservation by planting trees and doing community clean-ups. The museum itself is a harbour for numerous tree species, giving it a healthy and beautiful environment.

5. Nature walk and picnic site

Nothing is more soothing and refreshing than taking a cool nature walk through the nature reserve, breathing in fresh air from the trees, listening, and watching birds and monkeys jump from one branch to another. This nature trail conserves various rare plants and animals. It is a serene makeshift rainforest that allows visitors of the museum to experience what it’s like to be inside an actual Kenyan rainforest.

The picnic site is also a nice open space within the trees, providing shadow from sunlight and a cool breeze from the swaying of the trees, a place to sit around and enjoy a simple meal with friends or even create a bonfire and enjoy.

6. Reptile Park

A rare change is in the making. Get to see the oldest snake in the museum, which still amazes the older people of Kitale who visited the place when they were young, and even after 10 years, the snake still exists. It is considered a gem for the museum. You can get lucky to see it feed on a live rabbit or outside its resting stone.

7. Visit cultural homesteads

The homesteads comprise the Kalenjin, Sabot, Luhya, and Luo ethnic groups of Western Kenya. They tell the stories of their ways of leaving, the reasons behind certain ways of arranging the houses and rooms, and the entrance into the compounds.

8. Agricultural Education

Get an insight into the preparation and uses of biogas and the settings of a zero-grazing establishment. Since most Westerners are farmers, this setting educates one on how readily available it is to make renewable energy from keeping livestock.

Kitale Museum Entrance Fees

Citizen – KenyaCharges
AdultKsh 200
Below 16 yearsKsh 100
Residents – East AfricaCharges
AdultKsh 600
Below 16 yearsKsh 400
Non-ResidentsCharges
Adult Ksh 1200
Below 16 years Ksh 600

Kitale Museum Opening Hours

The museum is open from Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. The museum is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Kitale Museum Contacts

Phone: 0735 803308