A little history lesson for our guests
In the 1750s, together with other key towns like Malindi, Mombasa and other coastal cities and towns, Shimoni was a primary, “slave holding port”, for East Africa’s coastal slave trade from as far south as South Africa enroute to the Middle East. These slave holding pens were located in the natural cave systems that exist to this day in Shimoni. See: Activities
Grave of Captain Lawrence. A distinguished officer of The Rifle Brigade, a famous Regiment of the British Army and on attachment in Shimoni at the time. In October 1895 Captain Lawrence was in command of troops with the objective of suppressing and eliminating the slave trade. He was killed in action by local slavers.
Shimoni Slave Caves
In 1857, the British parliament enacted an international ban on the slave trade. In the 1870s, British parliament was successful in convincing Barghash ibn Sa’id, the Sultan of Zanzibar, to acknowledge the ban. This edict choked the trafficking of slaves to and from Zanzibar, effectively cutting off Shimoni’s relevance in the slave trade. Our guests enjoy visiting these caves which are just 3 minutes walk from Betty’s Camp. Then the British colonialists headed to Shimoni…
In the 1880s, British colonialism extended to Shimoni with the arrival of the British Imperial East Africa Company’s headquarters.
The British Imperial East Africa Company chose Shimoni because it was not only a hidden beautiful coastal paradise, but also because it was virtually uninhabited at the time.
All buildings in Shimoni were built by the very first British colonialists in Kenya, including Kenya’s first colonial prison whose ruins is another popular tourist attraction, only 5 minutes walk from Betty’s Camp.
Nearby Wasini Island
Our guests enjoy the sight of the traditional boats known as Dhows as they dock at the port.
Over time Shimoni has developed from a sleepy fishing village to become the main port of clearance for ocean going trade Dhows arriving from as far away as the Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and from neighbouring island of Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam in Tanzania.