Welcome to Old Africa

your window into East Africa’s past.

Old Africa books

Old Africa books are well-told stories in the same tradition as the shorter pieces

our readers have come to enjoy from the pages of Old Africa magazine.

Old Africa magazine seeks to tell the story of East Africa’s past through well-written stories and vintage photographs. Founded in October 2005, the first issue featured a story about the Royal Navy’s ill-fated attempt to launch a naval presence on Lake Rudolph (now Lake Turkana) and an account of the Kedong Massacre. Since then the magazine has published stories and photos from Kenya’s diverse ethnic groups – African, Asian and European – to preserve East Africa’s history. 

New book about Malindi and History of the East African Coast

New book about Malindi and History of the East African Coast

Bluff is Old Africa's latest book, an autobiography that is set in Malindi on the Kenya coast from the 1940s until the 1970s. Written by Thomas Allfree, a fisheries officer and one of Malindi's 'characters,' this book evokes life in the coastal town and gives insight...

Arms Trade in East Africa

Arms Trade in East Africa In 1847 the missionary Johann Ludwig Krapf saw a caravan taking 1000 muskets inland; this was just one example of the vast number of arms supplied to the interior of Africa. When traders, Arab and other, reached Uganda it was common for them...

Epidemics in Early Nairobi

Epidemics in Early Nairobi

Now that we are suffering another epidemic, it is interesting to look at the epidemics in Nairobi 120 years ago, when the city was in its infancy. There was an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1902, in the Indian bazaar. There were 69 cases of whom 55 died. Energetic...