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. 

Kitale in 1930

Kitale in 1930 I am grateful to Nick Symes for showing me this letter a farming friend in Kitale wrote to his father: It paints a good picture of Kitale in 1930, the year in which the photographs below were taken.    “Kitale was as far inland and as near the borders...

Should Afrikaans have been Taught in Plateau Schools?

Should Afrikaans have been Taught in Plateau Schools? A large number of Afrikaners on the Uasin Gishu plateau in 1910 approached the Governor to establish a school for their children.  The government did establish two small schools in early 1910 but insisted on the...

Ivory Smuggling in Mombasa

Ivory Smuggling When I was a child I would climb down the Ras Serani cliffs at Mombasa at low tide to swim and forage on the revealed coral reef.  There you could find chunks of ivory obviously thrown overboard from dhows when apprehended by customs boats. The Arab...