As Kenyans continue to embrace leisure activities such as excursions and road trips, the nation’s historical sites have witnessed a resurgence in popularity. Among these remarkable sites, Thimlich Ohinga in Migori County has emerged as a prominent destination.
Famed for its stone-walled monuments, the site holds a rich history that dates back to the 16th century when Bantus and Nilotes settled in the South Nyanza region.
Thimlich Ohinga stands as a testament to the ingenuity and architectural prowess of its ancient builders.
The stone-walled structures, crafted solely from rocks without the use of mortar, showcase a remarkable blend of skill and vision.
A section of the Thimlich Ohinga historical site which is based in Migori County.
Recognised as a cultural heritage site, it is managed by the National Museums of Kenya and holds a prestigious place on the UNESCO World Heritage List as an archaeological site.
According to the National Museums of Kenya, the site was constructed by the area’s early inhabitants. The site is particularly unique considering that no motor, a mixture of cement, sand and water, was used to build the walls.
The construction of Thimlich Ohinga’s walls relied on unique technology, where rocks were strategically interlocked to ensure both firmness and stability.
Additionally, the builders incorporated drainage vents within the structure, enabling water to flow freely during the rainy season.
The vents not only facilitate efficient drainage but also serve to safeguard the walls from collapsing during floods, showcasing the advanced engineering acumen of the ancient constructors.
“Subsequently, communities that moved into this region in the period 15th to 19th centuries carried out repair work and modification on the structures. However, all these episodes of occupation and repair did not interfere with the architecture and preservation of the structures.
“During the first quarter of the twentieth century abandonment of Ohingnis started en mass. No more stone structures were constructed and consequently, some stone structures were reduced to mere traces of circumferences or disappeared altogether. Thimlich Ohinga is one of the few stone structures that survived.
“Regarding the purpose of walls, it is documented that the walls were constructed to protect themselves against attacks from others and wild animals,” The National Museums says in its history documents.
Due to its rich cultural history, the area has become a hub for tourism activities, offering visitors a range of enjoyable experiences for as low as Ksh100.
Popular activities at the site include camping and birdwatching.
Additionally, many visitors indulge in leisurely nature walks, immersing themselves in the natural beauty of the surroundings.
Entrance to Thimlich Ohinga in Migori County.