Taita Taveta to add battlefield tourism to its basket of attractions

Taita Taveta is now ripe to tap into battlefield tourism with the launch of the World War I (1914-1918) Memorial Museum Leadership & Innovation Institute (WWOMMELII) at Maktau during WWI Commemorations to be held on November 26, 2022 according to Governor Andrew Mwadime.

At a meeting in Nairobi with several diplomatic missions from the west, including the UK, Canada and Germany, Governor Mwadime invited the countries to partner with the county in several areas, where battlefield tourism ranked top on the list.

Mwadime requested the diplomatic missions to join him in launching the WWOMMELII on November 26 this year, an event that will be preceded by a full week (24th-27th November) of activities at Maktau and the county in general.

“I invite you to be part of our guests when we launch WWOMMELII on November 26 2022 and a week of activities to market our county,” said Mwadime.

The invitation was also extended to all countries that took part in World War I in trying to highlight the contributions of the coastal county in the battle between the British and Germans for the control of the then East Africa Protectorate.

In acknowledging the governor’s invitation and participation in the upcoming World War I commemoration at Maktau, the UK deputy High Commissioner, Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Wood said his country is ready to partner with Taita Taveta in a range of fields and not limited to ecotourism and battlefield tourism.

The UK diplomat added that they are looking to offer training and research support to WWOMMELII as an extension of the War diary field course in the colonial era East Africa.

“The UK government is interested in forging partnerships with Taita Taveta County in areas of research and training at the proposed institute as part of the War diary field course in the colonial era East Africa,” said Lieutenant-Colonel Andrew Wood.

Governor Mwadime has been on a charm offensive to woo investors in various fields and has now set focus on the county’s massive tourism potential.

In World War I history books, Taita Taveta’s Salaita Hills played a crucial role in the battle for East Africa between the Germans and the British. A 1,200 man strong German soldier’s troop had pitched camp at Salaita Hills and used the terrain to its advantage to attack the British troops on March 29, 1915.

With heavy casualties and relentless bombardments, the British troops were able to repel the German’s offensive on March 8, 1916, bringing an end to an edition of World War I on African soil.