All the objects and memorabilia were collected from Taita area and exhibited at the First World War museum, opened on Saturday at the hotel. Taita Taveta County is the place where several brutal and terrifying battles took place between the German troops and the British forces during the First World War. It is now expected for the Kenyan tourism to really improve with the start of battlefield tourism in Taita Taveta County.
The initiative began to make sense as the world is currently making preparation to mark the centenary of the start of the First World War in Taita Taveta. According to some of the industry experts, battlefield tourism is mostly about visiting battlefields, cemeteries and other individual memorials and sites from across the world. “It is different from war tourism, which involves visiting active war zones often at great personal risk — and usually has a touch of thrill-seeking or voyeurism about it,’’ said one of the first battlefield guides in Kenya, Willy Mwadillo. Sarova Taita Hills and Salt Lick Lodges in Taita Hills Sanctuary, Willy Mwadillo insisted that the battlefields that people would be visiting, have more of a historical significance, where the fighting is long past and not as much emphasized as the importance of heritage and commemoration.
The first groups of visitors to the battlefields arrived in Northern Europe during the First World War, as they were probably relatives searching for their loved ones, who lost their lives in the war. They visited the battlefields to pay their respects to the fallen ones and seek closer with the loved one.
Most of the First World War battles were fought at Taita Taveta between 1914 and 1918 and according to Mwadillo, this is also the reason why the living relatives of these brave men who died for their country, are expected to come and visit the battlefields, the Standard Digital reports.
Currently there are numerous trenches and bits of artillery and several mass graves in Voi, Taveta, Bura, Salaita and Maktau. The very first District Commissioner’s office, which is over 100 years old, can be found just outside the town of Taveta, including several graves that the Commonwealth War Commission had taken over some time ago.
“The knowledge that these stretches of ground were scenes of immense tragedy and destruction seems to captivate the mind of anyone interested in history or human drama,’’ said Willy Mwadillo, who is fascinated by the battlefields and the stories they hold.