Shimoni Village and Slave Caves
"There’s a hole in the side of Africa, where the walls will speak if you only listen..."
Roger Whittaker's famous song invokes Shimoni's caves where slaves in transit to Zanzibar were held. Today the slave caves are managed by the community and can be visited with a tour guide for a nominal fee. The caves stretch for several kilimetres underground, but only a few hundred metres can be visited today.
As a deep-water port, Shimoni was also the headquarters for a large colonial trading firm. You can visit its ruins at the entrance to the village, next to the caves.
Life in the village of Shimoni rotates around the fishermen coming and going, the kiosks where the village gets its basic daily supplies and the jetty where dhows and boats ply to the marine park or to and from Wasini Island trading and transporting people.
Very informal and without any real organised structure, it is worth a visit to wander around the village market.
Simple, humble and down to earth, Shimoni is a refreshing African coastal village.
The coastal forest at one time stretched much further and animals would come all the way down to the ocean. The growing village has cut into the forest, but it still supports a healthy community of Sykes, Vervet and Colobus monkeys. The tree canopy around Shimoni stretches along the coast line and a wander down the forest paths is a worthwhile mini wildlife walk. The local community is very friendly and will welcome you.