A Guide To Rabai Museum
Rabai Museum is well known in the annals of history as the place where Christianity and modern learning in Kenya started well over 150 years ago. In 1994 the Krapf Memorial Museum was founded to give formal and a perpetual reminder to monumental events during the advent of early missionaries. Stories about the first missionaries were passed on by word of mouth and are still told today.
Rabai is situated about 25km north-west of Mombasa, off the Nairobi-Mombasa highway on Mazeras-Kaloleni road. Rabai, also called Rabai Mpya, is a historic location in Kilifi district as it is the first place where missionaries of the Church Missionary Society established a Christian mission.
The Rabai museum was opened as a site museum in June 1998 in the building that was originally the church built by the CMS missionaries, Dr Ludwig Kraff and Johann Rebmann, between 1846 and 1848 at Rabai mission station.
Johann Ludwig Krapf came to Rabai in 1844 with his pregnant wife Rosine, whom he had married in Egypt. Shortly afterwards on 9 June 1844, his wife died of malaria. At the time of her death, Krapf was also taken ill and their newborn infant died 3 days later. They were buried at Rabai. In 1846 Krapf together with Johannes Rebmann set up a mission at Rabai. Dr. Krapf learnt the local languages and translated the bible into Swahili.
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On 10 June 1849 Jakob Erhardt and John Wagner arrived at the Rabbai Mpia mission station, where they joined Krapf and Rebmann. However, Wagner died on 1 August 1849. In the spring of 1850 Erhardt and Krapf travelled by dhow down the East African coast from Mombasa. The boat was small and food was scarce, poor quality and difficult to prepare due to the rain. However, they collected much information about the interior. After the voyage the two returned to the mission station, and in 1851 Krapf left for Europe to recuperate.
Watch a tour video of Rabai Museum