Nyari depression: Where a village ‘sunk’ due to selfishness

Nyari depressionThe spectacular Nyari depression in Ganze

Believed to have occurred in the year 1914, Nyari depression offers spectacular scenery blended in the Giryama community believe in superstition.

Situated about 15KM from Kilifi along the Kilifi Ganze road at Kasava, the depression is surrounded by several myths as to what led to its occurrence.

When travelling from Ganze, visitors can have a panoramic view of the depression from Silala to Mkuluni where the green vegetation of the Arabuko Sokoke forest takes over your view.

The visit to the depression is tough due to the road terrain. Occasionally you will be welcomed at the Nyari depression by huge baboons which move around the forest cover around the depression to look for something to feed on.


Raphael Katana who is the chairman of the committee that takes care of the depression in conjunction with the elders, is always at hand to offer the information the community has about the depression.

Katana said the depression occurred when the area sunk many years ago after a heavy down pour that lasted for many days.

One of the myths is that there existed a village at the site where the depression occurred and a woman one day came to seek shelter when it was raining and the villagers declined to offer her.

 “The village was on a hill and when they declined to give the woman shelter she moved to the next village where she got assistance and this village here sunk with all the villagers” Explained Katana.

According to the myth, nothing was salvaged from that village and the woman later sunk to the ground and no one knew where she was from.


The community around the depression claims that during the night some voices of people pounding maize using mortar and pestle can be heard.

“Sometimes we hear children voices crying during the night and at that time no one is allowed to visit the depression” said Katana.

Katana said the events that can be heard at night around the depression is a clear indication that there were people living in that area.

“This depression is unique and it needs to be protected so that generations to come can know what came of this area.

Inside the depression are seven streams that run through the base of the depression.


Unlike the Hell’s kitchen in Marafa, Nyari depression in cool and supports vegetation. In fact, the forest extends to the base of the depression. It can be visited at any time of the day.

Vegetation inside the Nyari depression

“I’m now engaging the community in making sure that every unique feature in this depression is protected for the benefit of the community so that we can preserve the history of this area” he said

Like many other historical sites at the coast, the area is used by the elders as a shrine for offering to their ancestors.

The elders are free to visit the depression during day time or night.

An organization has partnered with the community in making sure the depression is identified as a tourist attraction site.

Plans are underway by the organization to set up camp sites at the depression and market it worldwide.

According to the BASIVA foundation director Peter Kithunga, the depression has a lot of potential as a tourist attraction site and urged the County government to help the community in marketing it.

“The community should be sensitized on how this site can create employment to the youths. This depression also has indigenous trees that cannot be found in many parts of the country” Kithunga said.

He further said that there are plans to build a restaurant to be managed by the community so as to boost the income of the community.

Kithunga urged the Kilifi county government to come up with a programme that will help identify the historical sites for the prosperity of the county.

Kithunga said the county is reach in historical sites but they have been neglected despite their importance to the locals.

He also called for archeologist to visit the area and come up with facts on what caused the depression.

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