Author Archives: WW1 Secretariat

About WW1 Secretariat

100 Taita Taveta is a program formed by the County Government of Taita Taveta, to commemorate the First World War Centenary through a range of activities starting from August 2014 to August 2018

Mahoo

A Church Missionary Society mission post established in 1890 just outside Taveta. In August 1914 the low lava cinder hilloch, one of three, with the Mission Church Hall was quickly occupied by the Germans and subsequently fortified by them and became Eastern Command Military HQ. The area to the west became a substantial camp for the Schutztruppe reserve troops Several well preserved trenches can still be seen here. The church on the hill dates from 1925. Download Mahoo and Taveta Chronicles

Salaita Hill

Strategically located on the savannah plains between Mt Kilimanjaro and the Pare Mountains, Salaita was the gateway into Taveta and to German East Africa.  Salaita was quickly occupied and made into a strong defensive position by the Germans after the 15th August 1914. The hill was attacked three times by the British who were beaten off with heavy loss twice, 29th March 1915 when 300 troops were involved and 12th February 1916 when 6,000 troops with 18 artillery guns and howitzers and 41machine guns were Continue reading →

Serengeti

A dummy fort built by the Germans to deceive the British that they were holding the area in force. Serengeti became a staging post for the British Empire Forces for their attack on Salaita Hill 12 February 1916 and the advance into Taveta and German East Africa during February and March 1916.

Mbuyuni

Mbuyuni is located in Tsavo West National Park astride the road between Maktau and Taveta on the western side of a shallow valley. Started off as a British motor cyclists observation post and taken by the German on 3rd September 1914. They later fortified the area with trenches. Attacked by the British and repulsed with great loss of life on 14th May 1915, final attack in January 1916 saw the start of a slow German withdrawal from occupied British Territory. The site became a vast Continue reading →

Maktau

A dusty sleepy little village today, half way between Voi and Taveta but in early 1916 it accommodated over 20,000 Empire troops and claims the first airfield in East Africa, unfortunately nothing remains of its important role the area played. Nearby is Picket Hill with remains of dry stone wall fortifications on top with magnificent views over the Tsavo Serengeti Plains to the west and Mt Kilimanjaro. One can drive close to the top followed by a short walk to the fortified observation post.  Maktau Continue reading →

The Voi to Taveta Military Railway Line

Survey work started in November 1914 and construction commenced in February 1915. The route used was to follow as close as possible the line of contour thus avoiding the building of large embankments so followed a winding route reaching Maktau in June where it halted until further rail supplies could be obtained and for the way forward to be cleared of the enemy who by now were entrenched 12 miles to the west of Maktau at Mbuyuni. Once South African reinforcements started to arrive in Continue reading →

Mashoti Fort

Located within the Sarova Taita Hills and Salt Lick Wildlife Sanctuary on a ridge linking Mashoti Hill to the Taita Hills and astride the road between Voi and Taveta lies the remains of Mashoti Fort. Built by the Loyal North Lancashire Regt in late 1915, trenches and typical regulation design British fort laid out according to the ‘book’. Well eroded today but clearly visible and easily accessible