The organization of Long Distance trade


Trade routes to the interior went up to Kilimanjaro, the mount Kenya region and the shores of Lake Victoria. Maasai regions were avoided due to perceived Maasai hostility to strangers.

Long Distance traders moved into the interior in caravans, using porters, who were either slaves or free men, with goods to and from the East African coast.

They stopped to rest and replenish food supply at various centers in the interior E.G. Taveta, Mbooni hills, Lake Baringo, Mumias and Buganda.

From the coast, the traders brought guns, Cotton cloth, beads, glass, swords, Porcelain vessels, bracelets and bangles. From the interior, they got ivory, rhino horns, slaves, hides and skins.

Long distance trade was financed by the Arabs and Swahili, who employed Akamba and Mijikenda traders. The mode of trade was Barter, although Cowrie shells were introduced as currency in late 19th century.


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