Kenya

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On the Indian Ocean coast between Somalia to the north east and Tanzania to the south, is the Eastern African country of Kenya. Its other surrounding countries are Ethiopia and South Sudan to the north and Uganda to the west.

Population: 44,037,656 people
Area: 580,367 km2
Highest point: 5,199 m
Coastline: 536 km
Life expectancy: 63.29 years
GDP per capita: $1,800
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Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

About Kenya

History

Kenya has been inhabited by people since the beginnings of humanity's existence as a species.

Arab traders began frequenting the coast of Kenya around the 1st century. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian peninsula invited colonisation and Arab and Persian settlements spread along the coast in the 8th century. Throughout the centuries, Kenya has played host to many different merchants and explorers. (Chinese , Portuguese )

Kenya declared independence on 12 December 1963.

Climate

Kenya has some tropical climates. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country. The country receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. However, it is usually cool at night and early in the morning. Also, because Nairobi is at high altitude, it can be quite cold even during the day between June and August. The long rain season occurs from April to June. The short rain season occurs from October to December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The hottest period is from February to March and coldest in July to August.

The annual animal migration - especially migration of the wildebeest - occurs between June and September with millions of animals taking part. It has been a popular event for film-makers to capture.

Activities

  • Watch a wildlife migration. Go for a game drive in many parks and reserves found in the country. If you are on a tight schedule take a game drive in the Nairobi National Park found less than 20 minutes drive from Nairobi's CBD (Central Business District). Major attractions: big cats including lions and leopards, buffaloes, a variety of antelope species, baboons, monkeys among others.
  • If you prefer spending some time on the urban social scene, you might consider attending Music and Cultural events such as Blankets and Wine which features various international and local artists performing live in a picnic like setting for families and friends looking to enjoy African talent. The event happens once a month in Kenya's capital, Nairobi (first Sunday of every month).
  • Rift valley festival, which incorporates a camping experience with a sample of Cultural and Musical tastes from around the country and internationally.
  • Samosa festival is an event which is set up to significantly integrate the Asian and African culture in the country, A significant percentage of the urban population is of Asian (Indian) ancestry and has existed since before independence. Their immigration was brought on by the construction of the railway.

This event features cuisine from both cultures, poetry and literature (spoken and written), music and games.

  • Maulid festival,this one week event can only be enjoyed in the Coastal region specifically in the ageless town of Lamu, which has the majority of the population of Muslim faith. It is the one event which everyone from the region looks forward.
  • The three major cities also have an array of night club that play both local and international music, though the experience may be thrilling, it would be wise to visit in the company of a guide or a trusted local, as like any other country with a night life, night clubs also attract untrustworthy party-goers and "clubbers" but this shouldn't ruin your experience as night clubs are also great places to meet singles and new friends.

Food

Nairobi has some of the finest eating establishments in Africa. Many different cuisines and types of restaurants are available, from fast food to fancy. Many five-star hotels have attached fine restaurants, which are expensive but worth it if you are looking to not get a true Kenyan cuisine. Restaurants are called "hotels" and there are many in Nairobi, if you stop by make sure you try Pilau-a chicken and rice dish, cabbage and rice; and the staple food in Kenya-Ugali, made from maize flour. Street food is also definitely worth a try and usually safe to eat, Mandazi are sweet bread-like treats that are often sold on the street, maize grilled with a side of chilli to add on is a wonderful snack and very cheap, samosas are awesome and don't be hesitant to try all the other yummy stuff they're selling! Also, fruit stand are everywhere-the mangoes and avocados are to die for and can be bought for about 10-20bob. Many restaurants can be found downtown and in the areas of Westlands and Hurlingham but these areas are filled with tourists and "mzungu"(singular) "wazungu" (plural) which is the kiSwaihili word for "white/foreign people" and places like Ayani, Olympic, Kibera, and other places have more authentic food. Among the many cuisines available are Indian, Brazilian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, German and French restaurants. Fast food restaurants, mostly by South African chains (Steers, Nandos), are common in the larger urban areas. There is also a restaurant called "The Carnivore" in Nairobi which serves a plethora of "all you can eat" exotic meats from the usual beef to zebra, crocodile and ostrich. While expensive, there is a lot of food to be eaten and it is worth venturing in to for the experience if nothing else!

Drinks

Kenyan beer is excellent,having won various awards internationally, the local favourite being Tusker,a brand from the East African Breweries Company. Imported beers are available but aren't that much popular due to the high retail prices brought on by import duty and local loyalty to their own manufactured products. In recent years brew pubs, such as the Brew Bistro in Nairobi, have taken upon themselves to indulge Kenyans in their own productions which has attracted both expatriate and tourist attention due to their smoothness of their creations.

Imported and local wines and spirits are widely available, and it is advisable to avoid local brews such as "changaa" and "busaa," which are illegal, un-hygienically brewed and whose consumption has led to deaths on many occasions. It may be helpful to remember that "changaa" literally means "kill me quick" before deciding whether or not to drink a proffered glass of the beverage.

There is an excellent selection of soft drinks especially from the Coca Cola stable, but try the "Tangawizi" Ginger ale locally produced.

It is also worth noting, as is the way in many African countries, that when you return an empty glass bottle of a drink to certain shop keepers, they will refund you part of the price you paid.

Shopping

Kenya is famous for many handicrafts, which are often the signature of a particular tribe or region. Look for Kisii stone (soap stone) carvings, Maasai jewellery, Mkonde wood carvings, Lamu chairs and batiks. The largest selection of handicrafts can probably be found at the Maasai Market which rotates and can be found at different locations within Nairobi. For example, on Sundays, they are at Yaya Centre near Hurlingham, and on Saturdays, they can be found at the Central business district near the law courts parking space.

On Fridays, they are at the Village Market in Gigiri, near the UN headquarters. Gigiri, like Yaya Centre, is a plush suburb, so vendors price their goods accordingly. There is also a fine selection of stores selling craft goods in Mombasa, where the atmosphere is somewhat more relaxed. However, the best prices can be found by buying direct from the artisans in their villages in the countryside.

Apart from the typical souvenirs such as wood carvings, it may be a good idea to buy one of the large books with photos of wildlife, nature, or culture.

Do listen to and buy some local Kenyan music. Reggae is also quite a frequent feature of matatu journeys.

The currency is the Kenyan Shilling (KES), which can be divided into 100 cents. As of January 2013, USD1 = KES86.75, €1 = KES115.5, and GBP1 = KES137.62

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Kenya on Wikivoyage.

Cities in Kenya

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The capital of Kenya and the largest city is Nairobi with a population of nearly four million.

Interesting places:

  • City Market
  • Kenyatta Mausoleum
  • City Hall
  • Nairobi City Stadium
  • National Archives
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Mombasa is Kenya's second largest city and a sea port.

Interesting places:

  • Fort Jesus
  • Bamburi Beach
  • Voyager Beach
  • Mombasa Marine National Park
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Maasai Mara National Reserve is in the south west of Kenya. The Maasai Mara is not a National Park, but rather a National Reserve belonging to the Maasai people and administered by the local county councils. It is one of the best known and most popular reserves in Africa.

Interesting places:

  • Masai Mara Reserve
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Malindi is a city in Kenya, located on the Indian Ocean.

Interesting places:

  • Malindi Beach
  • Marine Park
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Diani Beach is a resort area on the Indian Ocean in Kenya.

Interesting places:

  • Diani - Chale Marine National Park and Reserve
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Interesting places:

  • Watamu Beach
  • Arabuko Sokoke Forest
  • Watamu Marine National Park
  • Ruins of Gedi
  • Bio-Ken Snake Farm
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Naivasha is a city in Kenya.

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Nakuru is a city in the Southern Rift Valley region of Kenya.

Interesting places:

  • Lake Nakuru National Park
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Interesting places:

  • Amboseli National Park
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Mombasa is Kenya's second largest city and a sea port.

Interesting places:

  • Tiwi Beach
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Interesting places:

  • Shaba National Reserve - Natorbi Ogura Gate
  • Mt. Shaba
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Lamu is a town in Coastal Kenya.

Interesting places:

  • Lamu Fort
  • Manda Beach
  • Shela Beach
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panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners

Points of Interest in Kenya

Kenya has some of the world's best game reserves where you can see some of the finest African flora and fauna. The parks are famous for lions, giraffes, elephants and huge herds of zebras, wildebeests and buffaloes. It's wise to shop around for tour operators before picking one, to see what's currently on offer, who you vibe with, and to get a competitive price.

The annual wildebeest migration (from Maasai Mara to the Serengeti) is an awesome sight and best experienced in a balloon safari. Bookings to watch the migration are best done months in advance due to the high demand and limited lodging available in the Mara. Migration is during August and September.

Kenya also is a great destination for beach holidays, with several located along the coastal regions and the city of Mombasa. Other coastal towns worth visiting include Lamu and Malindi.

Kenya is also becoming a golf holiday destination, with an abundance of beautiful courses around the major urban areas. Green fees range from US$15–40 per round, plus a US$5–7 caddy fee.

The northern parts of Kenya are home to some spectacular tribes living very traditional lifestyles - you can start to encounter these remarkable societies near to and around the main road North into Ethiopia (the A2 which runs through Marsabit and into Moyale at the Ethopian border), as well as West of this in places such as Wamba, Maralal, Baragoi, Korr, Kargi, South Horr, etc.

  • Kenya Voluntary and Community Development Project, Delta Hotel, 1st Floor University Way, Nairobi (Opposite Central Police Station),  +254 722 760 661. 8. Volunteer in Kenya with a community based organisation offering volunteers the opportunity to participate in short or long term development in Kenya. US$527.

City Market - Nairobi

Lamu Fort - Lamu

Watamu Beach - Watamu

Fort Jesus - Mombasa

Lake Nakuru National Park - Nakuru

Malindi Beach - Malindi

Tiwi Beach - Tiwi

Shimba Hills National Reserve - Shimba Hills National Reserve

Tsavo East National Park - Taita Hills

Shaba National Reserve - Natorbi Ogura Gate - Shaba

Kakamega Forest - Kakamega

Sibiloi National Park - Lodwar

Kenyatta Mausoleum - Nairobi

City Hall - Nairobi

Nairobi City Stadium - Nairobi

National Archives - Nairobi

Teleposta Towers - Nairobi

Uhuru Park - Nairobi

Times Tower - Nairobi

City Square - Nairobi

panoramio Photos are copyrighted by their owners
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