When you think of vacation destinations, Africa is probably not on the list, and Kenya, that’s the place you go to volunteer, not for vacation. Well, that’s not entirely true! If you want to get an introduction to this spectacular continent, Kenya is probably the best place to go because of its diversity. It is famous for its scenic landscapes, cultural activities and is perceived as one of the most original safari destinations for wildlife watching in Africa. Being able to observe vast wildlife preserves in a natural setting is the most unique and one in a million experiences you can have. From pristine Indian ocean to awe-inspiring savannahs, top-class trekking to exclusive tribal culture, there is so much to explore in Kenya than you could ever imagine.
We’ve put together this brief guide about Kenya to help you get to know this beautiful country more and plan your Kenya adventure. Let’s begin!
Kenya is an East African country bordering the Indian Ocean in the South and has Ethiopia, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Uganda as neighboring countries. The landscape varies from a low coastal plain at the Indian Ocean to a fertile plateau in the west. The interior of the country is dominated by the highlands with the highest population of people and Kenya’s highest point “Mount Kenya”. The highlands are bisected by The Great Rift Valley, a natural depression with a chain of volcanos. On the north of Rift valley lies Turkana, famous for being the world’s largest permanent desert lake.
The present population of Kenya is 54,573,300 based on the projections of the latest United Nations Data. Kenya has ranked 27th in the list of countries by population. The population density is 94 per Km2 with a growth rate of 1.57% per year.
Nairobi is the capital of Kenya, and also the largest city with a population of 4 million. It is known as the world’s wildlife capital and has the city’s biggest national park with all types of wild animals. So if you want to have the classic wild experience, Nairobi is the best place to visit.
Kenya is a multilingual country and there is a total of 68 languages spoken in the country. Swahili and English are widely spoken and serve as the official languages of the country. Other indigenous languages spoken locally includes Luhya, Kikuyu Kamba, and Ekegusii.
The national currency of the country is Kenyan Shilling (KSh) and comes in the denominations of 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 shillings. Foreign currencies are also widely accepted. However, the local currency is mostly needed to pay the bills on local restaurants, and bars.
Kenya offers a classic backdrop for classic safari adventures in Africa. It has tremendous biodiversity with 25,000 different animal species. Maasai Mara is the most popular park with an abundance of wildlife including cheetahs, lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, and more.
You can witness the Great Migration where over 2 million creatures crossing iconic rivers grace the stage. Other famous wildlife life destinations include Amboseli, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo West, Samburu. Every reserve has its character and diversity of wildlife, so you’ll have the most unforgettable experience ever.
Kenya primarily consists of 13 ethnic groups with additional 27 smaller groups. There are three major tribes including Bantu, Nilotic and Hamitic and around 13% population belongs of non-African descent i.e., Arab, European and Indian. Kenyan has group-oriented cultures where mutual assistance, responsibility and maintain harmonious relationships within family and tribe is an important part of basic social structure. The common greeting is a handshake while frank and direct communication is not a part of a norm.
Kenyan food is as diverse and versatile as its culture and history. Each tribe and community have its own specialties and native foods. The most common staple foods in Kenya are Ugali, Sukuma wiki, and Nyama Choma. The favorite beverages of Kenyans are tea and coffee as they are grown in the country. Kenya also grows delicious tasting fruits e.g., mangoes, oranges, bananas, and grapes.
The dominant religion is Christianity practiced by 83% of the population followed by Islam practiced by 11.2% population and the other 4% with indigenous beliefs.
Kenya receives an enormous number of visitors from Europe and America and tourism is a major contributor to its economy after agriculture. The diversity of things to do in Kenya makes it one of the most spectacular destinations for your next vacation. Apart from world-famous safari parks, the country also holds some of the finest beaches in Africa which draw a huge number of tourists. Kenya is the best to explore the colorful colonial history, tropical islands, snow-cloaked mountain peaks, and melting pots of different cultures and cuisines, all in one place!
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