Saturday, January 19, 2008

Kenya-Africa: Your Animal, Lion and Sport Safari

i. Location: Kenya is an East African country that rises from a low coastal plain on the Indian Ocean to mountains and plateaus at its center. The country size is 582,650 and is bordered by Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan Tanzania, Uganda. Most Kenyans live in the highlands including, main cities and towns. Nairobi, is the capital centre and stands at an altitude of 1,700 meters (5,500 feet). Even though Nairobi is near the Equator, its high elevation brings cooler air. To the west of Nairobi the land descends to the north-south running through the Great Rift Valleyâ€"the valley floor is at its lowest near Lake Turkana further in the deserts of northern Kenya. Around Lake Turkana, scientists have discovered some of humankind s earliest ancestorsâ€"a fossil known as Kenya Man, that was dated at 3.5 to 3.2 million years old. ii. The People and Culture Kenya is host to Forty ethnic groups, including Kikuyu farmers and Maasai cattle herders, three-quarters of Kenya s people is also located in the country side. The total population stands at 33,830,000 with 2,818,000 staying in the capital city Kenya is a diverse country, with many different cultures represented. Today, the Massai culture is the best known, due to its heavy exposure from tourism. Kenya s culture is both varied and fragmented. Nowhere else in Africa is there such a large number of ancient cultures, all alive and well in no hurry to change. Each cultural / ethnic group have their unique traditional arts and crafts, architecture in homestead designs, clothing and jewellery, food, social and economic activities etc. Kenya is bestowed with well over 40 different ethnic groups with different languages and dialects, customs, beliefs and lifestyles. Unique of all tribes is the Elmolo, Kenya s smallest group which is a surviving tribe just emerging from the stone age standard of living usually described as the race that has stood the test of time. iib. The Maasai warrior people: The well known Maasai too, famous for their warriorship, have a strong practical lifestyle which is basically seen to represent Kenya s traditions by foreigners. The Maasai land incorporates many of the National Parks like Amboseli, Mara, Tsavo and Nairobi National Park is now involved in the wildlife conservation projects to encourage eco-tourism. This enables the Maasai tribe to make a living from conservation and is an important factor in the preservation of wildlife habitats outside the Parks. Visitors can experience a unique holiday learning about their culture, wildlife and ecosystem of this fascinating tribal people. Another spectacular culture is the Swahili, an urban culture along the East African coast. The Swahili do not form an ethnic unit, however, since the population of the coastal region comprises Bantu, Arab, Persian, Indian and Indonesian peoples who all speak their language Swahili , a Bantu language. Lamu is one of the last viable remnants of the Swahili civilization, which was the dominant cultural force all along the Kenyan coast. It is a place of fantasy, wrapped in a clock of medieval romance known as the Kathmandu of Africa. iii. Climate: Kenya enjoys a tropical climate. 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. The terrain is low plains rising to the central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west.The Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers on Mt. Kenya; unique physiography supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value. iv. The teaming Wildlife Kenya has considerable land area of wildlife habitat, including much of the Serengeti plains, where Wildebeest and other bovids participate in a large scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 Wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season. The annual migration occurs between June and September with millions of wildlife taking part. It has been a popular event for filmmakers to capture.The Big Five animals of Africa can also be found in Kenya and these include the Lion, the Leopard, the Buffalo, the Rhino and the biggest of them all - the Elephant. A significant population of other wild animals, reptiles and birds can be found in the national parks and game reserves in the country. v. The cradle of mankind. Man was born on the eastern shores of Lake Rudolf, now Lake Turkana, according to recent fossil evidence, which makes Kenya the Biblical Garden of Eden, from which descendants moved out to populate the world. A reverse migration began nine to ten thousand years ago when Kenya became the point of contact in Africa for the Stone Age and civilisation, spreading from the Mediterranean through to Southern Arabia. The National Museums of Kenya runs one National Museum in Nairobi and seven other regional museums elsewhere in the country enhancing Kenya s rich cultural heritage. Robert Muhoho is a travel consultant based in Kenya and a director of Landmark Safaris. He is involved in travel planning into Kenya and East Africa. More info at or drop an email:

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