Kenya is a country in East Africa with an area of 582,646 sq km or 224.961 sq miles. It borders Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia and the Indian Ocean to the East. Kenya is bisected by the Equator and the physical basis of the country is composed of extensive erosional plains, cut across ancient rocks of Pre-Cambrian age. These are gently warped – giving an imperceptible rise from sea level towards the highlands of the interior which have their base at around 1500m above sea level.
Kenyas natural environment and cultural heritage is almost unmatched in Africa and since tourism has become the largest contributor to the country’s BNP, there are widely distributed and well developed tourist facilities in most parts of the country. Still most Kenyans depend on a more or less traditional lifestyle depending on commerce as well as land for farming and livestock.
The nomadic Masai people are often given an almost iconic status when promoting Kenya for touristic purposes and when a group of warriors dances on the savannah, dressed in their traditional outfits -one of them wearing a hat made out of a lions mane and blowing a horn from a kudu, it’s quite easy to understand the fascination of these people.
Kenya's natural heritage
Kenya has a long list of exquisite national parks spread all over the country and nowhere else in Africa will you see big herds of elephants with snowclad Kilimanjaro as a scenic background. Only 5-6 hours of driving from the Capital Nairobi you will find some of the worlds best wildlife viewing in the Masai Mara Game Reserve and this is also the place to watch the great annual migration of the gnus when they cross the Mara River. Samburu-Buffalo Springs-Shaba National Reserves are other great places to see some unique African species with lots lets tourists competing for a picture.
Add to this the spectacular Kenyan lakes, lake Nakuru being a Ramsar site and the home to tens of thousands flamingos as well as a wealth of other species – the rhino probably being the most prominent – and you have a multitude of fantastic places to choose from within a relatively small geographical area.
Apart from being among the best countries in the world for seeing the African wildlife, Kenyas other drawcard is the Indian Ocean coast with its white coral sand beaches fringed by swaying coconut palms. Swimming, snorkeling, diving, surfing, parasailing and golf is some of the activities you can do on the coast.
Great Rift Valley
Kenya is one of the premier destinations in all of Africa for safaris and a walking safari might be one of the most thrilling experiences in your life. For those seeking even more energetic pursuits, Kenya has some excellent mountains to climb – Mount Kenya being the most spectacular but also Mount Elgon is well worth a visit as the unique Afro-Alpine vegetation here is even more lush and varied than on Mount kenya and of course Africas highest mountain Kilimanjaro, is situated just across the border to Tanzania making it another great choice to visit. You can follow the beaten track, dine in the finest restaurants and dance to the grooviest rhythms or you can experience the “real” Africa and do a “John Hillaby” and venture out on a safari to Kenyas Northern Frontier District assisted by a few camels or donkeys.
In rural Kenya – and especially around the national parks close encounters with the animals might occur. Yet it is extremely rare that any fatal encounters happens and most likely even huge and dangerous animals like elephants can be chased away with some yelling and noise and the presumption that all Africans are facing wild animals like lions or even deadly snakes are rarely in allignment with normal life in Kenya. Somehow the Mosquito could be argued to be the most dangerous animal in Africa as millions of people die every year from Malaria.
The cradle of humanity
The cradle of humanity is a designation often attributed to Kenya because some of the world’s oldest archaeological finds unearthing the earliest forms of humankind, dating back more than 1.8 million years, have been discovered here. At Lake Turkana in northern the eminent anthropologist Richard Leakey discovered the remains of early hominids, Homo Habilis and Zinjanythropus Bosei (Nutcracker man), and their implements. Such seem reason enough to view Kenya as the land where human origins began.
Kenya is a country with an incredible natural wealth and just the birdlist exeeds 450 species living all over Kenya and not only in the national parks. The possibilities in Kenya are almost unlimited and the Kenyans will make sure that you will always feel most welcome in their beautiful country.
The Kenyan coast boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world as well as a rich Swahili culture influenced by the Arabs, Indians, Europeans and other nationalities who have been trading on the east coast of Africa for centuries. The hot and moist tropical climate also allows for lush jungle-like vegetation to thrive.