Kenya

Kenya is an alluring country that contains an essence of everything African whilst remaining truly unique. The first thing people associate with Kenya is its great plains teeming with wildlife. The most memorable are scenes of flamingos basking in the soda lakes of the Rift Valley, or wildebeest migrations that have been immortalised in films such as Out of Africa. There are numerous exotic creatures in the Masai Mara and Tsavo Plains such as bongos and aardwolves that attract any wildlife enthusiast.

For sea lovers, Mombasa and Malindi offer great opportunities for scuba diving and snorkeling. For beaches, the Arabic influenced island of Lamu is a must. For the more intrepid traveler then there are plenty of opportunities for adventure such as climbing Mount Kenya or maybe a camel trek in the north.

There is a rich tapestry of tribes in Kenya, such as the Kikuyu, Samburu, Swahili and Turkana and historic influences from settlers and colonialists from Arabia and Europe. The Europeans have had the most chequered history with Kenya, from the scandals of the ‘Happy Valley’, outside Nairobi, to the Kikuyu led Mau Mau uprising that led to independence in 1963.

More recently there have been problems such as the bombing of the US Embassy and attacks on tourists after the 1997 elections. However these incidents quickly fade into the past and tourism is once again thriving in Kenya, which is generally thought of as safe to visit.

Check with your local embassy for up to date travel safety advice.

There are four distinct climatic zones in Kenya.

The plateau of West Kenya is wet throughout the year, with huge amounts of rain in April, and temperatures range from 57 – 94F throughout the year.

The Rift Valley and Central Highlands has a pleasant, cooler climate that varies from 50 – 80F.

There are two rainy seasons, the ‘short rains’ from October to November and ‘long rains’ from March to June.

The third zone is the most unwelcoming bushland and deserts, which lie in the north and east of Kenya. There is a low annual rainfall and a dramatic temperature range from 67 – 105F between day and night.

The popular coastal belt is hot and humid ranging from 73 – 90F and a high annual rainfall.

 

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