Facts about Kenya

Capital City : Nairobi, 2.5 million inhabitants (2003)
Total Area: 583.00 kms.
Area under water: 13,600 sq km’s.
Population: 31 million people (2003)
Languages: English and Swahili.
Religions: Christians are the majority in the countryside, whereas Muslims are common on the Coast and are about 30% of the population; minority groups practice traditional religions.
Government: Republic.
Independence Date: 12 December 1963
Industry: Tourism, processed food, Brewing, vehicles and accessories, Cotton and Textiles, Cement and construction materials, chemicals.
Agriculture: Coffee, Tea, Cotton, sisal, tobacco.

Climate: Tropical

History

Kenya’s independence from the British Empire was marked by the election of Jomo Kenyatta as the first President of Kenya on 12 December 1963. He ruled until his death in 1978, leading the KANU party as a single party state. The country enjoyed development and stability. Daniel ArapMoi followed Kenyatta and remained in power for 25 years conducting a rigid autocratic regime. Democratic elections were first held in 1993 and confirmed the presidency of Moi. In 2002 the opposition coalition led by MwaiKibaki was able to win the elections.

Climate

The best time of the year to visit Kenya is the boreal summer, from July to September. A second choice is the boreal winter from January to February. There are two rainy seasons, the “long rains” from March to June and the “short rains” from October to December. Seasonal rains condition both road communications and some cyclic wildlife movements. Wildlife is more abundant in Masai Mara during the boreal summer.

Fauna and Birds

All the “Big Five”, lions, buffaloes, elephants, leopards and rhinos can be seen in at least two or more Kenyan national parks. Bird life in Kenya is also varied and includes species like ostriches, vultures and marabou storks. Around water bodies you can see flamingos, cranes, pelicans, while the forest is home to huge hornbills. Kenya hosts the endangered species of the Black Rhinos, found in Lake Nakuru and Tsavo national parks.

Best Travel Period

The best time of the year to visit Kenya is the boreal summer, from July to September. A second choice is the boreal winter from January to February. There are two rainy seasons, the “long rains” from March to June and the “short rains” from October to December. Wildlife is more abundant in Masai Mara during the boreal summer.

Luggage

We shall advise you to travel light as most of the trip will be on the safari vehicles. Remember your hand bag for the trekking.

Documents and Visa entry fees

Visas to Kenya can be obtained directly on entry and costs 100USD for 90 days. The passport must be valid for at least six months starting from the date of entry.

Health requirements

It is advisable to have the vaccinations against yellow fever, hepatitis, typhus and tetanus. Risk of malaria is much reduced in Nairobi and the Highlands above 2,000 m, whereas the risk rises in the Indian Ocean coast. The malignant type of the illness, produced by Plasmodium falciparum, is the most frequent in Kenya. The usual prophylaxis consists of a combination of chloroquine and proguanyl, or otherwise drugs that combine the two compounds. Prophylaxis with mefloquine (Lariam) is specially recommended for high risk areas, given the presence of strains resistant to chloroquine and sulphadoxine-pyrimetamine.

Currency and Exchange rate

The national currency is the Kenya shilling (Ksh or KES). Each shilling is divided into 100 cents. 1 USD is exchanged at the average rate of 73 Ksh. It is a good idea to carry cash and traveller cheques in US dollars. The most widely used are American Express, Thomas Cook and Citibank. Some Restaurants, hotels, lodges and big shops accept the major credit cards.

What to dress

Dress is mainly informal and should be comfortable as well as practical. Something warm should be brought along for early morning and evenings.

Why visit Kenya?

Kenya has something for everybody. The palm-fringed, tropical, white sandy Beaches are one of the key attractions for many who come. Total relaxation is offered for those who want it, and for those who want more action; excitement and adventure are easy to find in a whole variety of forms: deep sea fishing, water skiing, scuba diving, white water rafting, mountaineering, off-road driving, snake safaris, and skydiving! You name it; Kenya offers fantastic opportunities for adventure and excitement.

Safaris and wildlife:

This is the home to Walt Disney’s “Lion King”, it would be a shame not to spend at least a few days going on a safari here. There are so many game-parks throughout this beautiful country; with each one having its own unique landscape, flora and fauna. Seeing the big 5 is the attraction for many visitors, which means; lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos. In addition to the big 5, you’ll be sure to see an incredible variety of wildlife roaming freely through the open savannah. There are too many animals to mention here, but you’ll be sure to see many species of gazelles and antelopes, zebras, different types of wild cats including cheetahs, mongooses, monkeys, bat eared foxes, warthogs, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, crested cranes and the extraordinary sight of lakes, literally pink with huge numbers of flamingoes.

Wild beast migration:

One of the most amazing wildlife spectacles in the world is the annual wildebeest migration which happens in the Masai Mara game reserve. Literally millions of these unique creatures attempt to cross the Mara River and escape the snapping jaws of hungry crocodiles. The sight and sound of this incredible event is one that will last with you for a lifetime.

Golf:

Kenya is a golfer’s paradise with its yearlong sunshine and a climate that is neither too hot nor too cold. There are almost 40 beautiful courses to choose from. Tropical vegetation surrounds the perfectly manicured greens – what could be better?

Mount Kenya:

This is the second highest mountain in Africa being 5,199m above sea level. It offers a 3-5 day mountaineering experience to the top of the snow-capped peak. Some say it’s a more interesting climb than the neighboring Kilimanjaro and this is no easy climb! Before undertaking a climb of this magnitude, climbers must be fully prepared.

Kenya’s landscapes:

These are among the most diverse and dramatic on the African continent. The eco-systems range from vibrant coastal marine parks, indigenous forests in western Kenya (Kakamega), afro-alpine moorland, wetlands, savannahs, teeming with large mammals and in the North there are wild scant deserts, great for camel trekking and wilderness tours.

The Masai ladies

The People of Kenya:
Last, but not in any way least, is the beauty of the Kenyan People. As diverse as the landscapes they live in, the Kenyan people are vibrant and beautiful. Among the many other tribes, the colorful Masai and Samburu tribesmen and women retain traditions that date back to the origins of mankind itself. Nomadic and regal, they continue to live in perfect harmony with their natural environment.

So, whatever your interest, you can be sure that Kenya will provide a wonderfully colorful and relaxing vacation.

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