“Jambo” – Hello! “Karibu Kenya” – Welcome to Kenya!
Kenya is a country that demands superlatives to describe it, and still leaves you searching for yet more expressive ways of describing the space, the raw beauty of the landscape and the breathtaking spectacle of the wildlife.
For many foreign visitors, Kenya is their first experience of going on safari, their first exposure to the wealth of wildlife roaming the endless, acacia-studded grasslands. Kenya rarely disappoints, for no one can remain unmoved by the sheer size and grandeur of the vast open plains, nor the thrill of seeing herds of zebra, wildebeest and giraffe wandering together in search of food.
Kenya is the land where civilization began and which today is dedicated to wildlife and ecology. Kenya is a study in contrasts, both geographic and climatic. To the north lie Ethiopia and Sudan. To the west lies Uganda. To the south lie Tanzania and to the east lie Somalia. Of course to the south east lies the expansive and warm coast of the Indian Ocean.
More than 40 different ethnic groups compose the mosaic that is Kenya. There are Christians and Muslims, animists and Hindus, sophisticated town dwellers and timeless villagers.
Although Kenya has a strong agricultural base, the large sisal, coffee and tea plantations, the country’s priority is tourism, particularly wildlife tourism. Safaris are the lifeblood of Kenya and the country is efficiently geared towards providing the highest standards of infrastructure in the most dramatically remote locations.
Part of the magic of a Kenya safari is knowing that you are miles and miles from the nearest town, that your tented camp is remote and surrounded by the bush, and knowing with equal certainty that there are lions out there, and that the dry martini that the barman is preparing will be perfectly mixed.
Even though the emphasis on a Kenya holiday is definitely on viewing the country’s rich and varied fauna, there is more to Kenya than just early morning game drives. For historians, there is the coastal belt which has a particularly fascinating culture complete with ruined forts and mosques. For the ethnologists, Kenya offers rich rewards for the country is home to a wide range of tribes, each with its own culture, language and way of life.
Kenya is generally a dry country; over75% of its area is classed as arid of semi-arid with only around 20% being viable for agriculture. Inland, rainfall and temperatures are closely related to altitude changes, with variations induced by local topography. Generally the climate is warm and humid at the coast, cool and humid in the central highlands, and hot and dry in the north and east. Differences in temperature vary predictably with altitude. Frost occurs regularly at 3,000 m and occasionally down to at least 2,400 m, and there is permanent snow and ice on top of Mt. Kenya at 5,200 m. The hottest areas are in the arid northeast, and west of Lake Turkana, where mena maximum temperatures average over 34 C. Kenya welcomes you all – Karibu Kenya.