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Kenya

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KENYA
GENERAL INFORMATION

Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a sovereign state in Africa. Its capital and largest city is Nairobi. Kenya lies on the equator with the Indian Ocean to the south-east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya covers 581,309 km2 (224,445 sq mi) and has a population of about 44 million in July 2012. The country named after Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa.
The country has a warm and humid climate along its Indian Ocean coastline, with wildlife-rich savannah grasslands inland towards the capital. Nairobi has a cool climate that gets colder approaching Mount Kenya, which has three permanently snow-capped peaks. Further inland there is a warm and humid climate around Lake Victoria, and temperate forested and hilly areas in the western region. The northeastern regions along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia are arid and semi-arid areas with near-desert landscapes. Lake Victoria, the world's second largest fresh-water lake and the world's largest tropical lake, is situated to the southwest and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya is famous for its safaris and diverse wildlife reserves and national parks such as the East and West Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park. There are several world heritage sites such as Lamu, and world renowned beaches such as Kilifi where international yachting competitions are held each year.
The African Great Lakes region, of which Kenya is a part, has been inhabited by humans since the Lower Paleolithic period. The Bantu expansion reached the area from West-Central Africa by the first millennium AD, and the borders of the modern state comprise the crossroads of the Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic ethno-linguistic areas of the continent, making Kenya a multi-cultural country. European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates to the Early Modern period, but Europian exploration of the interior began only in the 19th century. The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, known from 1920 as the Kenya Colony. The Republic of Kenya became independent in December 1963. Following a referendum in August 2010 and adoption of a new constitution, Kenya is now divided into 47 semi-autonomous counties, governed by elected governors.
The capital, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. Agriculture is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and more recently fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is a major economic driver. Kenya is a member of the East African Community. Compared with other African countries, Kenya enjoys relatively high political and social stability.

GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE

Kenya is the world's forty-seventh largest country. From the coast on the Indian Ocean, the low plains rise to central highlands. The highlands are bisected by the Great Rift Valley; a fertile plateau lies in the east. The Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa. The highlands are the site of the highest point in Kenya and the second highest peak on the continent: Mount Kenya, which reaches 5,199 m (17,057 ft) and is the site of glaciers. Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m or 19,341 ft) can be seen from Kenya to the South of the Tanzanian border.
Kenya's climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The area receives a great deal of sunshine every month, and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations. The "long rains" season occurs from March/April to May/June. The "short rains" season occurs from October to November/December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and often falls in the afternoons and evenings. The temperature remains high throughout these months of tropical rain. The hottest period is February and March, leading into the season of the long rains, and the coldest is in July and August.
Kenya has considerable land area devoted to wildlife habitats, including the Masai Mara, where Blue Wildebeest and other bovids participate in a large scale annual migration. Up to 250,000 blue wildebeest perish each year in the long and arduous movement to find forage in the dry season.The "Big Five" animals of Africa can be found in Kenya and in the Masai Mara in particular: the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant. A significant population of other wild animals, reptiles and birds can be found in the national parks and game reserves in the country. The annual animal migration – especially migration of the wildebeest – occurs between June and September with millions of animals taking part.
Kenya is the setting for one of the Natural Wonders of the World – the great wildebeest migration. 11.5 million of these ungulates migrate a distance of 1,800 miles (2,897 km) from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya, in a constant clockwise fashion, searching for food and water supplies.

HISTORY
Prehistory
Giant crocodile fossils have been discovered in Kenya, dating from the Mesozoic Era, over 200 million years ago. The fossils were found near Lake Turkana. Fossils found in East Africa suggest that primates roamed the area more than 20 million years ago. Recent finds near Kenya's Lake Turkana indicate that hominidssuch as Homo habilis (1.8 and 2.5 million years ago) and Homo erectus (1.8 million to 350 000 years ago) are possible direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens and lived in Kenya during the Pleistocene epoch. During excavations at Lake Turkana in 1984, palaeoanthropologist Richard Leakey assisted by Kamoya Kimeu discovered the Turkana boy, a 1.6-million-year-old fossil belonging to Homo erectus. Kenya has been inhabited by people for as long as human history has existed.
Colonial Era
The colonial history of Kenya dates from the establishment of a German protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar's coastal possessions in 1885, followed by the arrival of the Imperial British Africa Company in 1888. Incipient imperial rivalry was forestalled when Germany handed its coastal holdings to Britain in 1890.
It was established when the former East Africa Protectorate was transformed into a British crown colony in 1920. Technically, "Colony of Kenya" referred to the interior lands, while a ten-mile coastal strip (ostensibly on lease from the Sultan of Zanzibar) was the "Protectorate of Kenya" and was only ceded to the Colony of Kenya in October 1963. However, the two were controlled as a single administrative unitThe colony came to an end in 1963 when independence was agreed with the British. After independence, the former colony became known as Kenya.

Independence
The first direct elections for Africans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. Despite British hopes of handing power to "moderate" African rivals, it was the Kenya African National Union (KANU) of Jomo Kenyatta that formed a government shortly before Kenya became independent on 12 December 1963, on the same day forming the first Constitution of Kenya. On 12 December 1964 the Republic of Kenya was proclaimed, and Jomo Kenyatta became Kenya's first president.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS
Kenya is a presidental representative democratic republic. The President is both the head of state and head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the National Assembly or parliamentary lower house. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. There was growing concern especially during former president Daniel arap Moi's tenure that the executive was increasingly meddling with the affairs of the judiciary.
A presidential election was held as part of the Kenyan general election on March 4, 2013. Uhuru Kenyatta (the son of Jomo Kenyatta) is current and 4th president of Kenya and current Deputy President is William Ruto.

ECONOMY
Although Kenya is the biggest and most advanced economy in east and central Africa and a minority of the wealthy urban population often leaves a misleading impression of affluence, Kenya is still a poor developing country with a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.519, putting the country at position 145 out of 186 – one of the lowest in the world and about 38% of Kenyans live in absolute poverty. The important agricultural sector is one of the least developed and largely inefficient, employing 75 percent of the workforce compared to less than 3 percent in the food secure developed countries.
Kenya's services sector, which contributes about 61 percent of GDP, is dominated by tourism. The tourism sector has exhibited steady growth in most years since independence and by the late 1980s had become the country's principal source of foreign exchange. Tourists, the largest number from Germany and the United Kingdom, are attracted mainly to the coastal beaches and the game reserves, notably, the expansive East and Weast Tsavo National Park (20,808 square kilometres (8,034 sq mi)) in the southeast. Tourism has seen a substantial revival over the past several years and is the major contributor to the pick-up in the country's economic growth. Tourism is now Kenya's largest foreign exchange earning sector, followed by flowers, tea, and coffee. In 2006 tourism generated US$803 million, up from US$699 million the previous year.
Agriculture is the second largest contributor to Kenya's gross domestic product (GDP), after the service sector. In 2005 agriculture, including forestry and fishing, accounted for about 24 percent of GDP, as well as for 18 percent of wage employment and 50 percent of revenue from exports. The principalcash crops are tea, horticultural produce, and coffee; horticultural produce and tea are the main growth sectors and the two most valuable of all of Kenya's exports.

DEMOGRAPHICS
Kenya has a diverse population that includes most major ethnoracial and linguistic groups found in Africa. There are an estimated 42 different communities, with Bantus (67%) and Nilotes (30%) constituting the majority of local residents. Cushitic groups also form a small ethnic minority, as do Arabs, Indians and Europeans.
According to the CIA World Fact Book, ethnic groups in the nation are represented as follows: Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%,Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%.
The country has a young population, with 73% of residents aged below 30 years because of rapid population growth; from 2.9 million to 40 million inhabitants over the last century.
Kenya's various ethnic groups typically speak their mother tongues within their own communities. The two official languages, English and Swahili, are used in varying degrees of fluency for communication with other populations. English is widely spoken in commerce, schooling and government. Peri-urban and rural dwellers are less multilingual, with many in rural areas speaking only their native languages.
There are a total of 69 languages spoken in Kenya. Most belong to two broad language families: Niger-Congo (Bantu branch) and Nilo-Saharan (Nilotic branch), spoken by the country's Bantu and Nilotic populations, respectively. The Cushitic and Arab ethnic minorities speak languages belonging to the separate Afro-Asiatic family, with the Indian and European residents speaking languages from the Indo-European family.
In addition, Kenya's capital, Nairobi, is home to Kibera, one of the world's largest slums. The shanty town is believed to house between 170,000 and 1 million locals. The UNHCR base in Dadaab in the north also currently houses around 500,000 people.

TRANSPORTATION
Kenya has many developed transformation structures. The country has an extensive network of paved and unpaved roads. Its railway system links the nation's ports and major cities and connects Kenya with neighbouring Uganda. There are 15 airports with paved runways.
Bus Transport
There are around 25,000 matatus (minibuses), which constitute the bulk of the country's public transport system.
Once the largest bus company in Kenya, Kenya Bus Services, ran into financial difficulties, forcing them to reduce the number of buses operated. They are currently operating minibuses within Nairobi city, although new, smaller, city buses offering passengers higher standards of comfort and safety have been introduced on some inner-city routes.
Coast Bus, the oldest bus operator in Kenya, runs a high class day and night service between Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa. Ascott operates minivans offering shuttle service between Nairobi and Kisii; they offer snacks on board. The Guardian bus co. Ltd, a private company which runs the Guardian Bus service, operates day and night passenger bus and courier services to a number of destinations in Western Kenya, Rift Valley, Mombasa and East African towns of Kampala and Mwanza. A new service has been started from Kisumu to Kigali in Rwanda. Other reputable bus companies in Kenya include Modern Coast,Nyamira Express, Otange, MASH,Vanga,Simba coach,Xerox dreamline,Messina,MAslah,Amani coaches,west coaches,Horizon,2nk sacco,Chania Comfort,chania genesis,parrot line,x calibur,Kampala coach and Crown Bus but there are a number of other companies which offer inter-city services such as Eldoret Express, Mbukinya, Kalita Coaches and Palmdam.There also number of shuttle companies operating van to western Kenya such as Transline msafiri, Transline classic, Premium shuttles, Nyanza shuttle, North Rift, Molo Line.

Rail Transport
The former Uganda Railway, was run by the company East African Railways jointly for the countries of Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya after World War I. Since the dissolution of the EAR corporation in 1977 the national company Kenya Railways Corporation runs the former Uganda Railway and its branches in Kenya. The most important line in the country runs between the port of Mombasa and Nairobi, where sleeping car accommodation is offered for tourists.
In 2006, the Rift Valley Railways Consortium led by South African companies took operating control of the Kenya and Uganda railways as part of a contract lasting at least 25 years. After criticism from the Kenya Railways Corporation, RVR doubled the frequency of service, and also imposed restrictions to reduce derailments on the ageing infrastructure.
RVR run passenger trains within Kenya only, primarily from Nairobi to Mombasa but also to local towns such as Kisumu. Passenger services on these lines are offered on peak periods only. Freight services are the bulk of RVR's operations.

Air Transportation
There are 179 airports in Kenya with unpaved runways. Many airports with unpaved runways serve private purposes, such as private game parks and safari lodges, but are still serviced by airlines like AirKenya.
The List of Airports:

HOTEL CHAINS IN KENYA
There are only a few international hotels in Kenya and all of these international hotels in Nairobi. These hotels are Crowne Plaza Nairobi, Hilton Nairobi, Intercontinental Nairobi, Villa Rosa Kempinski Nairobi and Hilton Nairobi. Except these luxury hotels, there are other hotel chains and grops too in Kenya.
Sun Africa Hotels
Sun Africa Hostels is an expanding chain of some of the finest hotles and lodges in East Africa. It is one of the fastest emerging hotel chains in Kenya.
Mada Hotels
Mada Hotels is today East Africa’s leading hotel chain. Their properties in Nairobi, the Masai Mara, Kilifi, Uganda and Tanzania are designed to offer the best of each location and with full consideration to preservation of the environment
Orion Hotels
They have two bushtops: Mara and Serengeti. Mara Bushtops has been voted the best camp in Kenya (twice in a row) by the readers of Twende magazine. Sumptuous comfort, superb dining and insightful game viewing explains why this accolade is echoed by a fast-growing community of delighted guests. Serengeti Bushtops is an oasis of 5-star luxury within one of the world’s most magical settings.
Heritage Hotels
Heritage Hotels is a world-renowned hotel and leisure operator which arguably provides the most complete and wide-ranging beach-and-bush adventure in all of East Africa. With eight properties ranging from the ‘thrill-a-minute’ ship-themed Voyager Beach Resort in Mombasa and its sister safari camp in Tsavo, to a uniquely exciting circuit of luxury safari camps and resorts under the world-famous Intrepids umbrella, to a five-star retreat on the Arabian isle of Lamu and the most celebrated luxury safari camp in the Maasai Mara game reserve, Heritage can rightly claim to offer its guests the very best of Africa, at whatever price they want to pay.
Alliance Hotels
The Alliance Hotels and Resorts Group comprises four hotels, three at a wonderful location on Diani Beach at the South Coast; the four-star plus Alliance Safari Beach, the four-star Alliance Jadini Beach and the three-star plus Alliance Africana Sea Lodge, and the Alliance Naro Moru River Lodge facing Mt. Kenya.

Sarova Hotels
Sarova Hotels currently has over a thousand rooms across eight hotels in East Africa, with a staff complement of over one thousand people. For the leisure traveler, Sarove offers a host of diverse experiences – wildlife game drivers, land and water sports, health clubs and traditional and contemporary entertainment – all well packaged into the Sarova World of Incentives.
Jacaranda Hotels
Jacaranda Hotels first ventured into the Kenyan hospitality industry in 1964. The Pizza Garden provided snacks and beverages for tourists on transit. The popularity of the establishment brought with it the necessity for a bigger facility with accommodation for discerning patrons. The many Jacaranda trees on location provided the perfect name which today is synonymous with quality and hospitality.
Fairmont Hotels
Fairmont is a leader in the global hospitality industry, with a distinctive collection and a worldwide reputation for excellence. Our diverse portfolio includes historic icons, elegant resorts and modern city center properties. From the beaches of Hawaii and Bermuda to the heart of New York City, all of our hotels offer a superior guest experience that is uniquely ''Fairmont".

1st DAY
MOMBASA

Mombasa is a place steeped in history, yet at the same time fascinating commercial and cosmopolitan port town.

Mombasa is an island connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries. The town over looks a wide harbor, where commercial shipping mingles with traditional sailing dhows.
Mombasa is a place steeped in history, yet at the same time fascinating commercial and cosmopolitan port town. Mombasa is an island connected to the mainland by bridges and ferries.
The town over looks a wide harbor, where commercial shipping mingles with traditional sailing dhows.
The true heart of Mombasa is found in the exotic old town, among the narrow winding streets and Arab architecture. The air here is always heavy with the scent of spices.
Women wearing the traditional bui bui fill the narrow streets and busy markets. At the dhow docks fresh fish and goods from all along the coast arrive daily.
The streets are alive with the bright colours of the traditional coastal khanga and kikoy, the all purpose wrap around cloth worn by both men and women. At the waters edge is Fort Jesus, an imposing fort that stands watch over the harbor.
The high gun turrets, battlements and underground passages of this 16th Century Fort were the centre of a historic struggle for control of the Kenya coast between the Portuguese army and the Shirazi Arabs.
This war was waged around Mombasa over hundreds of years and countless battles, and the Fort stands as a testament to this tumultuous past. Modern Mombasa is a city of great diversity and life. This is a town were all are welcomed and quickly absorbed into this great coastal melting pot.
Mosques, Hindu Temples and Christian churches surround streets that thrive with a world of cultures. Mombasa is a place where both history and progress are greatly valued, where a busy harbor existence is lived at its own unique, tropical pace.

Mombasa Old Town

The old town of Mombasa where most of the heritage of this second largest city in Kenya is largely confined in, is an area of approximately 72 hactares, inhabitated by a richly diverse group of communities : locals, Arabs, Asians, Portuguese and the British which have co-existed for hundreds of years. The various social, political, religious and economic actvities of these groups have created a distinct character and culture which together has come to define this old town. The visible aspect of this unique character is a collection of historical buildings dating from the 18th century which combines, African, Arabic and European influences. Many of these buildings still exist, in beautifully carved doors as well as elegantly styled balconies attached to their turn of the century facades.
Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus (Forte Jesus de Mombaça) is a Portuguese fort built in 1591 by order of King Philip I of Portugal (King Philip II of Spain), then ruler of the joint Portuguese and Spanish Kingdoms, located on Mombasa Island to guard the Old Port of Mombasa, Kenya. It was built in the shape of a man (viewed from the air), and was given the name of Jesus. In 2011, the fort was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, highlighted as one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th-century Portuguese military fortifications.
Fort Jesus is an interesting place to spend a day exploring the gun turrets, battlements and houses within the walls. There is an excellent Museum and trained guides available.

Today the majestic Fort Jesus is a National Monument, standing high over the Mombasa harbor.
For those who want to learn more about the struggle for Fort Jesus, the Fort plays host to a spectacular sound and light show 3 nights each week. Visitors are welcomed into the Fort by guards in flowing robes brandishing flaming torches.

They are led to a specially designed and choreographed show that uses lights, sound effects and costumed actors to bring to life the long and turbulent history of the Fort.
At the end of the show, a candlelit dinner is served in the open courtyard of the Fort, under the stars.

This wonderfully atmospheric night out is the perfect way to end the day, and learn more about the history of Mombasa.

The sound and light show can be combined with a sunset dhow cruise on Mombasa harbour.

Haller Wildlife Park

Haller Wildlife Park (Lafarge Ecosystems) is a former disused quarry that has been reborn as a small private game sanctuary. A major initiative has been made to "green" the quarry, and these efforts have literally blossomed into an area of lush beauty.

The onetime quarry is now a thriving game sanctuary, fully stocked with game including Giraffe, Eland, Hippo, Oryx and more. Up to March 2007 it held the famous attraction of Owen and Mzee – the friendship of a hippopotamus and a tortoise.
In December 2004, Kenya’s heavy monsoon rains caused minor flooding in the Sabaki River just North of Malindi on the Kenya coast. The rising waters influenced the habitat of a family of hippos living near the river mouth, and the massive mammals were washed out to sea.

The adult animals all managed to swim back to their home territory, but a small calf- less than a year old- was left behind in the open ocean.

Local fisherman and tourists saw the 600 pound/ 270 kilo male calf wallowing helplessly offshore for several days, and became concerned for his life. He was eventually rescued by Kenya Wildlife Service rangers, who wrapped him in a fishing net and put him in a truck to be taken to Haller Wildlife Park just outside Mombasa.

The hippo, christened Owen (after one of his rescuers) was let loose in an enclosure with two giant tortoises and some bushbucks.

In a remarkable turn of events, he was later adopted by Mzee, one of the giant tortoises.

At first the giant tortoise, who at 120 years of age has the well deserved name of Mzee (old man), hissed aggressively at the frightened hippo, but within a few days the tortoise was eating and sleeping with the hippo and acting like the calf's mother, even though Mzee is a male tortoise.

Owen, meanwhile, treated the old tortoise like a parent, licking his face and following him everywhere.

This odd couple can be visited at Haller Park, as their remarkable relationship continues. There are many walking trails, making this a pleasant place to spend a morning or afternoon away from the beaches.

MALINDI
The small town of Malindi is at the centre of a strip of idyllic tropical beaches offering the visitor a range of world class resorts and quiet relaxing hideaways.
Further south, the sleepy village of Watamu is fronted by wide white beaches.
This tranquil haven is home to several well established resorts, and many private guesthouses scattered through the forest along the deserted shore.
At Watamu a Marine National Park has been established, an ideal day trip for divers and snorkellers alike.

Northwest of Malindi is the spectacular Marafa Depression, locally known as Nyari and popularly known as Hell's Kitchen. An extensive series of sandstone gorges and sheer gullies, this unique and otherworldly landscape has become part of local folklore.

The thick jungles of the Arabuko Sokoke Forest reserve hide a world of wonders. In the cool of the forest winding paths will take you in search of rare endemic birds and mammals, and visiting herds of Elephant.

The forest holds another secret, the lost town of Gedi, a deserted trading Swahili town hidden deep in the forests, whose winding passages and crumbling walls tell of a long and mysterious past.
Walk through the Forest, explore the mangroves by boat, dive on the reef or try your hand at big game fishing. At the North coast you have all these choices and more, with the space and freedom to relax, unwind, and soak up the atmosphere.

Gedi Ruins

Gedi is one of Kenya's great unknown treasures, a wonderful lost city lying in the depths of the great Arabuko Sokoke forest. It is also a place of great mystery, an archaeological puzzle that continues to engender debate among historians.

To this day, despite extensive research and exploration, nobody is really sure what happened to the town of Gedi and its peoples. This once great civilization was a powerful and complex Swahili settlement with a population of over 2500, built during the 13th century. The ruins of Gedi include many houses, mansions, mosques and elaborate tombs and cemeteries.

Despite the size and complexity of this large (at least 45 acre) settlement, it is never mentioned in any historic writings or local recorded history.

The nearby Portuguese settlement at Malindi seems to have had no contact with, or even known of the existence of Gedi.

The town has all the appearances of a trading outpost, yet its position, deep in a forest and away from the sea makes it an unlikely trading centre. What was Gedi trading, and with whom?

But the greatest of all of Gedi's mysteries was its sudden and inexplicable desertion in the 17th century.

The entire town was suddenly abandoned by all of its residents, leaving it to ruination in the forest. There are no signs of battle, plague, disturbance or any cause for this sudden desertion.

One current theory is that the town was threatened by the approach of the Galla, an inland tribe known to be outwardly hostile at that time, and that the townspeople fled ahead of their arrival.

Yet once again, local recorded history fails to mention any such large scale evacuation at this time. No written account of either the rise or sudden fall of Gedi was ever made.

The ghostly ruins of Gedi lay within the forest that has overgrown and consumed the town. They had become a part of local folklore, regarded as a sinister lair of malevolent spirits, until archaeologists began to uncover the site in the 20th century. It was gazetted in 1948.

Today there is an excellent museum and well trained guides on hand to take visitors through the ruins.

Gedi remains a mysterious and atmospheric place to visit. The pillars and stone walls, ruined mosques and tombs now lie among stands of trees. The stone floors are thick with leaves, and giant shrews scuttle through the deserted houses while birds and butterflies drift through the air.

Wandering through Gedi is an ideal way to spend a morning or afternoon, lost among the secrets of the past.

2nd DAY
LAMU ISLAND

Lamu is a place like no other, a peaceful tropical island where life is lived at it’s own relaxed rhythm, but a place whose history is as mysterious and fascinating as the winding streets of it’s medieval stone town.

The island itself is a beautiful place of rolling dunes and endless beaches, where tiny villages nestle among coconut and mango plantations and lateen sailed dhows ply the waters.
But Lamu’s real attraction is its Old town. The town of Lamu began life as a 14th century Swahili settlement, but the island has seen many visitors and influences, including Portuguese explorers, Turkish traders and the Omani Arabs.
The old city is inscribed on the World Heritage List as "the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa".
All left their mark, but Lamu developed its own particular culture, which has ultimately endured.
Lamu’s narrow streets remain unchanged, and in the markets and squares around the fort life moves at the same pace as it always has. There are no vehicles on this island, and the donkey and the dhow remain the dominant form of transport.
The people of Lamu are great believers in tradition and custom, and this is a strong society built on a respect for the past.

For the traveller, Lamu is a hypnotically exotic experience, made even more enjoyable by the relaxed and welcoming attitudes of the locals.
To visit Lamu is to enter another world, and the visitor finds themselves becoming a part of this world. Life slows down, and long days are spent strolling along the waterfront, exploring the town or relaxing on the beaches.

Dhow safaris can take you beyond Lamu into the surrounding archipelago, where isolated villages, ancient ruins and a few luxurious and exclusive resorts lie hidden among the islands of Manda, Siyu, Pate and Kiwayu.
This idyllic island speaks to the heart and soul, and a trip to Lamu is a romantic experience that can become a life long affair.
Most visitors to Lamu come to experience the unique culture and history of the island. But there are also opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts to explore.
The forests and wetland areas of the island are excellent spots for finding coastal waterfowl and other birds. On the stretches of beach around the shore, populations of crabs can be seen, often swarming the sand in large number.
On the arid mainland opposite Lamu, there is a surprising abundance of wildlife in the Dodori Reserve, including Buffalo, Lion and Leopard.

The mangrove channels here are also good for birding and spotting the occasional crocodile. Trips to this region can be organized from Kipungani on Lamu.

Lamu Fort

Lamu Fortis located in the island's main square. The Sultan of Oman reportedly commenced construction of this imposing structure in 1813. Upon its completion in 1821 the fort served as a garrison for Baluchi soldiers sent by the Sultan of Oman. Its protective presence encouraged new development around it and some Lamu merchants erected shopfront and buildings.

Lamu Fort served as a prison from 1910 to 1984 for the British colonial regime and the Kenyan government. After a complete restoration, the Fort now houses the Lamu branch of the Department of Coastal Archaeology, the Lamu Old Town Conservation Office and the Public Library.

Lamu Museum

Lamu Museums are located in the Lamu Archipelago on the N. Coast, one of the most beatiful & serene locations on the African continent and a World Heritage Site
The isolated island, with streets so narrow such that donkeys provide almost the only mode of transport makes the town quite unique.
The construction of Lamu Fort commenced in 1813, shortly after Lamu's victory over Pate and Mombasa in the battle of Shela. This major building task was reputedly undertaken with the cooperation of Seyyid Said, the Sultan of Oman who was then cultivating a promising new alliance with Lamu.

Upon its completion in about 1821 the fort marked the Southern corner of the traditional stone town and served as a garrison for Baluchi soldiers sent by the Sultan of Oman. Its protective presence encouraged new development around it. Thus confident Merchants erected the 19th century shopfront and buildings. By 1900 the Fort had become the image of the community, a role which it still plays to date.

Swahili House Museum

Lamu's Swahili House Museum is a renovated example of an 18th C Swahili house. The interior of the house features cookware, beds and other furniture that allow a glimpse of a classic working Swahili home.

An onsite museum attendant provides an informative tour of Swahili life during the 18th and 19th C. The ceremonial deathbed is on display, it is where deceased family members would lay before burial. An echo chamber is another part of the house. This is where women could greet visitors when men were not around, without being seen.

Close family members and friends were the only people to access the central courtyard. It was used for daytime activities such as washing. The kitchen, located on the second floor, has a large wooden pestle and mortar, a pasta maker, a water boiler and a flour-grinding stone on display as well as other common kitchen instruments.

Donkey Sanctuary

Donkeys are the main method of transport in Lamu, thus the Donkey Sanctuary was started to treat the working donkeys. The Donkey Sanctuary is located in northern Lamu, near the waterfront. An estimated 2,200 donkeys are used for agriculture as well as to carry household provisions and building materials.

Regular treatment clinics have been established, including a worming program every six months that are offered free of charge. Courses and training are offered including harnessing and donkey care. Local donkeys that have been injured are also are brought to the stable for rehabilitation and rest.

Animal welfare is promoted with an annual donkey competition that gives a prize for the donkey in the best condition.

Dhow Safari

The waters of Lamu are plied by great numbers of traditional lateen sailed Dhows. These craft are an integral part of life on the island.

A day spent at sea on a Dhow is a wonderful experience and a fantastic way to explore the area. The calm waters around Lamu make are perfect for sailing, and the neighbouring islands are well worth visiting for their small fishing villages, ancient ruins and deserted beaches.

After a day on the water, you sail back to Lamu town as the setting sun turns the ocean to gold. Longer Dhow safaris throughout the entire Archipelago can also be arranged.

Most hotels and guesthouses, as well as private Dhow captains, can organize a day cruising on a dhow.

MANDA ISLAND

Manda is separated from Lamu by a narrow channel and is easily accessed by dhow or motorboat. In fact the airstrip for the whole area is on Manda, so virtually everyone will visit even if only in passing.
Unlike its neighbour however, Manda does not have a large resident population, being largely made up of sand dunes and mangrove swamps, with little land suitable for agriculture and virtually no fresh groundwater.

Diamond Beach Village

The Village is situated on the island of Manda, which is the sister island to Lamu. The lodge is located on the beach front with amazing views of the open ocean, Lamu island, Shela village and dhows sailing past. It is the perfect place to come and relax for days or weeks, away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.
There are no cars on Lamu or Manda, the only form of transport is donkey or boat, both of which are an experience in themselves. The pace of life is inevitably slow and relaxed. The island is located roughly three degrees south of the equator therefore you can guarantee that perfect island getaway, whether it is lazing in your airy banda, on the beach or exploring the surroundings.

Diamond Beach Village provides a wonderful base from which to explore the local scenery and also take in the colourful Lamu culture and people. Or if you'd prefer, simply sit back, relax and luxuriate for days on end and let our friendly staff look after your every need, whether its breakfast in bed or drinks on the swing bed. They are happy to make your stay as peaceful and special as possible to ensure you get into the island pace of life.

3rd DAY
NAIROBI
Nairobi is the capital and largest city of Kenya. The city and its surrounding area also form the Nairobi County. The name "Nairobi" comes from the Maasai phrase Enkare Nyrobi, which translates to "cold water". The phrase is also the Maasai name of the Nairobi river, which in turn lent its name to the city. However, it is popularly known as the "Green City in the Sun" and is surrounded by several expanding villa suburbs. Inhabitants of Nairobi are referred to as Nairobians, and the city is governed by the County Government of Nairobi, whose current governor is Evans Kidero.
Founded by the British in 1899 as a simple rail depot on the railway linking Mombasa to Uganda, the town quickly grew to become the capital of British East Africa in 1907, and eventually the capital of a free Kenyan republic in 1963. During Kenya's colonial period, the city became a centre for the colony's coffee, tea and sisal industry. Nairobi city is also a county in itself. The city lies on the Nairobi River, in the south of the nation and has an elevation of 1795 m above sea-level.
Nairobi is the most populous city in East Africa, with a current estimated population of about 3 million. According to the 2009 Census, in the administrative area of Nairobi, 3,138,295 inhabitants lived within 696 km2 (269 sq mi). Nairobi is currently the 14th largest city in Africa, including the population of its suburbs.
Nairobi is now one of the most prominent cities in Africa both politically and financially. Home to thousands of Kenyan businesses and over 100 major international companies and organisations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the main co-ordinating and headquarters for the UN in Africa & Middle East, the United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON), Nairobi is an established hub for business and culture. The Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) is one of the largest in Africa and the second oldest exchange on the continent. It is Africa's fourth largest exchange in terms of trading volume and capable of making 10 million trades a day. The Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) defines Nairobi as a prominent social centre.

Nairobi National Museum

The recently renovated Nairobi National Museum is a good place to learn more about Kenya's history and culture. The construction of the present Museum Hill site began in 1929 after the government set aside the land for it.

The Museum was officially opened on September 22, 1930, and named Coryndon Museum, in honour of Sir Robert Coryndon, one time governor of Kenya and a staunch supporter of the Uganda Natural History Society.
With the opening of the museum, the society moved its extensive library into the Museum complex. Part of this collection made the foundation collection for what is now the Herbarium. In the early forties and fifties, the late Dr. Louis Leakey made a public appeal for funds to enlarge the Museum's galleries.

The result was the construction of all the present galleries to the right of the main entrance.

These were named in honour of the Nairobi community members who made their contributions for the construc-tion. Today, one finds the Mahatma Gandhi Hall, the Aga Khan and the Churchill Gallery among others.

In the early sixties the Nairobi Snake Park was built with the aim to educate the public about snakes and the common reptiles of Kenya. The Snake Park continues to be a big attraction in the Museum.

In 1964, the Coryndon Museum changed its name to the National Museums of Kenya.

Beginning from 1969, the Museum expanded its services and assets beyond Nairobi, and established museums in Kitale, Meru, Kisumu, Lamu and Fort Jesus in Mombasa.

In addition, the Institute of Primate Research is also closely associated with the Museum. Each of these regional museums has its own identity and develops its own programmes, and are run under the office of the Director for Regional Museums, Sites & Monuments.

In the post 1969 period, the Museums have grown and diversified. The Leakey Memorial building was opened in 1976 and houses the administration, archeology and palaeontology departments.

The building also houses an auditorium with a sitting capacity of roughly 300 people which serves to hold different Museum functions. Also during this period, research and development programmes were developed and initiated.

These included cooperation with the University of Nairobi and the Institute of African Studies, specialising in ethnography and cultural anthropology.

The Education department initiated programmes for the thousands of school children who visit the Museums every year. The Casting Department sells casts of important fossil discoveries to Museums worldwide, both for study and for exhibition.

Olorgesailie

Located along Magadi road, an hour's drive away from Nairobi, Olorgesailie pre-historic site museum is world renown as the "hand axe factory", attributed as the only place in the world with the largest number.

Olorgesailie has excellently preserved biological and cultural evidence about pre-historic life. It is also a birdwatcher’s paradise and the perfect weekend get away destination for camping, mountain climbing, and picnics.

Giraffe Center

Giraffe Centre is located in Langata, just outside Nairobi.

The centre has been ostensibly set up as a breeding centre for the endangered Rothschild giraffe, but now operates conservation/education programs for Kenyan school children.

There is good information on giraffes available here, and an elevated feeding platform where visitors meet the resident giraffes face to face.

Hand feeding giraffes is an education in itself. You will see, close at hand, how they use their long, prehensile tongues to remove leaves from prickly acacia branches.

The AFEW centre is also home to Giraffe Manor, a beautifully maintained colonial home, now an exclusive guesthouse.

The centre's giraffe population wander freely through the lush gardens, and pay an occasional visit to the house itself, often pushing their heads through the French Windows to inspect the breakfast table.

Uhuru Gardens

The gardens were officially declared a National Monument in 1966 because of their historical importance.
Of importance to note is that it is Kenya's birthplace. This is where the first Kenyan flag was first raised and thus marking the very first year of independence on the 12th December 1963.
Within the garden are two monuments commemorating Kenya's independence, and a Mugumo (fig) tree.
The Mugumo tree is symbolic as it was planted on the spot where the Union Jack (British flag) was brought down and Kenya's national flag was first hoisted. The site was a diversity of native flora and fauna of savannah woodland.
In addition to the historical significance, Uhuru Gardens continues to attract various events as a recreational park. It is popular as a rest area for families and friends, a must visit for schools and in recent times has gained popularity as an events venue for corporate launches, concerts, weddings, film location just to name a few.
For those who are looking for a secure jogging spot, this is the perfect location for keeping fit.
Future plans will include improving the park to have a wider variety of leisure activities for all. The Mashujaa/ heroes Corner will also be adjacent to this beautiful park which will mark as a reminder to celebrate our Kenyan heroes.
So next time you pass by Langata Road, walk or drive in to enjoy our rich heritage that lives on through this park.

Karen Blixen Museum

For anyone with an interest in Karen Blixen's book Out of Africa or the subsequent film, this museum is a must see. The author lived on a coffee estate in a house known as Bogani from 1914 until 1931.

This area has now developed into the modern suburb of Karen on the outskirts of Nairobi.

The house is now a National Museum, and is maintained for visitors in its original condition. Those who have read the book, or seen the film (which was filmed on location here) will recognize the house with its sprawling tropical garden and views of the nearby Ngong Hills.

Efforts have been made to decorate all of the rooms of the house in their original style.

The house itself is furnished with a mixture of original decor and props from the 1985 film production. The grounds contain displays of farming equipment from the plantation.

The museum has excellent trained staff who are well versed in the history of the house and the life of Karen Blixen. They are available to answer queries and to give personally guided tours.

The Museum is easily accessible from Nairobi, by taxi or bus.
Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is unique by being the only protected area in the world with a variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. The park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi.

The park also serves many residents and citizens living in the city. It has a diversity of environments with characteristic fauna and flora. Open grass plains with scattered acacia bush are predominant. The western side has a highland dry forest and a permanent river with a riverine forest in the south.

In addition, there are stretches of broken bush country and deep, rocky valleys and gorges with scrub and long grass. Man-made dams also attract water dependent herbivores during the dry season. The park has a rich/diverse birdlife with 400 species recorded. However all species are not always present and some are seasonal. Northern migrants pass through the park primarily during late March through April.

Nairobi National Park is one of the most successful of Kenya’s rhino sanctuaries that is already generating a stock for reintroduction in the species former range and other upcoming sanctuaries. Due to this success, it is one of the few parks where a visitor can be certain of seeing a black rhino in its natural habitat.

To the south of the park is the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration and dispersal area. These are vital areas for herbivores dispersal during the rains and concentrate in the park in the dry season.
Major attractions are black rhinoceros; diverse birdlife; large predators – lion, leopard, hyena and cheetah; aggregations of large herbivores – eland, buffalo, zebra and wildebeest; Ivory Burning Site Monument; walking trails at hippo pools; Nairobi Safari Walk and the Orphanage; spacious picnic sites.
There are Over 80 recorded species to include rhino, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile and hippo (no elephants) and more than 400 species of birds in wildlife.

Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Nairobi Animal Orphanage is the oldest animal orphanage in Kenya and set in Nairobi National Park with lush vegetation contrasting against the red dust and clay of the soil.

Established in 1964 as a refuge and rehabilitation centre for wild animals found abandoned or injured throughout Kenya, the unique facility records over 200,000 thousand visitors every year. Animals received at the facility, undergo a thorough medical examination, followed by treatment where that is called for, before entering into an appropriate feeding and rehabilitation program.

Nairobi Animal Orphanage is the oldest animal orphanage in Kenya and set in Nairobi National Park with lush vegetation contrasting against the red dust and clay of the soil. This important educational and training facility, which is housed, in the only wildlife protected area in a capital city in the world is often home to more than 20 different animals and bird species.

4th DAY
NAKURU
Nakuru, is capital of Kenya’s Nakuru County. It has 307,990 inhabitants,[1] making it the fourth largest urban centre in the country and the largest urban centre in the Kenyan Mid-West with Eldoret in Uasin Gishu following closely behind. Nakuru lies about 1850 m above sea level.
Nakuru is home to Lake Nakuru, one of the Rift Valley soda lakes, which forms part of the Lake Nakuru National Park. The park has large numbers of flamingoes that can be seen foraging in the shallow lake. The park also has many wild animals that can be seen during a safari. Apart from the animals numerous other sites of interest are accessible from Nakuru. These include Menengai Crater, a dormant volcano. Small fumaroles and steam vents can regularly be observed within the forested caldera from above. The second largest surviving volcanic crater in the world, it plunges 483 m down from the rim and the summit is accessible by foot or vehicle 8 km from the main road to Nyahururu. The wood-covered crater ground is a nature reserve.
Although Lake Bogoria and Lake Baringo are in Baringo County, they are easily accessible from Nakuru. These are major tourist attraction sites too.
The Rift Valley Sports Club lies in the centre of the town. A number of sporting activities are hosted at this club and popular among them is cricket. The local Indian community can be found at cricket fixtures throughout the year. The town hosts an annual rugby festival dubbed "The Great Rift 10-a-side" which features teams from across the East Africa region. A motor racing track operated in the Lake View Estate area from 1956 until the mid 1980's.
Hyrax Hill Prehistoric Site, discovered by the Leakeys in 1926, is considered a major Neolithic and Iron Age site. The adjoining museum features finds from various nearby excavations.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru provides the visitor with one of Kenya’s best known images. Thousands of flamingo, joined into a massive flock, fringe the shores of this soda lake. A pulsing pink swathe of life that carpets the water, the flamingo are a breathtaking sight.
The lake has become world famous for these birds, who visit the lake to feed on algae that forms on the lake bed. They move back and forth, feeding and occasionally and spectacularly taking to flight, filling the sky over the lake with colour.
The lake is extremely variable in size- changing from 5 up to 30 sq kms in area.
This is a major National Park and an important sanctuary for Rhino. Both Black and White Rhino are found here, and are often seen resting under acacias by the Lake shore.

The park abounds with game. There are huge herds of waterbuck, zebra, buffalo, the endangered Rothschild Giraffe and more.
This is one of your best chances of seeing Leopard in Kenya, and there are several large prides of Lion.
Exploring beyond the lake is always rewarding and there are forests, cliffs, waterfalls and more to be found here. Nearby Nakuru town is a busy and thriving local centre with a bustling market.
Nakuru town is a hub for local transport and travel.

Hell’s Gate National Park

Hell’s Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 square km and is situated in the environs of Lake Naivasha about 90 km from Nairobi. The park is 14 km after the turnoff from the old Nairobi-Naivasha highway.

It is characterised by diverse topography and geological scenery. It is an important home of the lammergeyer. Hell’s Gate has two gates that are used by visitors – the main Elsa Gate and the Olkaria Gate. The latter also serves the Olkaria Geothermal Station that is located inside the National Park.
Main attractions are Ggme viewing, raptor nesting in cliffs, spectacular gorge walks, hot springs, scenic landscape, the Geothermal Station, Maasai culture.
Wildlife includes eland, buffalo, lion, giraffe, zebra, leopard, impala, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, klipspringer, rock hyrax and Chanler’s mountain reedbuck.

Maasai Mara Game Reserve

Covering an area of over 1,500 square km, the Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the most popular tourism destinations in Kenya. The reserve is located in the Great Rift Valley in primarily open grassland. Wildlife tends to be most concentrated on the reserve’s western escarpment...

The swampy land provides more access to water and less access to tourists. The eastern end is closest to Nairobi and hence easier to access by tourists. The Masai Mara is regarded as the jewel of Kenya’s wildlife viewing areas. The annual wildebeests migration alone involves over 1.5 million animals arriving in July and departing in November.

There have been some 95 species of mammals, amphibians and reptiles and over 400 birds species recorded on the reserve. Nowhere in Africa is wildlife more abundant, and it is for this reason a visitor hardly misses to see the big five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhino). Other game include hippopotami, cheetah, Grant’s gazelle, impala, topi, Coke’s hartebeest, giraffe, Roan antelope and the nocturnal bat-eared fox. However wildebeest are by far the dominant inhabitants of the Masai Mara.

Their numbers are estimated in the millions. The Great Migration starts in July each year when well over one million wildebeest along with large numbers of Thompson’s Gazelle, zebra and other herbivores migrate from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to fresh pastures in the north and then back south again in October.
The Great Migration is one of the most impressive natural events worldwide, involving some 1,300,000 wildebeest, 500,000 Thomson’s gazelles, 97,000 Topi, 18,000 elands, and 200,000 zebras. These migrants are followed along their annual, circular route by hungry predators, most notably lions and hyena.

5th DAY
Mount Kenya National Park

Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 metres (17,057 ft)), Nelion (5,188 metres (17,021 ft)) and Point Lenana (4,985 metres (16,355 ft)). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 kilometres (93 mi) north-northeast of the capital Nairobi. Mount Kenya is the source of the name of the Republic of Kenya.
The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest,bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mount Kenya is an important water catchment area, supplying the Tana and Northern Ewaso Ngiro systems.

The park includes a variety of habitats ranging from higher forest, bamboo, alpine moorlands, glaciers, tarns and glacial morains.

The Park, which was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 and is also a Biosphere Reserve, covers 715 square km, and includes the peaks consisting of all the ground above 3,200 metres with two small salients extending lower down to 2,450 metres along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is Mount Kenya National Reserve with an area of approximately 2,095 square km.
Major attractions are pristine wilderness, lakes, tarns, glaciers and peaks of great beauty, geological variety, forest, mineral springs, rare and endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted plains game. Unique montane and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.
Wildlife includes giant forest hog, tree hyrax, white-tailed mongoose, elephant, black rhino, suni, blackfronted duiker, mole- rat and over 130 species of bird.

6th DAY
KITALE
Kitale is an agricultural town in western Kenya situated between Mount Elgon and the Cherangani Hills at an elevation of around 1,900 m. Its urban population was estimated at 220,000 in 2007.
It is the administrative centre of the Trans-Nzoia District, in the Rift Valley Province. The main cash crops grown in the area are sunflower, tea, coffee, Pyrethrum, seed beans and seed maize. Kitale is a market town for the local agricultural area and is known for the Kitale Museum and an agroforestry centre. Saiwa Swamp National Park lies near the town.
The town was founded in 1908 by white settlers. A branch line of the Uganda Railway from Eldoret reached Kitale in 1926 which promoted growth of the town. Kitale is among the most diverse towns in the country.

Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon is Kenya’s second highest mountain. It lies 140 km north-east of Lake Victoria and is bisected by the Kenya-Uganda border. An ancient eroded volcano with a huge caldera, its summit has the spectacular flat-topped basalt column known as Koitobos. Another unique feature of the mountain is the lava tube caves, some over 60 metres wide and only caves in the world frequented by elephants (and other animals) digging for salts. Mount Elgon National Park was gazetted in 1968 and covers a narrow transect on its north-eastern slopes. The remaining forest and moorland is part of the Mount Elgon Forest Reserve.
Together with the fauna and flora, the park is endowed with variety and breathtaking scenery of cliffs, caves, waterfalls, gorges, mesas, calderas, hot springs, and the mountain peaks.
Wildlife includes elephant, leopard, giant forest hog, bushback, buffalo, duiker, black and white colobus, blue monkeys, and golden cat, among others. Birds: More than 240 bird species in the area, including the African crowned eagle, Ross’ turaco and red-fronted parrot.

Kitale Museum

Established in 1974, Kitale Museum was previously known as Stoneham Museum named after Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Stoneham, who founded the museum in 1926.

Stoneham’s collections included animals, insects and books that form a part of the museum exhibition amongst other cultural and natural artifacts.
The museum also practices environmental conservation and has amongst other attractions an AgroForestry memorial centre and nature trail.

Treasures of Africa Museum

The Treasures of Africa Museum is located on the outskirts of KItale Town, along the Nairobi highway, and opened its doors to the public in 2002. It is the culmination of painstaking research and much personal sacrifice by he founding curator, John Galletly Wilson, a Scot who has devoted more than 30 years The museum promises to be a popular local and international center of research and it will, in particular interest “academic” tourists who have an inclination for culture and other aspects of African heritage. The greatest value of the artefacts in this museum is their contribution to understanding the amazing contribution to understanding the amazing overlap between disparate world languages.of the study of culture and linguistics of the Karimojong and Turkana people.

Kitale Nature Conservancy
Kitale Nature Conservancy is located within Kitale Municipality, on the Kitale-Lodwar road on the Western part of Kenya and is situated on the intersection of the Western and North Rift tourism circuit strategically between the emerging cross border tourism between Uganda and Kenya
The Kitale Nature Conservancy region is bound by Mt Elgon on the West and Cherangani hills to the east. The grasslands and woodlands that were once the home of wildlife species such as Kongoni, Sitatunga, Bongo, Black Rhino, elephants, Reed Buck and Rothschild giraffes were wiped out through direct hunting and eventual loss of habitat. Our mission has been reviving & restoring the original habitat and conserving the remaining dotted indigenous plants and animals.

7th DAY
LODWAR
Lodwar is the largest town in northwestern Kenya, located west of Lake Turkana on the A1 road. Its main industries are basket weaving and tourism. The Loima Hills lie to its west. Lodwar is the capital of Turkana County. During the colonial period, Lodwar functioned as a transit point for British officials moving Kenyan political prisoners to the north. Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first president, was restricted to house arrest for two years in Lodwar in 1959. The town had developed a reputation as an isolated outpost removed from in the rest of Kenya, but in recent years, Lodwar has expanded and gained commercial and economic prominence.
Lodwar is considered the capital of the region, housing local and governmental facilities, including Turkana’s biggest health facility and the main referral hospital, Lodwar County Hospital (LDH). It is also the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lodwar. The town is also served by Lodwar Airport.

Sibiloi National Park

Sibiloi National Park covers 1,570 square km of wilderness scenic landscape on the shores of Lake Turkana. The park was partially established through the initiative of National Museums of Kenya to protect unique prehistoric and archeological sites some of which are linked to the origin of man.

The fossils include a crocodile euthecodon brumpti, giant tortoile petusios broadleyi, elephant elephas recki and the petrified forest. The terrain is lake shore, dry semi desert bush and near desert country. The park is waterless apart from the alkaline waters of the lake.
Major attractions are Koobi Fora Museum & Research Base; thousands of fossils including giant tortoises; Behemoth, 45ft long Crocodile; Lake Turkana Scenery; shoreline; game viewing.
Wildlife includes more than 350 recorded species including flamingo, pelican and duck. Hippo, crocodile, zebra, Grant’s gazelle, reticulated giraffe, beisa oryx, topi, greater kudu, lion, cheetah, leopard among other species. The world’s largest Nile crocodile population breeds on Lake Turkana’s Central Island.

Koobi Fora Museum

Koobi Fora refers primarily to a region around Koobi Fora Ridge, located on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana in the territory of the nomadic Gabbra people. According to theNational Museums of Kenya, the name comes from the Gabbra language.
In the language of the Gabbra people who live near the site, the term Koobi Fora means a place of the commiphora and the source of myrrh, which is a common plant in this hot and arid area.
The ridge itself is an outcrop of mainly Pliocene/Pleistocene sediments. It is composed of claystones, siltstones, and sandstones that preserve numerous fossils of terrestrial mammals, including early hominin species. Presently, the ridge is being eroded into a badlands terrain by a series of ephemeral rivers that drain into the northeast portion of modern Lake Turkana. In 1968 Richard Leakey established the Koobi Fora Base Camp on a large sandspit projecting into the lake near the ridge, which he called the Koobi Fora Spit.
A subsequent survey and numerous excavations at multiple sites established the region as a source of hominin fossils shedding light on the evolution of man over the previous 4.2 million years. Far exceeding the number of humanoid fossils are the non-humanoid fossils giving a detailed look at the fauna and flora as far back as the Miocene.
Consequently the government of Kenya in 1973 reserved the region as Sibiloi National Park, establishing a headquarters for the National Museums of Kenya on Koobi Fora Spit. The reserve is well-maintained and is well-guarded by friendly but armed park police. Protection of sites and especially of wildlife are of prime concern. Exploration and excavation continue under the auspices of the Koobi Fora Research Project (KFRP), which collaborates with a number of interested universities and individuals across the world.
Formerly the term, Koobi Fora, has been used to mean one or two initial sites, or the sand spit. Today it can mean any or all points in Sibiloi National Park. The term East Turkana also has come into use with the larger meaning.

OTHER POPULAR PLACES
Meru National Park

Meru is a savanna National Park, 35 km east of Maua town in the north eastern lowlands below the Nyambeni hills.

Meru is part of a complex of protected areas along the Tana river that includes the adjacent Bisanadi and Mwingi National Reserves, Kora National Park and Rahole National Reserve.

The wetter North Western sector is hilly, with rich volcanic soils. The land flattens towards the east, where grey alluvial volcanic soils appear.

The area is crossed by numerous permanent streams, draining from the Nyambenes and flowing in parallel between tongues of lava, south eastwards towards the Tana River.

As well as the many streams that cross it, the park is bounded by three large rivers: the Tana to the South, the Ura to the South West and the Rojeweru to the East.

There are several prominent inselbergs of basement rock, notably Mughwango and Leopard Rock. A section of the park has been designated as a wilderness area in which there are no roads. The park is part of the domain made famous by the writings of Joy Adamson.

Laikipia

Increasingly acknowledged as one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Kenya, wildlife population densities in the Laikipia region and Ewaso eco-system now rank second to the internationally renowned Maasai Mara ecosystem, whilst the diversity of large mammals is higher than in any other part of Kenya.

The Ewaso eco-system is home to the second largest population of elephant in Kenya (5,400) and the area hosts the highest populations of endangered species in the country. Laikipia supports seven heavily protected rhino sanctuaries, which together hold over half of Kenya’s black rhino population.

Laikipia has a unique combination of dry and cool weather, climatic gradients being influenced by the presence of Mount Kenya (5,199 metres) and the Aberdare highlands (3,999 metres). There is great variation in rainfall from year to year.

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli lies immediately north-west of Mount Kilimanjaro, on the border with Tanzania. The Park covers 392 square km, and forms part of the much larger 3,000 square km Amboseli ecosystem.

Large concentrations of wildlife occur here in the dry season, making Amboseli a popular tourist destination. It is surrounded by six communally owned group ranches.

The National Park embodies five main wildlife habitats (open plains, acacia woodland, rocky thorn bush country, swamps and marshland) and covers part of a Pleistocene lake basin, now dry. Within this basin is a temporary lake, Lake Amboseli, that floods during years of heavy rainfall.

Amboseli is famous for its big game and its great scenic beauty – and the landscape is dominated by the towering Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tsavo West National Park

Tsavo West National Park covers approximately 30 per cent of Kenya’s park area, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape.

The park is a vast expanse of savanna stretching from Mtito Andei, along the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border.

The north-eastern boundary along the highway adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than its neighbour.

The park’s habitats include open plains alternating with savannah bush and semi desert scrub, acacia woodlands; rocky ridges and outcrops and more extensive ranges and isolated hills; belts of riverine vegetation; palm thickets and on the Chyulu hills, mountain forest.

There are numerous rocky outcrops and ridges and part of the park, towards the Chyulu Hills, is of recent volcanic origin with lava flows and ash cones including the Shetani lava flow, an example of a recent volcano.

In the far south-western corner on the Kenya Tanzania border is Lake Jipe, part of which is in the park.

This very attractive lake is fed by runoff from Mount Kilimanjaro and the North Pare mountains. At Mzima Springs, in the North of the park, water that has filtered underground from the Chyulu Hills gushes from below a lava ridge into a series of clear pools.

Visitors have an opportunity to view animals under water through a glass house, man eaters – caves where 2 lions were shot in Tsavo West by Col. Patterson, railway bridge forms boundary.

Tsavo East National Park

Tsavo National Park is the largest park in Kenya and was established on 1st April, 1948. Tsavo National Park was split into East and West for administrative purposes. The two Parks are divided by Nairobi–Mombasa railway and road.

The park has an interesting and diverse history including: the Waliangulu and Kamba tribes used the park as a hunting ground prior to gazettement; the first European to see Mount Kenya, Rev. Dr. L. Krapf, journeyed on foot through this area in 1848; during the construction of the railway bridge over the Tsavo River in 1898, lions (the famed maneaters of Tsavo) terrorised the workers, killing over 130 people before being killed by Col. J.H.Patterson.

During World War I, British forces built fortresses along Tsavo river to counter threats from invading German soldiers from Tanganyika (now Tanzania); the European explorer Captain Lugards a European explorer passed through the area on his way to Uganda. Tsavo East is an easily accessible and very popular Park as is indicated by the high number of tourists.

Some of the attractive scenic features include large herds of elephant and other wildlife and striking natural landscapes and structures.

Aberdare National Park

The Aberdares is an isolated volcanic range that forms the eastern wall of the rift valley, running roughly 100 km north-south between Nairobi and Thomson’s Falls. Soils are red and of volcanic origin, but rich in organic matter.

There are two main peaks, Ol Donyo Lesatima (3,999 metres) and Kinangop (3,906 metres) separated by a long saddle of Alpine moorland at over 3,000 metres. The topography is diverse with deep ravines that cut through the forested eastern and western slopes and there are many clear streams and waterfalls.

The Aberdares are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana and Athi rivers and part of Central Rift and Northern drainage basins.

The National Park lies mainly above the tree line running along the 10,000 ft (3,048 metres) contour with some forest and scrub at lower altitude in the ‘salient’ area near Nyeri with the boundary running down to the 7,000 ft (2,296 metres) contour.

The unusual vegetation, rugged terrain, streams and waterfalls combine to create an area of great scenic beauty in the National Park.

Malindi National Park & Reserve

Malindi Marine Park and Reserve was the first marine protected area in Kenya, established in 1968 and designated as a Biosphere Reserve under the Man & Biosphere Reserve programme of UNESCO in 1979. The park is located south of Malindi town extending to Mida creek. It neighbours the Gede ruins and Arabuko Sokoke forest.

The park is enveloped by a national reserve and a 100 ft strip of coastal land starting from Vasco-da-Gama pillar to Watamu. The reserve extends 3.5 nautical miles to seaward. The park is endowed with magnificent resources such as fringing reefs, coral, sea grass, mangroves, mudflats, high fish diversity, marine mammals, turtles and shorebirds.

The fringing reef is close to shore and exposed during low tide, but drops gradually to a sea grass bed that descends precipitously to the deep Barracuda Channel. North Reef has developed offshore and is the main focus of tourism activity.

Mombasa Marine National Park

Both the park and reserve are the most highly utilised among marine protected areas. Their coastline is heavily developed with tourist facilities. There are various agents who offer boats for hire to get into the Marine Park.

There are quite a good number of companies offering water sports facilities. These firms are spread along the beach. The place is ideal for diving. Diving gear is readily available from water sports desks.

KENYAN CUISINE
Ugali

The undeniable most common Kenyan food staple is ugali – usually made from cornmeal that is added to boiling water and heated until it turns into a dense block of cornmeal paste. Ugali has the consistency of a grainy dough and the heaviness of a brick.
For many Kenyans, ugali along with a small amount of cooked vegetables or saucy stew is a normal meal.
Irio
Irio is one of the most famous dishes in Kenya, a food that originated as a Kikuyu staple and spread throughout the country.
Green peas and potatoes are boiled and then mashed up before whole kernels of maize (corn) are added to give the mash some extra starch and texture. This hearty and heavy Kenyan food is famous to eat with roasted nyama choma meat (nyama na irio) or just some Kenyan style stew.

Githeri

Githeri is a Kenyan traditional meal of maize and kidney beans. It is a staple dish in the Central Province, Kenya, but it is also eaten in other parts of the country. It is easy to access because maize and beans are readily available in these areas since they are mostly farmers. Githeri is eaten as a maize and bean mixture. It can also be made into a stew with the addition of greens, meat and potatoes which increases its nutritional value.

Nsenene
Nsenene is the Luganda name for a long-horned grasshopper.

Kachumbari
Kachumbari is a fresh tomato and onion salad dish that is popular in the cuisines of the African Great Lakes region.

Banana Beer
Banana beer is an alcoholic beverage made from fermentation of mashed bananas.

Changaa

Changaa (literal meaning "kill me quick) is an alcoholic drink which is popular in Kenya. Distilled from grains like millet, maize and sorghum, it is very potent. Its production and distribution is controlled in many cases by criminal gang.

The Kenyan government legalised the traditional home-brewed spirit in 2010, in an effort to take business away from establishments where toxic chemicals are added to the brew to make it stronger. Under the new law, changaa must be manufactured, distributed and sold in glass bottles, and retailers must display health warning signs. Sale to individuals under age 18 is still prohibited, as is sale through automatic vending machines. Anyone making or selling adulterated changaa risks penalties of five million shillings, five years in jail, or both.

Mursik

Mursik is prepared from cows' milk fermented in ash-treated gourds. Blood may be added to fresh milk before fermentation, or to already fermented milk. The milk (or blood-milk mixture) is heated to boiling point then cooled to ambient temperature, after which it is left to undergo spontaneous fermentation for three to five days, through the action of lactic acid bacteria, yeast and mould species.

FAMOUS PEOPLE FROM KENYA
Famous people from Kenya come from diverse backgrounds. Of these are prominent Kenyan politicians, sports champions, leaders in arts and entertainment, and other fields of life.
Some of the famous Kenyan people are the 44th president of the USA, Barack Obama who’s born of a Kenyan father from the Luo community.

Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961) is the 44th President of the United States of America

Barack Obama Sr. (18 June 1936 − 24 November 1982) was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and the father of U.S. President Barack Obama.

Other outstanding Kenyans in the world of politics are Kenya’s first president Jomo Kenyatta (~1889 – 22 August 1978), also referred to as the father of the nation.

David Rudisha is a famous sports person from Kenya. He's famous for breaking records in the London Olympics 800m race. He's also previously broken the world championships race record.

Jimnah Kimani was born in 1974 and grew up in Mombasa, Kenya. After secondary school he joined the Creative Art Centre in Nairobi where he graduated with a Certificate in Fine Arts. His mostly large paintings are characterized by the use of bright colors and thick strokes and show mainly people and scenes of daily life. He won the prestigious award 'Most Promising Young Artist of 2000' in Kenya. Some of his works are currently shown in the exhibition "Kenya Art" at the FIVE MYLES gallery in New York.

Dennis Oguta Oliech (born 2 February 1985) is a Kenyan professional footballer who plays as a striker for Ligue 1 clubAjaccio.

Catherine Nyambura Ndereba (born 21 July 1972) is a Kenyan marathon runner. She has twice won the marathon at the World Championships in Athletics and won silver medals in the Olympics in 2004 and 2008. She is also a four-time winner of the Boston Marathon. Ndereba broke the women'smarathon world record in 2001, running 2:18:47 at the Chicago Marathon.
In 2008, Ndereba was described by a Chicago Tribune sportswriter as the greatest women's marathoner of all time.

TOURISM STATISTICS OF KENYA…...

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