Rough Guides #9 Country to Visit in 2016
If Rough Guides is saying it too, we must be onto something… So we’ve decided to delve a bit deeper as we explore the wonder which we know as Kenya.
Kenya has almost 50 million inhabitants and comprises of four different ethnic African cultures, who speak a variety of mother tongues. Did you know that “Kenya” when directly translated in to English means “innocence”? Having recently travelled to Kenya, I can see how the translation is appropriate and resonates as true. The warmth, hospitality and humbleness of Kenyans sets a fine example for other countries!
Kenya offers picturesque coastal areas, abundant forests, fascinating lakes, highlands and valleys, glorious mountains – including the 2nd highest mountain in Africa – and abundant bird and wildlife. Wildlife phenomena, such as the annual Wildebeest migration, draw visitors from all over the world. All in all, it’s a bucket-list country. You know, the type of place that you just have to experience at least once in your lifetime.
Not many people are familiar with the coastal areas of Kenya. It amazes me, as these beaches can easily be compared with the likes of Zanzibar or Mauritius. It’s a super-affordable international holiday choice. And besides being extraordinarily beautiful, you don’t have to worry about long queues, or other hassles that come with mass tourism. I could go on for days about how the beaten track has been beaten. But I’ll just highlight my main motivation to wander other, lesser-known destinations. Less people sharing the beaches, the creek and the snorkelling sites means less human intervention or footprints and more raw, authentic and genuine experiences. And that’s what Kenya is all about!
Some awesome facts that must be shared:
- Kenya only has two seasons: one rainy season and one dry season.
- Mount Kenya is more than 5 kilometers high (3.2 miles).
- The Embu Tribe is famous for dancing on stilts, while wearing traditional uniforms and masks.
- Kenya is home to loads of different unique and special animals and bird species, such as the Golden-Rumped Elephant Shrew, the Sokoke Scops-owl, the Pemba flying fox, the endangered Green Sea Turtle, Boehme’s Two-horned Chameleon, and loads more. Seriously, check out http://lntreasures.com/kenya for a list of animals and plants unique to Kenya and look up photos of these critters. They are so special!
- Kenya relies heavily on tourism and agriculture of commodities such as coffee, tea and flowers. Coffee is their biggest income generator.
- Similar to ‘lobola’ in other African countries, Kenyans pay a ‘dowry’ to the bride’s family, which starts at 10 cows. This traditional is still in practice today.
- Kenya can be compared in size to Texas.
- In Swahili, Kenya’s official language, Chai means tea. So essentially when we order chai tea, we’re actually ordering tea tea.
At the end of the day, Kenya is a country to be experienced. Why not listen to Rough Guides’ advice and check out magical Kenya next!
Click here to read the Rough Guides article! https://www.roughguides.com/best-places/2016/top-10-countries/