Out of Africa, comes Kenya, a country resplendent in beauty,remarkable in cultural and topographical diversity,renowned for its dynamic people. Kenya is home to the Big 5; Lions, Elephants, Buffalo, Rhinos and Leopards and the small 5-the Rhinoceros beetle,Buffalo waver,Elephant shrew,Leopard tortoise and the Ant lion.
We have Oryx, Antelopes, Giraffes, Impalas, Hippo, White Rhinos, Zebras, Crocodiles, Cheetahs, and many others.Kenya plays a starring role in film making with hits like Inception, Out of Africa, The Constant Gardener, Born Free, I Dreamed of Africa, King Solomon’s Mines, Sheena, Sense8 and Tomb Raider among others being shot partly or wholly in Kenya.
Renowned for consistently producing some of the world’s top long distance marathon runners and now Kenya is recently making a mark in Cricket, Rugby and Soccer. Footballer Michael Olunga recently moved from Japanese Kashiwa Reysol to Al Dhuhail SC in Qatar.
Also our celebrities like footballer Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspurs, Eddie Gathegi of the Blacklist film have put Kenya on the map. Illustrious for her role in the movie Black Panther, Lupita Nyon’o won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She had her breakthrough role when cast in 12 Years a Slave in 2013. Former US President Barrack Obama’s father was Kenyan Barack Obama Sr married Stanley Ann Dunham in early 1961, and fathered Obama Jr in August 1961. Obama Sr then divorced Dunham and eventually returned to Kenya.
Kenya is the trailblazing leader in M-PESA ,a mobile phone-based currency which has taken over Africa by storm. By 2010 it had become the most successful mobile-phone-based financial service in the developing world. It gives millions of people access to a daily financial system of sending and receiving money as well as making payments for goods and services.Enough said,here is a journey to the magical Kenya for you:
Kenya is named after Mt.Kenya,the mountain of whiteness inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site is the second tallest(5,199 metres) mountain in Africa after Mt.Kilimanjaro and the only mountain on the Equator with snow on it. It is home to unique alpine vegetation and wildlife. Nearby is the Aberdare Range hosting the Treetops Hotel where a young woman with Prince Philip ascended the stairs as a princess on February 6 1952 and the following day descended as Queen Elizabeth II upon the death of her father King George IV.
The Cradle of Mankind
The Northern part of Kenya is your origin with unearthed archaeological remains found in a pure desert landscape near Lake Turkana,the World’s largest permanent alkaline desert lake. One site alone, the Kobi Fora section, has advanced the science of paleontology more than any other place in Africa, with some relics being more than 3,000,000 years old. The lake is also known as the Jade Sea because if its azure-green colour from algae in bloom.
The Kenyan coastline at the Indian Ocean is lined with some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches in the world,with abundance of corals,whales,dolphins,sharks,red tuna and snappers. Its history dates back over one thousand years with diverse culture influenced by a mixture of African, Asian, Portuguese, Italian and other European cultures. Fort Jesus is a UNESCO World Heritage site built by the Portuguese in 1593 to guard the port and their trade route to India.
The Vasco da Gama pillar, one of the oldest remaining monuments remaining in Africa was built in 1498 by the great Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama as a sign of appreciation for the warm welcome he received from the Sultan of Malindi. Excavations in Gedi unearthed ruins of a large city complete with a mosque royal house and tombs. Lamu town is a World Heritage site and a significant centre in Islamic, Swahili and Italian culture. It has narrow streets and the main form of transport remains the donkey and dhow.
The City in the Sun
This is Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya ,the largest in East Africa and the only one in the World with National Park within her precincts. It is a modern, multicultural and historic town with amazing attractions of wildlife, museums and historical monuments. Nairobi was the headquarters during British colonial rule in East Africa and hence gained from having the largest group of European settlers in the region. It houses many multinational companies and organizations including many UN bodies.
The key tourist attractions in Nairobi are the Nairobi National Park, the Karen Blixen Museum, The Giraffe Center, The Bomas of Kenya and the Nairobi National Museum. The Karen Blixen Museum was the home of the renowned Danish plantation owner and author Karen Blixen of the Out of Africa book and film. The Nairobi National Park is the only one in the world that is located so close to a large city. You can spot all of the big five animals without having to drive to the major national parks in the countryside.
The World Cup of Wildlife
This is the Eighth Wonder of the World of The Maasai Mara National Reserve. This is arguably the best tourist attraction in Kenya and one of the best in the world. The key attraction is the Great Wildlife Migration to and from the Serengeti which occurs in the dry months of July to October. During this migration, over one million wildebeest, Thomson’s gazelle and Zebra move to and from the Serengeti.
They have to cross the crocodile infested Mara river and deal with predators like leopard, lions and cheetahs. The park is home to 95 species of mammals and 570 of birds. Apart from the wildlife and beautiful landscape, another key attraction is an encounter with the Maasai warriors who live in the park. The weather is a perfect reflection of the Kenyan people who exude friendliness, warmth and hospitality.
Kenya offers an exceptional choice of affordable accommodations in pristine wilderness,rural and urban settings. You are even treated to delectable cuisine, much of which is influenced by local dishes using organic, locally-sourced produce, meats and dairy. Arabia, India and other countries also lend their culinary flair to the foods of Kenya.
Peter Ongera – Social Entrepreneur, Consultant and Editor of Africa – The Enslaved Continent book
Image by Dan Sudermann from Pixabay