MAGICAL KENYA

  • Geography of kenya
  • Culture of kenya
  • National park in kenya
  • Tanzania & Uganda
  • Getting to kenya

Geography
Kenya shares borders with Ethiopia in the north, Sudan in the northwest, Uganda in the west, Tanzania in the south and Somalia in the northeast. To the east lies the Indian Ocean. The country is divided into four regions: the arid deserts of the north; the savannah lands of the south; the fertile lowlands along the coast; and highlands in the west, where the capital Nairobi is situated. Northwest of Nairobi runs the Rift Valley, dotted with lakes and containing the town of Nakuru, while further west the Aberdare National Park is overlooked by Mount Kenya (5,200m/17,000ft), which also is a national park. In the far northwest is Lake Turkana (formerly Lake Rudolph), and in the southwest is Kenya's share of Lake Victoria. Kenya is a multicultural society; in the north live Somalis and the nomadic Hamitic peoples (Rendille, Samburu and Turkana); in the south and eastern lowlands are Kamba and Masai; the Luo live around Lake Victoria. The largest group is the Kikuyu of the central highlands who have traditionally been dominant in commerce and politics, although this is now changing. A small European settler population remains in the highlands, involved in farming and commerce.

Here is some basic Swahili to help you make the most of your Kenyan stay:


Greetings

Hello Jambo
Good morning Habari ya asubuhi
Good afternoon Habari ya mchana
Good evening Habari ya jioni
Good night Usiku nwema


Polite Expressions

Thank you Asante
I love you Nakupenda
Excuse me Samahani
Can i please have Tafadhali nipatie
Please Tafadhali
You are welcome Karibu
Sorry Pole
No problem! Hakuna matata!


Introductions

My name is Ninaitwa / Jina langu ni
What is your name? Unaitwa nani?
Where are you from? Unatoka wapi?
I come from Ninatoka...


Other Important English to Swahili Expressions

How much money? Shillingi ngapi?
Don't worry Usijali
Safe journey Safari njema
Water Maji
Do you speak English Unajua kizungu?
Pardon Samahani
Good / Fine Sawa / Sawasawa
Listen Sikiza
What? Nini?
Why? Kwa nini?
Where? Wapi?
Who?

Nani

Tree Jiti
Umbrella Mwavuli
Watch Saa
Scissors Mkasi
Vegetable Mboga
Lightning Umeme
Night Usiku
Potato Kiazi

kenya's rich culture
Kenya has a culture born of countless sources. This region has been crossed by the paths of a long and complex history. From the prehistoric records of early man to the present day, Kenya has been a land of unending change, contrasts and diversity.

The early tribal states saw cycles of migration and shifting power, with Kenya as a meeting place for peoples from the plainlands of the south, the forests of the West and the deserts of the North.

The sea brought influences from the outside world, and the passage of the spice trade created the unique coastal culture, where lines between Africa and Arabia blurred. The open coast brought European influences into this world of change and began a turbulent struggle for control whose exotic history lingers today.

The first explorers discovered a land of great peril and greater beauty, and their great adventures created the most unique colony in the British Empire. This was a meeting place of cultures, where adventurers and soldiers of fortune mingled with a complex tribal society, and the arrival of labourers and merchants from India brought new and pervasive influences.

The colonial legacy lives on in the traditions of the great safari, and the pursuit of adventure and freedom.

Kenya has drawn on all of these influences to develop its own unique culture. This is the nations greatest strength- the ability to blend the best of many worlds into a strong, singular identity.

Today, Kenya welcomes the world to its shores and continues to evolve a modern culture that is born of endless variety, and yet purely, proudly Kenyan.

Traditionally, Kenyan music originates from several sources. Many of the Nomadic tribes of this region share some common ground in the use of songs and chants, particularly among Maaspeaking groups. Maa song has always played a large role in ceremonial life, and continues to. One of the best known Maasai ceremonial songs is the Engilakinoto, sung after a victorious lion hunt.
Structured around a deep rhythmic chant it is accompanied by a spectacular dance in which warriors display their strength and prowess by leaping directly and vertically into the air. Elsewhere, the use of drums became widespread and central to elaborate traditional dances. The word Ngoma (drum) is still used to describe most forms of traditional music and dance.

A variety of drums were used throughout the country. The Luhya of Western Kenya developed a very distinctive dance style called Sikuti after the local name for a drum. This extremely energetic dance is usually performed by paired male and female dancers, and accompanied by several drums, bells, long horns and whistles.

The Kamba and Chuka people both developed a distinctive drumming style, in which a long drum is leant forward and clasped between the thighs. The Kamba were well known for their athletic, almost acrobatic dancing.

NATIONAL PARK

Maasai Mara National Reserve
Altitude 5000 Ft.
Area: 1,510 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 275 Kms.

The Maasai Mara Game Reserve is often called simply "The Mara" which is the Maa word meaning "Mottled" a reference to the patchy landscape. Both spellings "Maasai" and Maasai" are acceptable although the latter is more usual when referring to the people.

The Maasai are a proud semi-nomadic cattle-rearing people with a fascinating culture and are divided into a number of sub-tribes some of which share the Mara region. Much of the wildlife can be divided into mammals, birds and reptiles. Many of the mammals can be divided into carnivores, primates and ungulates (hooved animals). Carnivores include cheetah, genet, hyena, jackal, leopard, lion, mongoose, serval and wild dog. Primates include baboon, bush baby and monkey. Odd-toed ungulates include rhino and zebra. Even- toed ungulates include buffalo, giraffe, hippo, warthog and antelope (bushbuck, Dik-dik, duiker, eland, gazelle, hartebeest, impala, klipspringer, kudu, oribi, reedbuck, roan antelope, topi, waterbuck and wildebeest). The biggest animals like are Buffalo, Elephant, Leopard, Lion and Rhinoceros and include Cheetah, Zebra, Giraffe and Hippo.

An impressive feature is the annual migration of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles from the plains of the Serengeti that cross the Tanzanian border and rivers to reach the Mara’s grasslands from late June, tracked by predators: lion, leopard, cheetah, and hyena, and circled by vultures as their journey un- folds. Their dramatic river crossings are a reality for tourists visiting in early July-September.

ACCOMODATION: Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Mara Serena lodge, Sarova Mara camp, Governors camp, Keekorok lodge, Mara Intrepids, Mara Simba lodge plus much more.

Lake Nakuru National Park
Altitude 4000-5770 Ft
Area: 188 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 160 Kms.

Lake Nakuru is a very shallow strongly alkaline lake 62 square km in extent. It is set in a picturesque landscape of surrounding woodland and grassland. The landscape includes areas of marsh and grasslands alternating with rocky cliffs and outcrops, stretches of acacia woodland and rocky hillsides covered with a Euphorbia forest on the eastern perimeter.

Lake Nakuru itself boasts the most spectacular of all of Africa's bird sights enormous flocks of pastel pink flamingoes, as well as other bird species. Here you have wonderful opportunities for color photography as masses of pink bodies’ glide above the reflection of blue water. Many species including reedbuck, bushbuck, wart hog, baboon, leopard and the Rothschild giraffe call this home. It has also been designated a rhino sanctuary.

ACCOMODATION: Lion Hill lodge, Lake Nakuru lodge, Flamingo hill camp, Mbweha camp plus much more.

Lake Bogorio National Park
Altitude 3200 Ft
Area: 107 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 260 Kms.

Some 30 km (20 miles) south of Lake Baringo, as the ruddy ducks flies, is Lake Bogoria National Park. This small equatorial lake has geysers, and hot springs. They are relatively few vantage points from which you can see it but its topaz and green waters are strikingly beautiful.

The Maasai know Lake Bogoria as Mbatibat. Along Lake Bogoria’s western shore is a bed of hot springs and blowholes, which in frequently erupt two and a half to three meters (8 to 10 fit) into the air, and constantly emit a pungent sulfur smell. These geothermal phenomena are intriguing but also dangerously hot.

Mount Kenya National Park
Altitude 2500-4000 Ft
Area: 715 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 280 Kms.

Mt Kenya is an imposing extinct volcano dominating the landscape of the Kenyan Highlands, East of the Rift. Mt. Kenya lies about 140 km North, North-East of Nairobi with its Northern flanks across the Equator. The mountain has two main peaks: Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m). The mountains slopes are cloaked in forest, bamboo, scrub and moorland giving way on the high central peaks to rock, ice and snow. Mt. 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 moraines. The park, which is also an International Biosphere Reserve, covers 715 square km, includes the Mountain and consists of all the ground above 3200m with two small salients extending lower down to 2450m along the Sirimon and Naro Moru tracks. Surrounding the park is Mount Kenya. Forest Reserve with an area of approximately 2095 km.

MAJOR ATTRACTIONS
Mountain climbing, hiking, 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 mountain and alpine vegetation with 11 species of endemic plants.

ACTIVITIES
Mountain climbing, game viewing.

WILDLIFE
Reptiles: Alpine Meadow Lizard; Green Mamba; lizards and skinks; montane viper.

ACCOMODATION: Mountain lodge, Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club, 01 Pejeta Ranch & Sweetwater’s Tented Camp plus much more.

Tsavo West National Park
Altitude 500-600 Ft
Area: 9065 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 232 Kms.
Tsavo West National Park covers 9000 km, approximately 30% of Kenya's area under parks, and contains a diversity of habitats, wildlife and a mountainous scenic landscape. The park is a vast expanse of savanna stretching from the Athi River, North of the Mombasa-Nairobi road and south to the Tanzanian border. The North Eastern boundary along the Athi adjoins Tsavo East National Park, but Tsavo West has a more varied topography and a more diverse array of habitats than. It’s neighbor.

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 Mt. 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.

ACCOMODATION: Kilaguni Serena Lodge, Ngulia Safari Lodge, Kitani Severin Safari Camp/ Lodge, Finch Hatton's Tented Lodge, Voyager Safari Camp plus much more.

Lake Naivasha
Altitude 6200 Ft
Area: 140 Sq Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 90 Kms.

Lake Naivasha is one of Kenya most beautiful small Rift Valley Lakes. It is surrounded by feathery papyrus, marshy la-goons and grassy shores where distorted flocks of graceful flam-ingoes and pink backed pelican settle on the water.

From Lake Naivasha, one can take a boat to the Crescent Island, a private game sanctuary where you can walk around the island and view at close range, zebra, waterbuck, giraffe and several species of antelope. Hippos are seen and heard during boat ride. Bird life around the lake is also abundant. Optional activities include a visit to the Hells gate National Park.

ACCOMODATION: Lake Naivasha Sopa lodge, Lake Naivasha Simba lodge, Chui Lodge, Rift valley Golf & Country club plus much more.

Meru National Park
Altitude 1000-3400 Ft
Area: 870 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 348 Kms.

Meru is a savanna National Park, 35km 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 (to the east and south respectively), 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 tounges 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.

Nairobi National Park
Altitude 5000 Ft
Area: 117 Sq. Kms.
Distance From Nairobi: 7 Kms.

The 117 km to 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. As expected, the park is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi.
The park also serves many residents and citizens living in the city The Park have 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 have also added a further habitat, favorable to certain species of birds and other aquatic biota (life forms). The 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 are the Athi-Kapiti Plains and Kitengela Migration and dispersal area. These are vital areas for herbivores dispersal during the rain and concentrate in the park in the dry season.

ACCOMODATION: Nairobi Serena hotel, Ole Sereni Hotel, Sankara hotel, Fairmont the Norfolk Hotel, Sarova Stanley hotel, Intercontinental hotel, Jacaranda hotel plus much more.

TANZANIA & UGANDA
The Serengeti is one of the largest wildlife sanctuaries in the world, and the commitment to its preservation shown by the government of Tanzania is important in a country faced by land shortage and a rising population.

Lake Manyara
The lake is renowned among ornithologists for its birds of prey and the famous tree-climbing lions that inhabit the woodland that nestles between the lake and the Rift Valley.

Ngorongoro
The Ngorongoro Crater is the largest perfect caldera in the world. This outstanding wonder is only one of the attractions within a vast and diverse conservation area

Tarangire
The park derives its name from the Tarangire River which rises in Tanzania's central high-land and snakes its way through the length of this sanctuary.

Selous
The vast majority of Tanzania's elephant herd lives in one remote stretch of safari wilderness the Selous Game Reserve. Stiegler's Gorge is one of the park's most striking features.

Bagamoyo
Bagamoyo was the major slave trading post in East Africa. Bagamoyo, which means, lay down your heart' in Swahili, was probably given this name because Bagamoyo was the last place the slaves would stay in Tanzania before being shipped off to foreign lands.

Arusha
Once quoted as being 'a gem among park's this is the closest to Arusha. The floor is covered by lush swamps and riverine forest and is home to rhino, elephant, buffalo, baboon, warthog, olive baboon and the black and white colobus monkey.

Mt. Kilimanjaro
The mountain owes its existence to the formation of the Great Rift Valley and is actually three volcanic cones that, due to their proximity, became one Shira, Mawenzi and Kibo-together they make the highest free standing mountain in the world.

Uganda Overview
It is reputed as Africa's friendliest country! The moment you land at Entebbe's modern and efficient international airport, with its breathtaking equatorial location on the forested shore of island-strewn Lake Victoria, it is clear that Uganda is no ordinary safari destination. Then, just 40km away, sprawled across seven hills, there is the capital Kampala. Uganda is the only safari destination whose range of forest primates is as impressive as its selection of plains antelope. And this verdant biodiversity is further attested to by Uganda's status as by far the smallest of the four African countries whose bird checklist tops the 1,000 mark!

Yet there is more to the country than wildlife - far more! There is the mighty Nile, punctuated by the spectacular Murchison Falls, and the setting for some of the world's most thrilling commercial white-water rafting. There are the snow-capped peaks of the Rwenzori, which provide a tantalizing challenge to dedicated mountaineers, as well as the Virunga Volcanoes and Mount Elgon, both of which offer highly rewarding hiking opportunities through scintillating highland scenery.

Mountain Gorillas are one of the most fascinating species of animal to many people. With their soulful eyes, obvious intelligence, and expressive nature, they tap a very fundamental sense of empathy. The Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is one of a small handful of places left on Earth where gorillas can be seen in their natural habitat. The beauty of the tropical rain forest is spectacular. The thrill of spending time looking in the deep blue eyes of these gentle and endangered giants is an awesome adventure, exciting experience and unforgettable through your life- time!

GETTING tO kENYA
There is good airway linkup between Ahmedabad and Nairobi. Many airlines provide flight service from Ahmedabad. Nairobi Airport is 5500 Kms far from Ahmedabad.

Tour
Tour CodeNights/DaysPickup - DropPlaces
KEN 0017 N/8 D Aberdare National Park, Samburu Reserve, Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Great Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru, Maasai Mara Game Reserve,
KEN 0027 N/8 D Ol Pajeta Ranch, Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Masai Mara Game Reserve, Mara River
KEN 0037 N/8 DMount Kenya, Maasai Mara Game Reserve, Savannah
KEN 0049 N/10 DLake Naivasha, OL Pejeta Ranch, Mount Kenya, Great Rift Valley, Maasai Village, Mara River, Mt. Kilimanjaro


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