Kenya Fast Facts
Kenya is located in East Africa and borders Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Beautiful beaches and a rich wildlife are among the highlights of the country. However, as a traveler you should be well informed about the security in the country. See Andyeducation for education in Kenya.
|Official Language||Swahili and English|
|Telephone Area Code||+254|
Fast facts to know
- Tourism is the most important industry in East African Kenya.
- Kenya has 27 national parks, 32 reserves and 4 wildlife sanctuaries.
- A yellow fever vaccination is required for entry, malaria prophylaxis is recommended as well as standard vaccinations.
- A visa is required for German nationals.
- There is a risk of terrorist attacks in Kenya ( Notes on safety )
- Tipping is generally customary in Kenya (but not in taxis).
- Driving on intercity buses should be avoided.
- Mains electricity is 240V (50-60Hz) AC with UK standard plugs.
- In general, tap water should not be used for drinking or brushing your teeth.
- Kenya is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
- Almost half of all cut flowers in Europe come from Kenya.
- Kenya is home to the world’s two last remaining white rhinos (the third, Sudan, died in 2018).
- The phrase “Hakuna Matata” comes from Swahili and means “no worries”.
- Kenya’s population is very open to tourists, hospitable and helpful.
- Kenya and Tanzania are home to the Maasai.
Exciting cities in Kenya
History of Kenya
- Kenya has long been considered uninteresting in Western historiography.
- Pre-humans lived in what is now Kenya 4 million years ago.
- The indigenous people of Kenya were hunters and gatherers.
- 2000 BC BC Immigrants from North Africa bring livestock farming to Kenya.
- 1st Century Coastal towns involved in Arab and Roman trading networks.
- Consequence: spread of Islam.
- 1500-1700 strong Portuguese influence.
- 18th century Oman controls coastal areas of Kenya.
- At the end of the 19th century, the ivory trade became increasingly important.
- During the colonial period, Kenya came under the influence of the British crown.
- Maasai conquer large parts of East Africa.
- During World War I Kenya is an active theater of war.
- World War II led to an economic boom as Kenya secured Britain’s food supply.
- 1950s marked by freedom struggles and guerrilla wars.
- 1963 Kenya gains independence.
- 1963-1978 Honor Jomo Kenyatta.
- 1978-2002 Don’t Daniel arap Moi.
- Beginning of democratization in 1990.
Climate & Travel Weather in Kenya
- Warm all year round with low temperature fluctuations.
- Highlands: 2 rainy seasons (March-May, November-December).
- Coast: Significantly higher temperatures (over 20°C at night).
- Recommended travel time:
- Mid-December and February (high season, warm, hardly any rain).
- Dry period from June to September.
- Wildebeest migration: June-October.
- Rainy seasons should be avoided (few animals, roads impassable).
Ideas for trips in Kenya
- Kolonialbauten in Nairobi.
- Bomas of Kenya.
- Big 5 Safaris.
- Climb Mount Kenya.
- Hot air balloon ride over the savannah.
- Experience the annual wildebeest migration.
- Hiking in Hell’s Gate National Park.
- Fort Jesus.
- Beach walks on the coast.
Eating & drinking in Kenya
- In big cities there is a good range of international dishes, but also fast food.
- Only the right hand is used for eating.
- Knives and forks are available in restaurants on request.
- Almost everywhere there is very fresh, delicious fruit (baby bananas, mangoes, pineapples, etc.).
- Water should only be drunk in sealed bottles.
- Fruit juices are usually very tasty (without ice cubes).
- Imported beers tend to be expensive, well-known local brand: Tusker.
- Curry buffets are very popular (often very spicy).
- In coastal regions: marine animals recommended.
- Kenya’s beef is of prime quality (steaks).
- Typical dishes:
- Sea fish Swahili style.
- Ugali (porridge made from cornmeal).
- Irio (corn, red bean and potato stew).
- Coconut shrimp (strips of coconut meat with shrimp fried in hot oil until golden brown).
- Matoke (banana mash made from plantains).
- Nyama Choma (grilled meat with chicken, goat or mutton.
- Samosas (dumplings filled with spicy ground beef or vegetables).
- Lake Victoria
- Rift Valley
- Bamburi Beach
- Salt Lick Lodge
- Masai Mara in der Serengeti
- The most beautiful national parks:
- Nairobi National Park
- Amboseli National Park
- Tsavo National Park
- Kakamega Forest National Reserve
- Lake Nakura National Park
- National Reserve Samburu
- National Reserve Buffalo Springs