Kenya is a beautiful and vibrant East African country with rich cultures, diverse wildlife, lush landscapes, and stunning people. It offers many rewarding experiences that draw travelers from across the world. In this article, we will explore some of the key benefits of taking a trip to Kenya. We will look at both the cultural and geographical aspects of why such an experience can be invigorating and exciting for those who are considering this destination for their next vacation.
1. Introduction to Exploring Kenya
Experience Cultures, Natural Resources and Wildlife
Exploring Kenya provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the country’s diverse cultures, majestic landscapes of savannas, deserts and mountains as well as its stunning wildlife. This includes the Big Five – the African elephant, African lion, Cape buffalo, African leopard and Rhinoceros – giraffes and zebras.
The many national parks in Kenya are home to some of the most iconic animals on earth. Tourists seeking real adventure can also find exciting activities such as climbing Mount Kenya or kayaking down rivers like Athi-Galana-Sabaki-Kiunga Marine National Reserves.
In addition to outdoor activities and wildlife tours there are plenty of cultural experiences to be found by immersing oneself into local culture. The rich heritage that this great nation has is worth exploring from ethnic villages to vibrant cities where centuries old traditions thrive.
2. An Overview of Kenya’s Climate and Position in Africa
Kenya is located in East Africa, bordered by both the Indian Ocean and the Great Rift Valley. The climate of Kenya tends to be hot and humid year-round but can experience varying levels of rainfall depending on the region.
Temperature: With an average annual temperature of 24°C (75°F), Kenya generally remains warm throughout the year with temperatures ranging between 15 – 30°C (60 – 86°F). During December to February warm winds blow in from India, increasing temperature even further.
Rainfall Patterns: There are two rainy seasons in Kenya – March/April to May and October/November. The western side receives a higher amount of rainfall than other parts of the country with an average annual amount between 800 – 2,000mm (31-79in). Areas near Lake Victoria get more rain due to its presence, whereas areas like Turkana have barely any rain for long periods during the dry season.
3. Tourist Hotspots around Kenya
Kenya has a variety of tourist hotspots, offering something for everyone. From beaches and wildlife reserves to ancient archaeological sites, it is an ideal destination for all kinds of travelers.
Beaches: Kenya’s large coastal area offers some spectacular sandy stretches with superb conditions for swimming and snorkeling. Some popular beach locations include Watamu Beach, Diani Beach and Malindi Marine Park. These areas offer excellent resorts as well as restaurants, bars and other entertainment options.
Wildlife Reserves: Kenya’s national parks are renowned for their abundant wildlife populations including big cats such as lions and cheetahs, elephants, rhinos and hippos. The Maasai Mara National Reserve is the largest in the country and home to the great wildebeest migration every year between July and October. Other notable sites include Amboseli National Park near Kilimanjaro, Tsavo West National Park in the south-east of the country, Lake Nakuru National Park in Nairobi province or Samburu Game Reserve up north.
Archaeological Sites: The Kenyan coastline also boasts a number of important archaeological & historical sites such as Gedi Ruins near Malindi or Lamu Old Town which was founded 800 years ago by Arab traders from Shiraz (Iran). In central Kenya you can visit Fort Jesus in Mombasa town which was built during Portuguese rule or Thimlich Ohinga near Migori town – an ancient stone village constructed by Luo people sometime during 16th century.4. Historical Significance of Kenyan Sites
Kenya is considered to be one of the most historically significant African nations, possessing many important sites that have both archaeological and cultural significance. The country has a number of monuments and buildings from different periods in its history, giving insight into its development over centuries. Here are some of the more significant sites:
- Fort Jesus: Located on Mombasa Island, Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese Empire in 1593 to protect their interests from Arab traders. It served as an artillery fortress for almost two centuries until it was captured by Oman forces in 1698-99. After undergoing several renovations, this fort today serves as a museum showcasing Kenya’s history.
- Gedi Ruins: Founded around 13th century AD and abandoned by the 17th century due to famine or disease outbreak, Gedi ruins are located near Malindi town in Eastern Coast region of Kenya. This ancient city contains ruins like mosques, graves and houses which can give insight into Swahili culture origins.
- Lamu Old Town: Lamu Old Town is a world heritage site dating back to 14th century AD with narrow streets lined with 19th century whitewashed coral stone structures including palaces and mosques. In addition, there is also an iconic majlis featuring carved wooden doors depicting artistic motifs from locals.
These Kenyan historical sites provide evidence about past events as well as traditional lifestyle associated with them. Therefore these places not only contribute towards increasing knowledge and understanding about nation’s socio-cultural aspects but also play an important role in preserving national identity for generations to come.
5. Natural Beauty of the Countryside
The leaves spectators awestruck. From cascading waterfalls, to lush forests and rolling hills, it is quite easy to be captivated by all the sights. However, there is a host of ecological benefits associated with some of these spectacular scenes:
- Tall trees provide shade in the summertime and help release oxygen into the atmosphere.
- Wildflowers assist with pollination and increase biodiversity.
- Streams and rivers act as habitats for aquatic lifeforms like fish or frogs.
Aside from ecological benefits, there are other reasons why natural landscapes should be cherished. For example, many species rely on undisturbed terrain for survival. Various plant and animal populations can suffer when their habitat has been destroyed or disrupted due to human activity.
Spanning multiple continents, rural areas present an expansive range when it comes to natural beauty. The simplicity but magnificence of fields blanketed in snow during winter months; sun-kissed cornfields that shimmer gold at harvest time demonstrate how much nature impacts our lives each day. The countryside’s decorative value alone should motivate us all to preserve its delicate balance.6. Wildlife Viewing Opportunities in Kenya
Kenya is one of the most popular countries in Africa for wildlife viewing. Known as the “cradle of humanity”, it boasts a diverse array of exotic species that draw thousands of visitors each year. From elephants and lions to cheetahs and buffalo, Kenya is home to some of the continent’s most amazing wild creatures.
Few animals are more iconic than African elephants. These giants can be seen in Amboseli National Park, just east of Nairobi. Visiting during the dry season (June-October) increases your chances of seeing huge herds crossing dusty plains beneath snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro.
Spotting big cats in their natural habitat has been an ambition for many nature lovers around the world – and Kenya offers some excellent opportunities to do so. Maasai Mara National Reserve is one great location for getting up close with lions and other predators such as leopards and cheetahs; while Samburu National Reserve, further north along the Great Rift Valley system, is renowned for its strong lion populations.
7. Cultural Attractions for Visitors to Enjoy
From cultural and historic sites to picturesque parks and monuments, there are many in the city. Here are seven of them.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art: Located near the downtown area, this museum hosts over 8,000 pieces from various famous contemporary artists such as Warhol and Picasso. Visitors can explore galleries filled with international artworks.
- The Barrio Historico: This is a vibrant neighborhood featuring many unique restaurants, artistic murals, shops selling handmade items as well as exciting nightlife options. It’s also home to some impressive historical buildings.
For nature lovers looking for outdoor places to visit in the city, there are also plenty of options.
- La Placita Olvera: This large plaza features a traditional Mexican marketplace with colorful stalls that sell artisanal crafts and street food dishes like tacos al pastor. The surroundings feature beautiful old Mexican churches.
As any visit should end with a good souvenir shopping experience, here’s another perfect spot for it –
- “El Centro”:
Tourism has significantly contributed to Kenya’s economic development over the last few decades. It has become one of the largest sources of foreign exchange, creating jobs and driving social progress in remote regions.
- Employment Opportunities:
The tourism industry has been a major source of employment for Kenyans. According to 2016 data from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), more than 800,000 people are employed directly in tourism-related industries such as hotels, restaurants, transport services and activities operators.
- Income Generation:
Tourism is a key driver of income generation within Kenya’s economy. According to The Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife report – 2018 Economic Report on Kenyan Tourism, in 2017 tourism accounted for Ksh496 billion (7.1% GDP) with earnings from international visitors totalling Ksh233 billion.
- Foreign Exchange Earnings:
Kenya gets considerable foreign exchange earnings through tourism activities. For instance tourists travel expenses such as accommodation charge., food bills entertainment charges etc add up substantially to Kenya’s foreign exchange reserve annually . The WTTC estimates that tourist expenditure totaled US$2 billion in 2017.