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The staple of Kenya is maize and other cereals that vary according to region. Millet and sorghum are taken with different vegetables and meat. The coastal cuisine of Kenya is unique and has excellent value.
Kenya, officially called the Republic of Kenya, is an East African country sharing its land borders with Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda; and the Indian Ocean forms the coastline. The Republic of Kenya is named after Mount Kenya, but as the country was referred to as East African protectorate, this name was not much used until 1920, when it was called the Colony of Kenya. Nairobi is the capital and the largest city of Kenya. The oldest and former capital of the country is Mombasa. Kisumu, the third-largest city in Kenya, is another significant city, with an inland port on Lake Victoria.
Area: 580,367 km2
From tropical climate along the coast, arid in the inland to arid in the north, Kenya observes varying weather conditions. A considerable amount of sunshine falls in the daytime. Nights are colder at higher elevations, and inland is colder in the early morning. Here rainy season befalls twice, long rains and short rains. Rainfall mostly occurs in the afternoon or evenings. However, the temperature is high even during the rainy days. February and March are the hottest months here.
The different ethnic groups of the country use their mother tongue for communication. English and Swahili are both the official languages of Kenya. The English language is mostly used in the Commerce, schooling, and government sections. The Kenyans typically use British English; however, a local dialect, Kenyan English, is derived from Bantu languages such as Kiswahili and Kikuyu. The Nilotic group speaks in Nilotic-Saharan, while the Bantu group speaks in Niger-Congo. There are 69 languages spoken in Kenya, mostly derived from the previously mentioned Bantu and Nilotic group.
Time: There are two time zones active in the country.
Kenya Standard Time falls in East Africa Time Zone (EAT), which is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time. (GMT +03:00)
Electricity: Electricity in Kenya is supplied at 240 V accompanied by th4e frequency of 50 Hz. Two types of plug systems are in use here: Type G containing three rectangular pins in a triangular pattern. If you are from the US, Canada, or South American countries, you will need a voltage converter, as the standard voltage of your appliances would be fit for the voltage range 100-127 V. However, if you are from the United Kingdom, your adaptor will fit in as the UK also operates on 230 V; 220-240 V is acceptable in Kenya.
Weight & Measurement: The International System of Units (by the name SI) is the only recognized system in Kenya for measurement.
Telecommunications: Above 32% of the population in Kenya has access to the internet. The constitution of Kenya provides the freedom to the people of Kenya for expressing their ideas and information. However, the government reserves the right to punish the defaming acts, protect the privileged information. The government also started regulating the cell-based internet users by the provision of their name and identification number.
The official currency of Kenya is the Kenyan shilling, with the currency code issued by ISO 4217 as KES. The central bank of morocco issues it. The currency is available in the forms of coins and banknotes. The coins are made up of steel plated with either nickel or brass as the main constituent. The available denominations of coins are 1, 5, 10, and 20 shillings. Banknotes are available in denominations 50, 100, 200, and 1000. ATMs are located nearby hotels and shopping hubs. Maestro, cirrus, or plus cards are commonly valid here.
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Kenya is a country of varying cultures. Its culture is the amalgamation of different cultures of the communities residing in the country- the Swahili people live on the coast, Bantu in central and western regions, and Niolitic in the northwest. Kenya is pretty developed in music, theatre, and television. Kenya has also shown progression in the literature. The novel- weep not, child portrays the life of Kenya during the British occupation. World of Vikram Lal, another fictitious novel, depicts the struggle of a Kenyan family of Indian origin has to undergo while adjusting to political changes. A contemporary literature Kwani has been issuing since 2003. Kenya has multiple folk music based on its regional languages.
Drums are most popular in Kenyan music. Isukiti, a lively dance of Luhya tribes, is performed during childbirth, marriage, or other occasions. Pop music, referred to as Benga, has been popular in recent years. Cricket, rallying, football, field hockey, and rugby are some of the most played sports in Kenya. The women's volleyball team is also tough here.
Public transportation is not adequate in Kenya and has too many restrictions. You can rent a vehicle effortlessly. While opting for renting a vehicle, prefer to choose four wheelers because the road conditions are not compatible with a two-wheeler, and some of the parks accept four wheelers only.
Check the vehicle has two spare tires, extra fuel can, and a large amount of water as a precaution. Smsburu, Mount Kenya, Maasai Mara, and Lake Nakuru allow private vehicles to enter their premises. Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Park offers safari drives.
Amboseli National Park is amongst the most popular parks in Kenya, second only to Maasai Mara National Park. It is situated in southern Kenya. The breath-taking view of the vast Mount Kilimanjaro near the border of Tanzania and Lake Amboseli in the west of the park will surely entice you. The name of the park comes from Maasai – meaning salty dust. You can encounter a large herd of African Bush Elephants from close. Other animals that you can see in this park are Cape buffalo, impala, cheetah, lion, Masai giraffe, spotted hyena, and blue wildebeest. You can find more than 400 species of birds, which include water birds like pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, and 47 raptor species. The park also contains the wetlands, sulphur springs, woodlands, and the savannah. There are five swamps located in the parks; two of them are protected. Are you interested in spending a day amongst this beautiful wildlife along the lake with a mountainous view? Then you can easily reach here from Nairobi. It is located 240 kilometres away from the country's capital. Beware, of the many rules enforced in this park for the protection of the animals like ban on off-road driving, animals should always be given right of way, always keep to the track, and some more.
This game reserve, on the banks of Ewaso Ng' iro River, is situated at an altitude varying from 800 to 1230 metres above mean sea level. Ewaso Ng' iro River flows from the middle of the reserve, passing through doum palm groves and thick riverine forests. The water for the games in this game reserve comes from this river only. Kamunyak, a lioness known for adopting oryx calves, also resides here. A vast diversity in animal and bird species is seen here. Gerenuk, grevy's zebra, oryx, reticulated giraffe, and other dry county fauna are present here along with the other large game species commonly seen in the northern plains of Kenya. Other common land animals visible in the park include the three big cats- lion, cheetah, African leopard, and Cape buffalo, hippopotamus, and elephant. Olive baboon, Grant's gazelle, impala, waterbuck, and other mammals also reside here. Among the bird variety, grey-headed kingfisher, sunbirds, bee-eaters, tawny eagle, yellow-necked spurfowl, lilac-breasted roller, northern red-billed hornbill, palm nut vulture, secretary bird, and countless other species. Nile crocodiles take refuge in the Ewaso Ng' iro River. This entertaining game reserve is kilometres away from Nairobi with two entrances - Ngare Amre and buffalo spring gates. Koitogor and Ololokwe are the two mountains that you can see within the reserve. You can enjoy a serene atmosphere here owing to its distance from industries.
Giraffe Centre is a sanctuary established to protect the endangered species of giraffes that can be found only in east Africa. This nature sanctuary, situated just 20 kilometres from Nairobi, was started by bringing two baby giraffe for the breeding programme. After that, several other breeds of Rothschild giraffe were brought into the national parks of Kenya. This sanctuary also provides wildlife conservation education for urban schoolchildren and visitors. The main attraction of this giraffe centre is that you can feed the giraffes placed here from a high observation platform! You can even see warthogs roaming in the area freely with giraffes.
Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain peak after Mount Kilimanjaro. This mountain is habitat to many endangered species like giant lobelias, senecious, rock hyrax, and other alpine species. The easiest route to climb this mountain is point Lenana, which is climbed by many visitors. Batian peak is also climbed up from the north face standard route. You can take an ice route like a diamond couloir and an ice window route. The satellite peaks around the mountain can also be climbed up in alpine style. Eight walking routes are established to reach the main peaks- Meru, Chogoria, Kamweti, Naro Moru, Burguret, Sirimon, and Timau. Point Lelena can be accessed via the Naro Moru route, which is most frequently taken by the visitors. The path is decent except the problematic section of vertical bog. Mount Kenya National Park, located in the vicinity, was established for the protection of the wildlife and the environment of Mount Kenya. It is declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Most of the area of this park is above 3000 metres contour line. Volcanic sediment can be found in the surrounding soil. You can even see fresh water flowing down from the slopes.
Diani beach is situated on the coastline of the Indian Ocean, is30 kilometres from Mombasa. From the past few consecutive years, it has been voted as the leading beach in Africa. The water is shallow near the shore. Underwater sandbars are located near the surface, allowing wading, and providing the visibility of the sandy bottom. Extensive vegetation grows to the inland of the beach. Numerous palm trees cover the coastal areas, unlike the mountainous Kenyan highlands, where dry acacia trees are present. The other attraction points of the beach are coral reefs, black and white colobus monkeys. Nearby, a wildlife reserve, Shimba Hills National Reserve is located. Lots of shopping centres and restaurants are located on this beach. At the northern tip of Diani beach, 16th century built Swahili-style Kongo mosque is present at the point where Kongo River meets the Indian Ocean.
Lake Nakuru, a soda lake, is located at an elevation of 1754 metres above mean sea level. Abundant algae attracted many fuchsia pink flamingos that are lined up on the shore. Other birds, warthogs, baboons, and mammals also flourish in this area. Eastern Black Rhinos and Southern White Rhinos have also been brought here. Lake Nakuru National Park is established at this place to protect the lake and its rich biodiversity. The water level in the lake falls typically down in the dry season and increases dramatically in the wet season.