Destination: Kenya

Official Name: Republic of Kenya
Established: 12 December 1963 (Independence from United Kingdom) 
Population: 47,564,296 (2019 census)
Religion: 85% Christian, 11% Muslim 
Language(s): English, Swahili
Capital: Nairobi
Order of Visit: Fifty-Nine    
First Visit: 23 November 2017
Last Visit: 10 December 2017
Duration: 12 Days
Visit Highlights: David Sheldrick Elephant Refuge, Giraffe Centre Experience (Nairobi), Masai Mara culture experience, Balloon Safari across Masai Mara, Green mountain ranges of Kenya, Lake Nakuru Game Drive, East Africa Mission Orphanage visit, interacting with locals at Lake Naivasha, the wildlife, camping under the stars.
Places Visited: Eldoret, Lake Naivasha, Masai Mara, Nairobi, Nakuru 
Kenya Journal Entries  

History and Geography 
Kenya is located in Eastern Africa and is bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast and covers 580,367 square kilometres.

Fossils found in Kenya have shown that primates inhabited the area for more than 20 million years. East Africa, including Kenya, is one of the earliest regions where modern humans (Homo sapiens) lived. The first settlements appear to have occurred in the lowlands of Kenya between 3,200 and 1,300 BC.  By the first millennium AD, Bantu-speaking farmers had moved into the region.

By the 1st century CE, many of the city-states such as Mombasa, Malindi, and Zanzibar began to establish trading relations with Arabs. This led to increased economic growth of the Swahili states, the introduction of Islam, Arabic influences on the Swahili Bantu language.

The Kilwa Sultanate was founded in the 10th century by Ali ibn al-Hassan Shirazi, was located in modern-day Tanzania but covered the entire length of the Swahili Coast, including Kenya.

The Swahili built Mombasa into a major port city and established trade links with other nearby city-states, as well as commercial centres in Persia, and Arabia.  in the 17th century, the Swahili coast was conquered and came under direct rule of Omani Arabs, who expanded the slave trade to meet the demands of plantations in Oman and Zanzibar.

The colonial history of Kenya dates from the establishment of a German protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar’s coastal possessions in 1885, followed by the arrival of the Imperial British East Africa Company in 1888. Imperial rivalry was prevented when Germany handed its coastal holdings to Britain in 1890.

At the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the governors of British East Africa (as the protectorate was generally known) and German East Africa initially agreed on a truce in an attempt to keep the young colonies out of direct hostilities however later Germany conducted an effective guerrilla warfare campaign until they stop this campaign and surrendered in Northern Rhodesia (today Zambia) fourteen days after the Armistice was signed in 1918.

In 1920, the East Africa Protectorate was turned into a colony and renamed Kenya after its highest mountain.  During this time the interior central highlands were settled by British and other European farmers, who became wealthy farming coffee and tea.  

Throughout World War II, Kenya was an important source of manpower and agriculture for the United Kingdom. Kenya itself was the site of fighting between Allied forces and Italian troops in 1940–41. 

From October 1952 to December 1959, Kenya was in a state of emergency arising from the Mau Mau rebellion against British rule.

The first direct elections for native Kenyans to the Legislative Council took place in 1957. The Colony of Kenya and the Protectorate of Kenya each came to an end on 12 December 1963, with independence being conferred on all of Kenya. The United Kingdom ceded sovereignty over the Colony of Kenya. The Sultan of Zanzibar agreed that simultaneous with independence for the colony, the sultan would cease to have sovereignty over the Protectorate of Kenya so that all of Kenya would become one sovereign state.

In 1991, Kenya transitioned to a multiparty political system after 26 years of single-party rule. In July 2010, Kenya partnered with other East African countries to form the new East African Common Market within the East African Community.[85] In August 2010, Kenyans held a referendum and passed a new constitution, which limited presidential powers and devolved the central government.

Nairobi, Kenya (Taken 25 Nov 2017)

Village in Masai Mara, Kenya (Taken 26 Nov 2017)

Hot Air Ballooning over Masai Mara, Kenya (Taken 27 Nov 2017)

Masai Mara, Kenya (Taken 27 Nov 2017)

Masai Mara, Kenya (Taken 27 Nov 2017)

Masai Mara, Kenya (Taken 27 Nov 2017)

What I experienced
My wild and transformative 57 day safari of Africa started in Kenya and it was worth all the planning, money and preparation to experience this country and it’s diverse culture.

Before my tour started I stayed a an Eco Lodge and visited the David Sheldrick Elephant Refuge where I got to feed rescued baby elephants, and then onto an giraffe rescue centre where I had a giraffe eat out of my hand. I thought at the time these were great nature experiences but that was before I visited the Masai Mara reserve.

In Masai Mara I had the privilege to interact with local villagers, sleep under the stars and then undertake a hot air balloon over this amazing land watching a stunning sun rise. Later the same day I got to see leopards, lions, elephants, buffalo, monkeys, ostriches, warthogs, cheetah, hippos, hyenas, crocodiles, wildebeest, gazelles, buffalo, elands, and zebras – so much wildlife.

I was stunned by how green most of Kenya was and this changed my preconceptions of Africa. My visit to East Africa Mission Orphanage, which having an orphanage is unfortunately necessary, highlighted how people attempt to help vulnerable children.

The experiences I had with nature in Kenya were uplifting and almost spiritual. The tour members were all excited to be in Kenya and our guides all had amazing stories and wanted us all to experience and understand Kenya and Eastern Africa.

What a great place Kenya is to visit.

Countries Visited List

Lake Nakuru, Kenya (Taken 07 Dec 2017)

Leaving Nairobi, Kenya (Taken 10 Dec 2017)

About Nathan

A World traveller who has so far experienced 71 countries (76 by June 2023) in this amazing world.
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