The Republic of Kenya is a country in East Africa, made up of 42 different ethnic tribes. Lying along the Indian Ocean to itssoutheast and at the equator, Kenya is bordered by Somalia to the northeast, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the northwest, Uganda to the west and Tanzania to the south.

Trips to Kenya:

Mount Kenya & Safari

Mount Kenya 5 days

The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa’s highest mountain peaks. Kenya originates from the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba names of Mount Kenya, whose pre-historic volcanic eruptions (now extinct) resulted in an association with divinity and creation among the indigenous Kikuyu-related ethnic groups who are the original native inhabitants of the vast agricultural land surrounding Mount Kenya. From the coast on the Indian Ocean the Low plains rise to central highlands. The highlands are bisected by the Great Rift Valley; a fertile plateau in the east. The Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa.

Fossils found in East Africa suggest that primates roamed the area more than 20 millions years ago. In 1984, Richard Leakey a palaeoanthropolist discovered the skeleton of a Turkana boy belonging to Homo erectus from 1.6 million years ago. In the centuries precedingcolonization, the Swahili coast of Kenya was part of the east African region, which traded with the Arab world and India especially for ivory and slaves. Close to 90% of the population on the Kenya coast was enslaved. Swahili, a Bantu language with Arabic, Persian, and other Middle Eastern and South Asian loan words developed as the trade language between the different peoples. 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. What followed was the building of the Kenya-Uganda railway, where there was a significant inflow of Indian peoples who provided the bulk of the skilled manpower required for construction. While building the railroad through Tsavo, a number of Indian railway workers and African labourers were attacked by two lions known as the Tsavo maneaters. Kenya has considerable land area of wildlife habitat, including the Masai Mara, where blue wildebeest and other animals participate in a large scale annual migration to find forage in the dry season. This migration occurs between June and September.

Entry Requirements

Kenya Visas are issued on arrival. US Citizens / other Nationals pay $50 per person and these Visas can be arranged beforehand as well. A passport valid for six months after date of entry is required. Visitors must hold return/onward tickets and all documents required for their next destination.


Kenya requires proof of a valid Yellow Fever immunization certificate. (Immigration officials might force a visitor to get immunized, which is at an extra cost). Hepatitis A and B, Tetanus, and Typhoid immunizations are recommended for all travelers. Malaria prophylaxis is recommended and you should consult your local doctor or physician to advise which malaria medication is best suited for you. Information on vaccinations and other health precautions, such as safe food and water precautions and insect bite protection, may be obtained from the CDC’s Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel


Nairobi, Kenya

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High F 77 79 77 75 72 70 70 70 75 75 73 73
Avg Low F 54 55 57 57 55 54 52 52 52 55 55 55


Kenya – country code +254. Most areas will have mobile access and Internet available. Some areas while trekking or on safari may not have mobile access.


Kenya – Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz (Type D; electrical plug has three circular pins) (Type G; electrical plug has three flat prongs)

Travel Advisories

Make two photocopies of valuables such as your passport, tickets, visas and travelers’ cheques.  Keep one copy with you in a separate place to the original and leave another copy with someone at home.

Be sure to inform your credit card company as well as your bank you will travel internationally into Africa. This will eliminate any credit card holds for fraudulent activity.


Carrying cash, an ATM or traveler’s check card and also a credit card that can be used for cash advances in case of emergency is advisable. The best places to exchange money are normally bureau de change, which are fast, have longer hours and often give slightly better rates than banks. Local currency is Kenyan Shillings (KSH), however most places accept USD. Better hotels, lodges, and camps will accept credit cards, however it is advised to withdraw cash when visiting remote areas and villages.


Kenya – is a democratic republic with a President as head of state and head of government.


Kenya – the predominant religion is Christianity adhered by 4/5 of the population. Other faiths include Hinduism, Islam, and traditional African religions. Muslims make up a portion of religion practiced near the coastal areas.

Ethnic Groups

African peoples indigenous to Kenya, who now form 98% of the population, fall into three major cultural and linguistic groups: Bantu, Nilotic, and Cushitic. Although most of the land area is occupied by Cushitic and Nilotic peoples, over 70% of the population is Bantu. The Luo, a Nilotic people, live in an area adjacent to Lake Victoria. Other Nilotes – Turkana, Maasai, Pokot, Nandi, Kipsigis, and Tugen – occupy a broad area in the west from Lake Rudolf to the Tanzanian border. Cushites such as the Galla and Somali live in the eastern and northeastern parts of the country. The Bantu reside mainly in the coastal areas and the southwestern uplands; the most significant bantu peoples are the Kikuyu, Kamba, and Luhya. The Kikuyu, who constitute the largest single ethnic group in Kenya, live for the most part north of Nairobi and have played a major role in the nation’s political and social development.


Kenya – Swahili and English are the two official languages. 62 languages are spoken in Kenya.


Kenya’s economy is market-based, with a few state owned infrastructures enterprises and maintains a liberalized external trade system. The country is generally perceived as Eastern and central Africa’s hub for Financial, Communication and Transportation services. There is a large pool of English speaking professional workers and high computer literacy rate among youth. An increasingly significant portion of Kenya’s foreign inflows is from remittances by non-resident Kenyans who work in the US, Middle East, Europe and Asia. Compared to its neighbors, Kenya has a well developed social and physical infrastructure. It is considered the main alternative location to South Africa for major corporations seeking entry into the African continent. The agriculture sector continues to dominate Kenya’s economy. The principal cash crops are tea, horticultural produce, and coffee; horticultural produce and tea are the main growth sectors and the two most valuable of all of Kenya’s exports. Tea, coffee, sisal, pyrethrum, corn, and wheat are grown in the fertile highlands, one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa. Livestock predominates in the semi-arid savanna to the north and east. Coconuts, pineapples, cashew nuts, cotton, sugarcane, sisal, and corn are grown in the lower-lying areas.


Kenya has a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country. There is a lot of rain between March and May (the long rains) and moderate rain in October and November (the short rains). The temperature remains high throughout these months. The country receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning.