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Kenya, a country in East Africa famous for its scenic landscapes and massive wildlife preserves. Its Indian Ocean coast provided essential ports by which Arabian and Asian merchants entered the mainland for many centuries. Along that coast, which holds probably the best beaches in Africa, are predominantly Muslim Swahili cities. One of them is Mombasa, a historic centre contributing much to its musical and culinary heritage. Inland are crowded good countries acclaimed for both their tea plantations, an economic staple during the British pilgrim time, and their variety of creature species, including lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, cheetahs and hippopotamuses. Kenya’s western regions, set apart by lakes and streams, are forested, while a tiny bit of the north is desert and semi-desert. The country’s diverse wildlife and all-encompassing geology draw enormous quantities of European and North American visitors, and tourism is one of the most contributors to Kenya’s economy.

Kenya’s capital is Nairobi, a sprawling city that, like many other African cities, is an investigation in contrasts, with present-day skyscrapers looking out over massive shantytowns in the distance, many harbouring refugees fleeing civil wars in neighbouring countries. Older neighbourhoods, some of them prosperous, will, in general, be ethnically blended and all around served by utilities and different conveniences, while the tents and hurriedly amassed shacks that ring the city will, in general, tents and hastily assembled shacks that ring the city tend to be organized tribally and even locally since in some instances, whole rural villages have removed themselves to the more promising city.

 The climate of Kenya:

Occasional climatic changes are constrained by the large scale pressure systems of the western Indian Ocean and adjoining landmasses. From December to March, northeast breezes prevail north of the Equator, while south to southeast breezes dominates south of it. These months are relatively dry, although rain may occur locally. The mon season extends from March to May, with air flowing from the east in both hemispheres. From June to August, there is little rainfall, and southwest winds prevail north of the Equator as southeast breezes prevail in the south.

In the Lake Victoria basin, annual precipitation contrasts from 41 inches (1,000 mm) around the lakeshore to more than 71 inches (1,800 mm) in the eastern portions’ higher elevations. The lakeshore has amazing agricultural potential because it can expect 20 to 35 inches (500 to 900 mm) in most years. Daily maximum temperatures range from 27 °C in July to 32 °C in October and February.

In the Rift Valley, the average temperature decrease from about 29 °C in the north to just over 16 °C around Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha in the south. The adjacent highlands are normally moderate, with average temperatures ranging between 13 and 18 °C. The Rift Valley floor is usually dry, while the highland areas receive more than 30 inches (760 mm) of rain per year. The reliable rainfall and fertile soils of the Mau Escarpment form the basis for a thriving agricultural sector.

In the eastern plateau region, annual rainfall in most areas averages 500 to 760 mm, although agriculture is hampered by highly variable precipitation. The semi-arid and arid regions of northern, north-eastern, and southern Kenya have a very high temperature but very erratic precipitation. Most places average temperatures of 29 °C or more, while annual precipitation is only about 250 mm in the north and less than 500 mm) in the south.

In most coast areas, average temperatures exceed 80 °F (27 °C), and relative humidity is high year-round. On the humid coast, where annual precipitation is between 31 and 50 inches (760 and 1,270 mm), rainfall decreases westward to about 21 inches per year. Only on the southern coast is reliable enough for prosperous agriculture.

Religion:

The constitution guarantees freedom of religion. More than four-fifths of the people are Christian, primarily attending Protestant or Roman Catholic churches. Christianity first came to Kenya in the 15th century through the Portuguese, but this contact ended in the 17th century. Christianity was revived at the end of the 19th century and expanded rapidly. African traditional religions have a concept of a supreme being who is known by various names. Many syncretic faiths have arisen in which the adherents borrow from Christian traditions and African religious practices. Independent churches are numerous; one such church, the Maria Legio of Africa, is dominated by the Luo people. Muslims constitute a sizable minority and include both Sunnis and Shīʿites. There are also fewer populations of Jews, Jains, Sikhs, and Bahaʾis. In remote areas, Christian mission stations provide educational and medical facilities as well as religious ones.

TRANSPORT:

By plane

Kenya Airways (KQ) is the national airline. KQ has extensive regional Johannesburg-South Africa, Harare-Zimbabwe, Entebbe-Uganda, Cairo-Egypt, Accra-Ghana, etc.) and international connections (Dubai-UAE, London-UK, Amsterdam-Netherlands, Mumbai-India, etc.). It is also a SkyTeam associate member.

Kenya has four International airports:

Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) in Nairobi. Approximately twenty minutes from the central business district.

Moi International Airport in Mombasa.

Kisumu International Airport Kisumu, the main airport is connecting western Kenya with the universe.

Eldoret International/worldwide Airport (local flights and cargo only).

 KQ provides excellent flight connections to major tourist destinations such as Mombasa, Kisumu and Malindi.

Major airlines that serve NBO are:

Air Arabia

Air France

Air Mauritius

Air Mozambique

Air Seychelles

British Airways

Brussels Airlines

China Southern

Condor Airlines

Egypt Air

Emirates

Ethiopian Airlines

Etihad Airways

Gulf Air

Kenya Airways

KLM Royal Dutch

Lufthansa

Precision Air

Rwanda Air

Saudi Arabian Airlines

South African Airways

Swiss International Airlines

Turkish Airlines

Qatar Airways

Air Tanzania

An increasing number of airlines are flying to Kenya, and Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport has become a hub for East and Central Africa. The national carrier and biggest airline in the country are Kenya Airways, which (among others) also provides direct flights from Nairobi to several West African countries, e.g., Lagos in Nigeria, Bamako in Mali, as well as direct flights to Bangkok and connections to Hong Kong and China. A recent code-share agreement with Korean Airlines has also brought the Korean peninsula within reach.

 By train

Train services link only Kenya’s major cities. There is no passenger train service linking Kenya with neighbouring countries, though there are cargo lines. The affordable passenger train services are from Nairobi to Mombasa using “madaraka express” trains. The train fare for passengers travelling between Mombasa and Nairobi, a distance of 472km, is Ksh1000 (roughly $10) for Economy Class and Ksh3000 (approximately $30) for First Class. The journey takes about four and a half hours each way. Unfortunately, only two trains are available (to-fro) on the Mombasa-Nairobi route, with one train will departing from Mombasa at 09h00 and arrive in Nairobi at 13h30 and again depart to Nairobi at 1530h arriving in Mombasa at 20h00, while another train departs from Nairobi at 09h00 and arrive in Mombasa at 13h30 then again depart from Mombasa at 1530h arriving in Nairobi at 20h00.

 By car

Roads are mostly in ok condition, accessible and paved in all but the country’s most remote regions, especially in the North Eastern Region. All neighbouring nations can be accessed, including Ethiopia via Moyale, Uganda via Busia or Malaba, and Tanzania via Namanga.

A vast highway network crisscrosses the country; 

 By bus

Regular bus services operate between:

Nairobi (Kenya) & Kampala (Uganda); Nairobi (Kenya) & Arusha (Tanzania); Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania);Mombasa (Kenya) & Kampala (Uganda) & Kisumu (Kenya) ;

Reliable bus services on these routes include Easy Coach, Kampala Coach, Crown Buses, Modern Coast, and Mash.

From Arusha, Tanzania, you can get used to many shuttle services. Some of the reliable ones are Riverside Shuttle as well as Impala Shuttle. The shuttles have daily trips between Marangu, Moshi, Arusha, Nairobi International Airport and Nairobi City. These are scheduled twice a day. These are more recommended for safety and is the fastest route to get to Nairobi by bus. Bookings can now be made in advance for the two shuttles mentioned online at Bus Africa.

 By boat

This is limited to Lake Victoria (e.g., Mwanza in Tanzania to Kisumu in Kenya) and the coastal area (e.g., Mombasa-Zanzibar cruises).

PLACES TO VISIT IN KENYA:

  1. Maasai Mara National Reserve
  2. Amboseli National Reserve
  3. Tsavo National Park
  4. Samburu, Buffalo Springs, and Shaba National Reserves
  5. Lake Nakuru National Park
  6. Lamu Island
  7. Lake Naivasha
  8. Nairobi National Park
  9. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Elephant Nursery
  10. Malindi
  11. Mombasa
  12. Mount Kenya National Park
  13. Hell’s Gate National Park
  14. Ol Pejeta Conservancy

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