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 Kenya 2012

Gerlach Nature Photography
January 3, 2012-January 20, 2012

Brian and Louise McLeod
Curtis and Carolyn Cowgill

Lake Nkuru
Masai Maara
Mara Triangle

Weaving Project

A River Story
Samburu’s Special Five

Village Visits
Maasai Mara Village
Samburu Village

Travel Days
Sites along the way
Our Daily Routine
Our Itinerary


Kenya is officially known as the Republic of Kenya. It lies on the equator on the east coat of Africa with the Indian ocean on the east and Lake Victoria, the world’s largest fresh-water lake, on the west. It is the world’s 47th largest country. Its climate varies from tropical along the coast to temperate inland to arid in the north and northeast parts of the country. The Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa.

It’s neighbors are: Tanzania (south), Uganda (west), South Sudan (north-west), Ethiopia (north), Somalia (north east).

It has a population of 42 million people divided amongst 42 different tribes and cultures. Each tribe represents a geographical region of the country. The country is divided into 47 semi-autonomous counties governed by elected governors (in 2012) who operate independent of the central government in Nairobi.

The borders of the modern state comprise the crossroads of the Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan, and Afro-Asiatic linguistic areas of Africa, making Kenya a truly multi-cultural state. European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates to the Early Modern period, but European exploration of the interior began only in the 19th century. The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, known from 1920 as the Kenya Colony.  The independent Republic of Kenya was founded in December 1963.

The capital city is Nairobi (pop. 4-5 million) and is home to the world’s largest slum, Kiberia, housing up to 1 million locals.

Religious faiths include Christian (83%), Muslim (11%), Hindu, Baha’i, and other indiginous beliefs.

Kenya has considerable land area devoted to wildlife habitats, including the Big Five, particularly the Masai Mara: the lion, leopard, cape buffalo, rhinoceros (black and white), and elephant. Kenya is the setting for one of the Natural Wonders of the World – the great wildebeest migration– between June and September. 11.5 million wildebeests migrate a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighboring Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya, in a constant clockwise fashion, searching for food and water supplies. The country is famous for its safaris and diverse world-famous wildlife reserves such as Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park that attract tourists from all over the world. Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain peak in Africa.

Education is mandatory for both sexes until the 8th grade and it’s free. The majority of children who attend secondary school are boarded. The literacy rate is 85% of the whole population.

Kenya has had a human population since the Lower Paleolithic period. Kenya’s service sector, which contributes 63% of its GDP is dominated by tourism. The rest by communications. Agriculture, including forestry and fishing and the second largest contributor to its GDP, is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and more recently fresh flowers to Europe.53% of the population live below the poverty level. A significant portion regularly starves and is dependent on food aid. Poor roads and transportation contribute. Many local farmers must leave crops to rot in the fields due to inadequate access to the market. 73% of its population is aged less than 30 years due to rapid population growth. The two official languages are English and Swahili with each culture speaking its own mother tongue. People in remote villages  only speak their mother tongues and English that they learn in school.