Chapter 9
Kenya
Kenya
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Country name: Republic of Kenya, Kenya
Capital: Nairobi
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian
Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
Border countries: Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan,
Tanzania, Uganda
Government type: republic
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Population: 31,639,091 (July 2003 est.) (note:
estimates for this country explicitly take into
account the effects of excess mortality due to
AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy,
higher infant mortality and death rates, lower
population and growth rates, and changes in the
distribution of population by age and sex than
would otherwise be expected)
Languages: English (official), Kiswahili (official),
numerous indigenous languages
Religions: Protestant 45%, Roman Catholic 33%,
indigenous beliefs 10%, Muslim 10%, other 2%
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GDP – per capita: purchasing power parity $1,100 (201st out of 231 in the world) (2002 est.)
Industries: small-scale consumer goods (plastic,
furniture, batteries, textiles, soap, cigarettes,
flour), agricultural products processing; oil
refining, cement; tourism
Currency: Kenyan shilling (KES) (CIA, World
Fact Book)
Important Facts
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Not among the top destinations in the world or
in Africa
838.000 international tourist arrivals
 $297 million international tourism receipts (WTO,
2003)
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Coastline: 536 km
Terrain: low plains rise to central highlands
bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in
west
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Climate: varies from tropical along coast to arid
in interior (CIA, World Fact Book).
Selling Points
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Game reserves, beaches, scuba diving, tribal
culture, gambling, history, shopping, varied
scenery, and golfing.
Game Reserves
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the main attraction in Kenya is the game reserves
there are many parks, each has different animals,
terrain, climate and accommodations with varying
degrees of comfort.
methods of viewing animals vary: minivans carrying 6
to 8 passengers; planes; hot-air balloons; private or
chauffeured jeeps.
Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo West are among the
best parks, located south of Nairobi.
Masai Mara National Park
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Bordering Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park
offers a wide variety of animals to see including lions,
hippos, crocodiles, antelopes, giraffes, wildebeests,
warthogs, baboons, hyenas, jackals, zebras, cape
buffaloes, civet cats, eagles, cranes and storks
the park is large and can be toured by four-wheel-drive
vehicle, small aircraft and hot-air balloon
tented camps are common for accommodation
the Mara plains (gorgeous landscape that provided
material for “Out of Africa”)
Amboseli National Park
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in the shadow of 5964 m. Mt. Kilimanjaro, in
the neighboring Tanzania
the mountain makes a great backdrop for animal
photography
the park has one of the few elephant herds in
East Africa that is not decreasing in number
Tsavo West
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covers 3900 sq km and is filled with crocodiles,
elephants, baboons, antelope, giraffes and hippos
also lies within sight of Mt. Kilimanjaro
some baobab trees are 1000 year old
at Mzima Springs, tourists can view animals (hippos)
from a glass paneled underwater observation tank
there are two Hilton’s in Tsavo West that share a private
game park
Aberdare National Park
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has diverse typology that includes waterfalls, rain forests
and highlands
there are two country club hotels (Aberdare Country
Club and Outspan Hotel) which have British-colonial
ambience and tree hotels. Guests usually spend one
night at the country club-type facility and the second
night at the tree hotel. From those tree hotels, various
animals (warthogs, birds, monkeys, elephants, bongo
antelopes and leopards). The are is lit at night.
Mt Kenya National Park
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the park consists of three terrains: forest, alpine, and
rocky peak
Mt Kenya is more than 5200 meters high, above 3200
meters is designed as the game park
lions, elephants, antelope and leopards can be seen in
the park
the principle hotel is the Mt Kenya Safari Club; a
formal place where men must wear a coat and tie for
dinner
Lakes
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There are numerous lakes throughout Kenya
that host rare and spectacular birds
Lake Naivasha (hippos, birds and fishing)
 Lake Turkana (comorants and sacred ibises)
 Lake Baringo (hippos, 450 species of birds, camel
rides, tours of nearby tribal villages)
 Lake Victoria (world’s second largest lake and the
main source of water for the Nile River)
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Nairobi
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145 km south of Equator
founded by the British
a modern commercial center
Attractions of the city are;
The City Market (one of cleanest in Africa; residents
shop for tropical fruits, vegetables and meat)
 Kenyatta Boulevard (shopping for handcrafts)
 the National Museum (ethnographic, paleontological
and ornithological displays)
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the Arboretum (excellent collection of East African
flora)
 the university (architecture of the buildings)
 Kenya Railway Museum
 farm house of Karen Blixen; the writer of Out of
Africa
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Other Important Places
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Mombasa
has been a trading center for centuries – Persians,
Turks, Indians, Portuguese, British
 Ancient mosques, forts, museums, temples, narrow
roads and markets, wood carvings and dhow trips
with onboard entertainment (acrobats, fire eating,
limbo, fashion shows) are attractions of the city
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Malindi
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on the Coral Coast,
place for coral reefs and beaches
 destination for surfing, snorkeling, deep sea fishing
and other water sports
 The Malindi Marine National Park (has fine beaches,
clear water and very colorful fish)
 has beautiful narrow streets, post-colonial homes,
trees and flowers
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Things to Remember
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Best way to see the country is by hosted or
escorted tour
Street crime in Nairobi is a threat to travelers
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Chapter 5