An Introduction to Kenya

Kenya is located in the East Africa region and it takes its name from Mt Kenya which is the second highest mountain in Africa. The capital city of Kenya Nairobi. The other cities are Mombasa and Kisumu. Major towns include Nakuru, Eldoret, Nyeri, Embu, Meru, Thika and Kakamega.
Map of Africa showing Kenya
Map of Africa showing Kenya (shaded in black)

Kenya is the land of captive diversity. From the beautiful soft sandy beaches at the coast; the magnificent view of the snow peaked Mount Kenya to the diverse habitats in the breathtaking Rift valley with its abundant wildlife that includes the world-renowned wild beast migration in the Masai Mara; not forgetting the unique and diverse culture and traditions in the variety of music, song, dance and cuisine.

Nairobi is the capital city of  Kenya. It became a center in 1899 during the construction of the Mombasa to Kisumu railway. The Maasai called it Ewaso Nairobi, meaning (stream of cold water). Nairobi served as the provincial capital of the British colony until it became the capital of British East Africa in 1907. In 1963, the town became the capital of independent Kenya.

Mombasa goes back some 2000 years and is the second largest city in Kenya. It is built on an island covering an area of about 295sq km. The city was originally called Manbasa by Arab traders of the 11th century and was the center of trade primarily exporting ivory and slaves. It has retained its status as the leading trading center in the coast region and is also now an international port receiving vessels from all over the world. Mombasa is strongly influenced by Arabic culture and this is quite evident in the food, the dress and the architecture. Today this coastal island is a melting pot of different cultures and religions.

For many the Maasai are the definitive symbol of tribal Kenya. This the only tribe that has maintained its culture to date. With a reputation as fierce warriors and proud demeanour, the tribe has managed to stay outside the mainstream of development in Kenya and still maintains large cattle herds along the Tanzanian border.