Kenya Destinations Travel Guide


Flag of Kenya

Language: English, Swahili

Currency: Kenyan Shilling (KES)

Calling call: +254


Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya (in Swahili: Jamhuri and Kenya, in English, Republic of Kenya), is an East African country, which borders Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west and South Sudan to the northwest, with the Indian Ocean batheing its southeast coast. Lake Victoria is located to the southwest and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania. Its capital is Nairobi. The country extends over 580 367 km² in area and its population is 39 million people with people from many cultures and origins. The name of the country is named after Mount Kenya, a traditional place in the country and the second highest mountain in Africa. Kenya is also known for its biodiversity in animals and a wide variety of ecosystems. Kenya has 47 districts, each with a semi-autonomous government with respect to the central government of Nairobi. Geographically, Kenya is divided into several areas with a very variable demography, with areas of savannas, arid and semi-arid, and a large coast with the Indian Ocean. The central regions and the west have forests and mountains, while the northern regions are more arid.

As part of East Africa, Kenya has been home to man since the Early Paleolithic. The Bantu expansion reached the area in the first millennium before our era, and the limits of the modern state include the steps of the linguistic and cultural areas of the Nile-Saharan, Afro-Asian and Bantu, so Kenya has been a multiethnic country from its origins. The European and Arab presence in Mombasa goes back to the principles of the Modern Age, but the exploration of the interior began in the 19th century. The British Empire established the East African Protectorate in 1895, known as the Kenya Colony since 1920. The Independent Republic of Kenya was established in 1963.

The capital of Kenya, Nairobi, is a city of great commercial importance in Africa. The economy of Kenya is also the largest gross domestic product in the East and Central Africa. The country has been a traditional producer of tea and coffee, and more recently has been dedicated to the export of cut flowers to Europe. More and more Kenya is devoting itself to the telecommunications industry. Kenya is also a world power in sport, giving the best athletes as the champion Paul Tergat and more recently David Rudisha.


Travel Destinations in Kenya

Amboseli National Park

Amboseli National Park is situated 230 km (142 mi) South of Nairobi in Kajiado District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya.

Arabuko Sokoke National Park

Arabuko Sokoke National Park is located 110 km North of Mombasa in Kenya. This Kenyan national park covers an area of 6 km².

Chyulu Hills National Park

Chyuly Hills were formed 1.4 million years ago due to volcanic activity. The last eruption occurred in the middle of the 19th century.

Fort Jesus

Fort Jesus was constructed in 1593 on the orders of king of Philip II of Spain also known as king Philip I of Portugal. It is located on the strategic grounds and served in defence of the ships stationed in the harbor.

Hell's Gate National Park

Hell's Gate National Park is located 100 km (60 mi) West of Nairobi in Kenya. Hell's Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 km².

Jumba la Mtwana

Jumba la Mtwana is a located 15 km North of Mobasa in Kenya. Jumba la Mtwana is a an archaeological site of a fifteenth century slave trade port on the shore of an Indian Ocean.

Kakamega Forest

Kakamega Forest is a large expanse of untouched biosphere located in a Western Province of Kenya. Kakamega Forest covers an area of 230 sq km.

Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary

Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature reserve located 30 km (19 mi) Southeast of Amboseli in Kenya.

Lake Baringo

Lake Baringo is a freshwater lake situated in a Rift Valley in Kenya. Lake Baringo covers an area of 50 mi² (130 km²).

Lake Chala

Lake Chala is situated 8 km north of Taveta on the border between Kenya and Tanzania on the Eastern side of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Lake Magadi

Lake Magadi is situated in the Kenyan Rift Valley in Kenya. Lake Magadi covers an area of 100 km². It is famous for a large population of pink flamingos that nest here in great numbers.

Lake Naivasha

The name of Lake Naivasha come from a local Maasai language as "rough water". This name is given due to sudden changes of weather that turn to violent storms.

Lake Nakuru National Park

Lake Nakuru National Park is a nature reserve situated 160 km (100 mi) North of Nairobi in Kenya. The name of the lake literally means "Dust or Dusty Place".

Lamu Archipelago

Lamu Archipelago is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean situated just off the coast of Kenya. It includes Lamu, Manda, Pate, Kiwayu islands.

Mara River Crossing

Mara River is a river that flows through Kenya and Tanzania. It is famous as a crossing site of antelopes, zebras and many species of large game that migrate through the region.


Nairobi is the largest city Kenya as well as its capital. Kenyan capital became famous in 1998. On August 7th it became the site of a terrorist attack against American embassy that took lives of 223 people.

Nairobi National Park

Nairobi National Park is a nature reserve situate 7 km (4 mi) South of Nairobi capital of Kenya. This protected biosphere is the first national park and protects an area of 117 km2 (45 sq mi).

Nguruman Escarpment

Nguruman Escarpment is situated 140 km (87 mi) South of Nairobi in Kenya. Escarpment is a term that describes geologic formation of a long cliff that forms when two level plates move pass one another.

Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site

Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site is situated 65 km (40 mi) South of Nairobi in Kenya. It is famous archaeological site of ancient human settlements that date back to the Lower Palaeolithic Period (over 300,000 years ago).

Ruins of Gedi

Ruins of Gedi is an archaeological site situated 1 km (1/2 mi) North of Watamu in Kenya. Gedi is a medieval town was an important trade center along the ocean sea.

Shimba Hills National Reserve

Shimba Hills National Reserve is a biosphere reserve situated 55 km (34 mi) South of Mombasa in Kenya. Shimba Hills National Reserve covers an area of 193 km2 (74.33 sq mi).

Shimoni Slave Caves

Shimoni Slave Caves are situated near Shimoni in South eastern Kenya on the border with Tanzania. It was an important port city on the shore of the Indian Ocean.

Tsavo National Park

Tsavo East and Tsavo West National Parks are two protected areas situated 230 km (143 km) Southeast of Nairobi in Kenya. The line that divides these two expanses of protected biosphere is the road A109




History of Kenya

The territory of Kenya, according to many scientists, is part of the region that has become the ancestral home of humanity. There, on the east coast of Lake Rudolph, tools and the remains of the ancestors of people who lived about 3 million years ago in Lomekvi were discovered.

Much later, the territory of Kenya was inhabited by people who were close in their features to the current Ethiopian race. Also there lived tribes of the Khoisan (now South African) racial type. Later, Negroid Bantu-speaking tribes came from the West, the ancestors of modern Pokomo, Swahili and Midjikenda.

In the 7th-8th centuries, Swahili shopping centers began to form on the Kenyan coast (Lamu, Manda, Pate, Malindi, Mombasa, etc.). They engaged in intermediary trade between the interior of Africa with India and Arabia. Iron, gold, ivory, rhino and slave horn were exported from Africa, while metal weapons, handicrafts, and fabrics were imported.

Middle Ages
In 1498, ships of the Portuguese expedition sailed to Kenya under the command of Vasco da Gama, who was looking for a sea route to India. At the beginning of the XVI century, the Portuguese captured many port cities on the coast of Kenya to use them as intermediate points on the way to India.

However, in the middle of the 17th century, the rulers of the Sultanate of Oman began to expel the Portuguese from Kenya. By 1699, the Omani imam Sultan ibn Saif finally took possession of Mombasa and expelled the Portuguese from all over the coast. The rulers of Oman put in power their governors from local residents, claiming to be of Arab origin.

XIX century
By the beginning of the 19th century, the slave trade had become the basis of the Kenyan economy. One of the main routes of Arab slave traders in East Africa ran from Mombasa to the African state of Wang.

At the beginning of the 19th century, separatist tendencies arose in Mombasa - the Swahili dynasty of Mazrui strove for independence from the Sultans of Zanzibar and to establish its rule over the entire coast of East Africa.

In 1824, Mazrui adopted a British protectorate over Mombasa. However, this did not help them. In 1828, the Sultan of Zanzibar sent a fleet to Mombasa and defeated the troops of Mazrui. The war continued until 1837, ending with the victory of the Sultan of Zanzibar. All members of the Mazrui family were sent as slaves to Oman.

Since 1846, Christian missionaries appeared in Kenya, first on the coast, and then in the central regions.

Since the 1870s, East Africa has been the subject of rivalry between the European powers, primarily Britain and Germany. In 1886, they entered into an agreement on the division of East Africa, according to which the territory of present Kenya entered the British sphere of influence.

In 1890, Britain and Germany concluded the so-called Helgoland Treaty, according to which the British gave Germany the island of Helgoland off its northern coast, recognized Germany’s rights to Tanganyika (mainland of modern Tanzania), and in return received rights to Kenya and Zanzibar.

Since 1890, the British began to intensively develop fertile lands in the interior of Kenya, establishing a “white” settlement colony. Already in the years 1897-1901, a railway and a communication line from Mombasa to Lake Victoria were built. The English settlers created large plantation farms, including for the production of export crops - tea, coffee, sisal. The British created enterprises for the processing of agricultural products, the production of consumer goods, infrastructure and so on.

XX century
At the beginning of the 20th century, British immigration to Kenya intensified. In 1902, in the administrative center of the East African protectorate, Nairobi, the British settlers created the first public organization - the Association of Colonists. In 1906, two councils were formed under the British governor - Executive and Legislative, which included only whites.

In 1907, by order of the British governor in Kenya, slavery, traditionally practiced in local African tribes, was prohibited.

From the 20th century, Islam began to spread on the coast of Kenya.

During the First World War, the British authorities mobilized about 200 thousand Kenyans into the army, mainly as carriers of military cargo, but several thousand local (as part of the Royal Corps of African Riflemen) took direct part in the hostilities against German troops in East Africa.

Since 1927, the elected Legislative Council included elected representatives of Arabs and Asians (mainly from South Asia), Kenyans won the first place in the Legislative Council only in 1944, at the same time the Association of Kenya Africans was created (since 1946 - the Union of Africans of Kenya, SAK), the first in the country a mass political organization that led the liberation struggle. The NAC program contained the following basic requirements: transfer of political power to Africans, guarantee of the rights of all racial minorities and the elimination of racial discrimination, meeting the needs of Africans in the land, free trade union activity, and the immediate conduct of elections.


In 1949, the East African Congress of Trade Unions (WACP) was created, for the first time uniting Negro workers and Indian workers. The strike movement intensified. In May 1950, a general strike took place in Nairobi in response to the arrest of WACP leaders.

In October 1952, a Mau Mau uprising broke out in Kenya. In this regard, a state of emergency was introduced in the country. Colonial authorities arrested 86 leaders of the NAC, including the chairman of the NAC (since 1947), Jomo Kenyatu. On the false charge of leading the Mau-Mau terrorist organization. Kenyata and 5 other SAK leaders in April 1953 were sentenced to 7 years each, in June SAK was banned. (In 1959, it turned out that the police bribed witnesses to accuse and convict Kenyata and other leaders of the NAC).

The Mau-Mau uprising was mainly attended by the Kikuyu, Embu, and Meru tribes. According to some estimates, the partisan army reached 30 or even 50 thousand soldiers. This army was led by 32-year-old Dedan Vachiuri Kimati from the Kikuyu tribe, who had experience in the British Army.

Mau Mau partisans, armed with small arms, as well as spears, bows and knives, attacked local police stations, killed Negroes who worked for the British, robbed and burned the farms of English settlers.

Even according to official figures, by 1955 more than 11 thousand Africans were killed, more than 60 thousand were in concentration camps. Fleeing from punitive expeditions, the population fled to the mountains and created partisan detachments. The main centers of resistance were inaccessible forests in the mountains of Kenya and Aberdera.

In 1956, the Mau Mau partisans were defeated, most of their commanders were killed or captured, including the Commander-in-Chief Kimati, who was executed.

In the same 1956, Africans were granted limited suffrage.

On January 12, 1960, the colonial authorities, seeking to calm down, lifted the state of emergency and allowed the creation of African political parties. In March 1961, elections were held (on the basis of a constitution that came into force in February 1961) to the Legislative Council, which brought the majority to the Kenyan National Union of Africans - CANU (23 seats) and the Democratic Union of Kenya - KADU (16 seats). Although both parties were in favor of granting independence, considerable disagreement arose between them, primarily on issues of state structure of the country after independence. KANU (enjoyed the support of the two largest ethnic groups - Kikuyu and Luo) advocated a unitary state, and KADU (expressed the interests of coastal peoples and the small cattle-breeding population of the highlands) for the federal one. After the election, KADU leaders, in violation of the agreement with KANU on refusing to form a government until the release of Kenyata, entered the new government.

In August 1961, under the pressure of mass protests, Kenyata was released (since 1959, after the end of the prison term, he was exiled in the north of the country), and at the end of October he became chairman of KANU.

In February – April 1962, a conference was held in London that considered the draft of a new constitution. During the conference and subsequent negotiations, decisions were made to divide K. into 7 provinces with significant autonomy of provincial authorities.

In May 1963, elections to the National Assembly were held on the basis of the new constitution, which brought victory to the KANU party; the KADU party was defeated (in November 1964, its self-dissolution was announced). On June 1, 1963, the country received internal self-government. Jomo Kenyata became the first prime minister in Kenya’s history.

At a conference held in London in September-October 1963, at the insistence of the KANU delegation, constitution was amended to expand the powers of the central government. The Kenyan liberation struggle forced the British government to agree to independence.