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Ringo Safaris Blog: Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya (Swahili: Jamhuri ya Kenya), is a country in Eastern Africa. At 580,367 square kilometers (224,081 sq mi), Kenya is the world’s 48th largest country by area. With a population of more than 47.6 million in the 2019 census, Kenya is the 29th most populous country in the world.

Kenya’s capital and largest city is Nairobi, while its oldest, currently second largest city, and first capital is the coastal city of Mombasa. Kisumu City is the third-largest city and also an inland port on Lake Victoria. Other important urban centres include Nakuru and Eldoret.

As of 2020, Kenya is the third-largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa after Nigeria and South Africa. Kenya is bordered by South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the east, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the southeast.

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Its geography, climate and population vary widely, ranging from cold snow-capped mountaintops (Batian, Nelion and Point Lenana on Mount Kenya) with vast surrounding forests, wildlife and fertile agricultural regions to temperate climates in western and rift valley counties and dry less fertile arid and semi-arid areas and absolute deserts (Chalbi Desert and Nyiri Desert).

Kenya’s earliest inhabitants were hunter-gatherers, like the present-day Hadza people. According to archaeological dating of associated artifacts and skeletal material, Cushitic speakers first settled in Kenya’s lowlands between 3,200 and 1,300 BC, a phase known as the Lowland Savanna Pastoral Neolithic. Nilotic-speaking pastoralists (ancestral to Kenya’s Nilotic speakers) began migrating from present-day South Sudan into Kenya around 500 BC.

Bantu people settled at the coast and the interior between 250 BC and 500 AD.  European contact began in 1500 AD with the Portuguese Empire, and effective colonization of Kenya began in the 19th century during the European exploration of the interior. Modern-day Kenya emerged from a protectorate established by the British Empire in 1895 and the subsequent Kenya Colony, which began in 1920.

Numerous disputes between the UK and the colony led to the Mau Mau revolution, which began in 1952, and the declaration of independence in 1963. After independence, Kenya remained a member of the Commonwealth of Nations. The current constitution was adopted in 2010 to replace the 1963 independence constitution.

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Kenya is a presidential representative democratic republic, in which elected officials represent the people and the president is the head of state and government. Kenya is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, COMESA, International Criminal Court, and other international organizations.

With a GNI of 1,840,  Kenya is a lower-middle-income economy. Kenya’s economy is the largest in eastern and central Africa, with Nairobi serving as a major regional commercial hub. Agriculture is the largest sector: tea and coffee are traditional cash crops, while fresh flowers are a fast-growing export.

The service industry is also a major economic driver, particularly tourism. Kenya is a member of the East African Community trade bloc, though some international trade organizations categorize it as part of the Greater Horn of Africa.  Africa is Kenya’s largest export market, followed by the European Union

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WHY FLY TO KENYA? – Ringo Safaris blog

At the crossroads of different cultural and climatic areas, Kenya offers almost the whole range of landscapes that one could expect from an African country: savannahs, equatorial forests, high plateaus, deserts and semi-deserts, immense beaches of fine sand with turquoise waters, coconut plantations.
From the mountains to the immense depression of the Rift Valley, the charismatic silhouette of Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean coast, many landscapes are striking and grandiose. As the human habitat is of relatively low density and this nature still benefits from a rich, diverse and surprising wildlife, Kenya is definitely a destination for lovers of wide open spaces.
We mentioned the relief, but the colours and lights are just as amazing, as the flora varies greatly from one region to another, as well as the depth of the skies.

ABUNDANT AND EASILY OBSERVABLE WILDLIFE: 

This is what makes Kenya’s reputation as a tourist destination: safaris, large African mammals, the famous “Big Five” that can be observed closely in their wild condition. The richness of Kenya’s wildlife is unique. Almost all the species expected in Africa are represented in impressive numbers: lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffaloes, monkeys, giraffes, zebras, crocodiles, antelopes, hippos, and more than 1,000 species of recorded birds, to name a few. In short, Kenya only needs the great apes (bonobos, gorillas and chimpanzees) to have a complete range of the abundant African fauna living in its natural environment.

SUPERB BEACHES: 

Beach resorts are one of Kenya’s specialties, which welcomes many Western holidaymakers (especially Italians and Germans), from the Indian subcontinent, and increasingly from China. The Kenyan coast, especially south of Mombasa and Lamu, is a real postcard setting: clear, warm waters, a coral reef that repels sharks and offers superb underwater bottoms, pristine fine sand, baobabs, coconut trees, colobus and vervets playground.
The country has relied heavily on holiday villages, some of which flirt with great luxury, but mass tourism is running out of steam and, in recent years, it is the smaller, more exclusive and less impersonal structures that are taking their revenge. These are not the best places to access authentic Kenya, but on the beach side the picture is perfect.

GOOD QUALITY INFRASTRUCTURE:

Oriented towards tourism before independence, the country has well understood its major assets, national parks and beaches. As a result, tourism infrastructures are numerous and of high quality, a professionalism achieved in few other African countries.
On the other hand, it is necessary to pay the price, and for tourists in Kenya, nothing is given, which favors higher budget or even luxury tourism. On the other hand, Kenya is a relatively developed country for its geographical area. Roads are generally in good condition, as well as public infrastructure. Independent travel is quite easy, which is not always the case in most other countries in the region.
KENYA NATIONAL PARKS AND GAME RESERVES:
Shimba Hills National Reserve
Tsavo East National Park
Tsavo West National Park
Ngutuni Wildlife Sanctuary
Taita Hills Game Sanctuary
Lumo Wildlife conservation
Chyulu Hills game reserve
Amboseli National Park
Maasai Mara National Reserve
Lake Nakuru National Park
Hells Gate National Park
Aberrates National Park
Mount Kenya National Park
Samburu Game Reserve
Saiwa Swamp National Park