Kenya

This country was so named after her highest snow-covered peak, which the Kamba tribe called Ki-Nyaa for the resemblance of the black rock and white snow to the feathers of the male ostrich.

Kenya is the birthplace of the original safari.  In fact the term, safari, was coined here - from the Arabic traders who landed on the shores of East Africa. The Arabic word safara meaning 'to travel' found its way into the Swahili language of the region and soon into universal terminology for adventurous & wild travel in Africa.   One of the earliest such safaris by a prominent person was that of Theodore Roosevelt in 1909. 

Kenya is still regarded by many as quintessential Africa and the Maasai Mara is her showcase. Kenya’s rolling savannah, punctuated by flat topped acacia trees, abundant wildlife and handsome Maasai warriors was romantically captured in the film Out of Africa, but this country also has semi-desert in the far north, temperate savannah, snow-capped peaks, glacial lakes and trout streams… As well as a gorgeous & exotic tropical coastline on the Indian Ocean, Kenya also boasts a large & fascinating portion of a huge geological feature right down her centre - the Great Rift Valley.

 

The country’s popularity on the African safari circuit has lead to disparaging comments in the media about Kenya only being a mass tourism destination but the reality is that there are many private ranches and wildlife conservancies that offer quiet and secluded safaris away from the madding crowds.

For those looking in particular to add an element of cultural interaction to an African safari holiday you can’t go wrong with being welcomed into a Maasai wedding, watching a Samburu herdsman sing his cattle to water, or simply haggling with a Giriama mama in the market for a piece of colorful kanga fabric in which to swathe oneself.