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Africa is the second largest and second most populous continent on Earth (Asia being the first). It is also the world’s youngest continent; the worldwide median age is about 30, and it’s 19 for Africa.

We visited Kenya, the east African country most known for safaris and tourism. Kenya has two official languages; Swahili and English meaning you will never have issues finding your way around or asking for direction. Kenya has a population of about 52mil., Nairobi, the capital has a population of over 6.5mil including the metro area. Kenya’s economy is the second largest in eastern Africa and Nairobi is a major commercial hub. We’ve learned from the owner of Karen Gables that fresh flowers, mainly roses are a fast growing export business in Kenya. Other driving forces of the economy are tea and coffee export as well as the service industry, tourism in particular because of the spectacular safari options.

We chose Kenya because we wanted to take in the incredible views of Mt. Kilimanjaro and Amboseli’s fascinating elephants as well as experience the Serengeti in the Masai Mara. The Masai Mara is best known for the wildebeest migration; the dramatic river crossing happens usually in July or August and usually attracts a high number of visitors making the event and the time around it peak season with higher prices and limited availability.

Kenya observes 2 seasons; dry season and the rainy season

  • December, January and February are part of the hot dry season
  • March is when the intermittent rains start
  • April and May are the months of heavy long rains when a lot of camps close
  • June, July, August and September are the cooler, usually more overcast months
  • October and November are part of the short rainy season

 

We decided on Kenya because there was a number places in Nairobi we really wanted to see and experience.

  • Karen Blixen museum and garden
  • Kazuri beads factory
  • David Scheldrick wildlife trust
  • Nairobi National Park
  • Giraffe Manor

Plastic bags

The use, manufacture or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags, is illegal. Convicted offenders, including tourists, can face very heavy fines (up to USD 40,000), imprisonment for up to two years, or both. Here is a pamphlet that might be helpful: FAQS_on_plastics_ban (https://www.nema.go.ke/images/featured/FAQS_on_plastics_ban.pdf).

Safety

There are parts of Kenya that are dangerous to visit due to conflicts close to the Somalian border. Please reference your government website for any travel advisory. Here (https://travel.gc.ca/destinations/kenya) is the link to the Government of Canada website with travel advisory as well as details related to safety, health, laws and culture. It is updated regularly.The travel advisories have never induced areas of national parks or any known safari location. When it comes to big cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa you should be vigilant and not roam aimlessly in the late hours as there regular warnings related to muggings, kidnaping, snatching of bags from cars stopped at traffic lights and other things mentioned in the government link above. What takes some getting used to is the fact all malls, restaurants and hotels have a heavily armed security post prior to the entrance. Even though such checkpoints are there for everyone’s safety, they are also a reminder of the danger that is possibly around. With that said, I have to say we felt very safe in Nairobi. We were there for 3 days and stayed in Karen. We mostly kept to the area but we did find ourselves in and around the CBD of Nairobi a few times. Exercise the same amount of caution you would in any big city but also allow yourself the opportunity to meet the locals. You will find them to be fascinating people with a wealth of knowledge and a lot of patience as they try to teach you some words in Swahili. 🙂

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