For those who are not entirely familiar with their Atlas, Kenya is a gorgeous little country in the Eastern side of Africa. she is home to the second highest mountain in the continent (Mt. Kenya), home to the Maasai Mara and her breathtaking annual wildebeest migration, home to a majority of the world athletics champions and home to an insanely gorgeous coastal line that just so happens to include Mombasa and Lamu.
Although Kenya is synonymous with quite a few wonderful things, Ski holidays, winter sports and being snowed in are all things she is NOT known for. We are in the tropics, and on this side of the sun we have breathtakingly beautiful weather.
Kenya is a touristic mammoth. That’s how beautiful this country is. But as world famous as she may be in some circuits, there are still some facts about this country that even Kenyans are not too familiar with. That being said, here are 10 things we bet you didn’t know about Kenya
Kenya has 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
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DÉC 1, 2013
Leonor Hubaut / Piraterie /
“Dernier bilan de la piraterie
En 2013, il y a eu 234 « incidents » rapportés dont 12 captures de navires (hijackings) par des pirates dans le monde, selon un dernier bilan établi par la chambre de commerce maritime internationale. Le « front somalien » reste calme avec 13 incidents rapportés et 2 captures. Tandis qu’au large du Nigeria, on recense 30 incidents et 2 captures. L’Ouest de l’Afrique est aujourd’hui plus dangereux que l’Est de l’Afrique.
Des pirates au large du Kenya ?
Le porte-parole de la Force de défense kényane (KDF), Emmanuel Chirchir, a averti que toute attaque de pirates trouvera réponse. « Nos troupes de la marine patrouillent dans les eaux territoriales kényanes jusqu’à Kismayo en Somalie, et toute tentative d’attaque des navires sera déjouée fermement », a-t-il déclaré à l’agence Chine nouvelle. On assiste à une résurgence des attaques avec le temps plus clément. Cinq attaques ratées ont été enregistrées dans l’océan Indien en novembre, selon Andrew Mwangura, secrétaire général du syndicat des marins kényans (KSU). Le gouvernement kényan a également annoncé le renforcement des actions kényanes sur terre. « Nous avons décidé de résoudre le problème de la piraterie à la source et les Forces de défense kényanes (KDF) sont entrées en Somalie l’ année dernière pour faire équipe avec les forces alliées, et nous sommes maintenant en voie de stabiliser la Somalie », a déclaré un officiel du gouvernement sous couvert d’anonymat”.
Extract from Bruxelles 2
I had been told by several people that Lamu and Mount Kenya were the highlights of Kenya. There are so many highlights in Kenya that I was really wondering what Lamu would be like!
The problem is reaching… it’s located on the Northern Coast : there are three Lamus; Lamu town, Lamu the island itself and Lamu archipelago. It seems the most beautiful thing is apart from enjoying the atmosphere to navigate from one island to another and enjoy the nature around. In fact there are mangrove forests and the islands are surrounded by turquoise water. I didn’t do that myself, because it wasn’t what I would call a highlight: Diani for me is more of a highlight having a coral reef at 200 m from the shore!
When I arrived a guy took my suitcase and asked me what my hotel was and took me there; I had just landed… I had no time to breathe: people in Lamu assault the tourists that come especially in low season: they are hungry for clients. No tourist goes unnoticed in Lamu. The inhabitants greet you, ask you if you need or want something… They probably thing they are being nice by doing so but it produces a contrary effect in me: all I want to do is run home! And I become really unkind to whoever is trying to make a living, because after all, all they are doing is looking for clients.
There are no cars in Lamu: they use donkeys instead, and there are 2200 donkeys on the island. It’s a multicultural city: Indian, Arabian, Kenyan influences merge. It is what they call the Swahili culture. Like the rest of the coast it’s an Islamic territory.
In the evening the children jump into the water from the “main road” … a main road which reminded me of Pondy’s promenade. Their games include also are boxes which become cars, and even I saw them playing with a dead baby donkey which they threw into the sea they were swimming in again and again… Ok this is definitely a different culture I thought.
The streets are narrow, the houses and buildings are made of corals, and the sewerage runs through the streets itself. Yes it can seem relaxing in the sense that we are on an island where there are no cars. It could seem like a voyage in time … if only people didn’t assault every single tourist!
What I did enjoy in Lamu was my beautiful hotel : a Swahili house made of coral with a beautiful green patio in the centre, and I think it was the cutest I’ve ever experienced. Three windows and a bed like the one I dreamt of when I was a child. There is was really fun to do all the writing I had to do: calm and relaxing, just what I needed! Another thing was watching the tides: the difference is huge so huge that when some people attacked Lamu, they got stuck when they wanted to leave because there boats which they had left in the water were now stuck in firm land… and also the food: fresh snapper, fried bananas with honey and the amazing, truly amazing fruit juices that are as creamy as smoothies.
But I have said enough: as we say in France an example is worth a thousand words, so take a look at the video and get a sense of what it is like.