Backpacking in Kenya

Backpacking in Kenya is growing more popular every day. In a short period of time Kenya might be as popular as Southeast Asia among backpackers.

Kenya is a country located in eastern Africa. the capital is Nairobi and the second largest city is Mombasa. Kenya has a population of about 35 million.

Geography

Mount Kenya is Kenya's highest peaks, a peak 5199 meters above sea level.

Kenya is named after the extinct volcano Mount Kenya, which is the country's highest mountain. In the north, bordering Kenya to Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan, in the west to Uganda and south to Tanzania. The landscape is varied. Africa's big valley, Great Rift Valley, passing through the country from north to south. Along the hollow lies several lakes and extinct volcanoes. From the coast of the Indian Ocean in the east than the country to a high plateau, the so-called White Highlands, which became the center of plantation farms during the colonial period. The capital Nairobi is situated between the temperate highlands and the southern savannas.

To the west is still a high plateau which levels off towards Lake Victoria. Here are grown tea and coffee. Greenery is lush and there are some tropical rainforest. The low-lying areas at Lake Victoria occasionally experience flooding during rainy periods. In the north, the steppe and semi-desert. Rainfall is low and drought is a constant threat to the nomadic cattle population. Lake Turkana on the border with Ethiopia dominates the landscape. 25 mil-long lake is home to Nile crocodiles and birds. On the savannah, which continues into northern Tanzania are some of the most famous national parks: Masai Mara, Amboseli and Tsavo. Aberdare is one of the national parks in the country, was founded in the 1950th.

Among the country's natural resources include gold, limestone, rubies, garnets and hydropower.

Kenya before the Europeans

East Africa was home to some of man's earliest ancestors. In southern Kenya and at Olduvai across the border to Tanzania have been found about 2 million year old remains of humans.

For about 1000 years ago, walked some Bantu-speaking tribes, including Kikuyu ancestors, into the country from the south along the coast, at a late stage of bantumigrationen. 500 years later, other peoples from the north, among them the nomadic Masai. Immigration has continued into modern times and given its population highly heterogeneous nature.

In the Middle Ages, merchants from Europe, Asia and Arabia to visit the Kenyan coast in search of slaves and ivory. The Arabs settled along the coast, which in 1740 was dominated by the Sultan of Zanzibar. The Kenyan coast was the center of the Swahili coast, which stretched from Mogadishu in the north to northern Mozambique in the south. Mombasa has preserved much of the old Swahili culture, as well as islands in Lamuarkipelagen around Lamu. Swahili eventually became the region's lingua franca and language of commerce, and is accompanied by English official language of Kenya.

While Swahili culture flourished on the coast arose a number of small kingdoms and hövdingadömet in the hinterland. In the southwest dominated luokulturen, in northwest luhya, in central parts of the country, Kikuyu, Embu and Meru and Kamba of eastern hinterland. Later massajriket grew strongly in the current southern Kenya and northern Tanzania, to reach their greatness period in the mid-1800s.