Experience harambee! A Bantu word that means togetherness, is exactly what drives Kenya. Community-focused, the family structure is incredibly important. Kenya tours introduce you to a melting pot of people, where traditional and modern norms mark its unique character today, bursting with linguistic and cultural diversity. The current estimated population is about 46.7 million. Over 40 ethnic groups reside in Kenya, the largest being the Kikuyu, who migrated to Kenya at the turn of the 18th century.
In the major cities and towns, you will notice a mix of tribal, Western and Islamic dress styles, often accessorized wonderfully with traditional, colorful jewelry.
In smaller villages, the local communities have preserved their traditional dress and some of the nomadic and pastoral peoples such as the Maasai, Samburu and Turkana wear simple cloth pieces and skins, blended with incredibly elaborate bead and metal jewelry, often worn on the head or arms.
Kenyan culture revolves around music, which is a fusion of African, hip-hop/street, India and European beats. Drumming is a passion by the Akamba and Mijikenda peoples and can you experience this art for yourself particularly by the coast. Or you can discover benga, a musical style integral to classical Kenyan music.
There is a lot of a capella (unaccompanied) singing to be enjoyed in Kenya, promoted primarily by the Maasai and Samburu peoples. You might also notice the influence of Congolese rumba during our Kenya tours.
Heavily influenced by European, Arabic and Islamic settlers over the centuries, the majority of Kenyans (two-thirds) are Christian and 15% of Kenyans are Muslims. With beliefs, particularly among the ethnic peoples that spirits live on, respect and reverence for deceased ancestors is quintessential. English is the official language spoken in Kenya, while Kiswahili is the national language of Kenya.
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Kenya Travel Tips
- Jambo! (How are you?) is the most popular greeting in Kenya and is usually pursued with a handshake and an inquiry into health, family and business. If you do not inquire, you may be considered ill-mannered.
- When you meet elderly or esteemed people, you should grasp the right wrist with your left hand to show your respect. You should also not eat before them when dining together.
Muslim men/women do not always shake hands with women/men.
- If names are unknown, ladies over 21 years of age are generally called Mama, whilst men over 35 years of age will be called Mzee.
- We recommend you give small gifts, such as pastries, flowers, or sweets, to your hosts whenever you are invited home. In rural areas, tea and coffee is a common and appreciated gift. Never use your left hand to give.
- Cleanliness is an important part of the culture, so do wash your hands before and after eating. When dining, it is polite to finish everything on your plate.
- In Nairobi guests have an opportunity to visit the Masai Market, a local market that offers a variety of curios, jewelry, handmade articles, leather goods, African batik fabrics, kikoys, kangas, shukas, paintings, soapstone carvings and pottery. With the popularity of tourism in Kenya, there are curio shops in all major cities.
- Bargaining is not only a commonly used practice but also a necessary one. Unless you are in a high-end store where prices are fixed, please feel free to bargain on your Kenya tour.
Conserving the Big Five’s Black Rhino in Kenya
How do you ensure an endangered species goes back – and stays on – the safe list? A renewed threat has come to one of Africa’s Big Five – the black rhino in Kenya.
Kenya or Tanzania: Which Wilderness Safari is the One for You?
Have you been dreaming of an Africa safari tour but can’t decide between Kenya or Tanzania? Let’s help you choose the perfect wilderness safari destination for your luxury African tours.
Gorilla Trekking and Safari
11 Days: $ 10,890 / person
Wings over Kenya: Safari and Beach
12 Days: $ 6,990 / person
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“We have used Enchanting Travels twice to help us with our African adventures, and totally appreciate the details and planning. Visiting several countries in Africa requires transfers and planning, and Enchanting were on top of everything.”
“We received complete support from Enchanting’s travel experts from day 1. They were very prompt in developing an itinerary that fit into our budget and interests; answered all our questions with clarity and advised on various options and special arrangements we wanted to make.”
“This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and I. It was first class service from the moment we landed. The ease of having everything pre-booked for us really allowed us to enjoy our trip. I would highly recommend this service for anyone looking to plan a trip like this.”
“We chose Enchanting Travels for a Kenya, South Africa and Botswana trip. We will not hesitate to rely on them in the future. Everyone from start to finish was informative and dependable. Enchanting Travels even surprised us with an awesome dinner experience for just the two of us.”
“We have traveled with Enchanting five years in a row. The travel experience with Enchanting has always been unique and memorable for us, for they offer fully customized itineraries that perfectly suit our needs. They always go above and beyond to fulfill our needs throughout our travel.”
One of the very best travel experiences I have ever had. We even got updates once at 3 am! He also made one change in one day’s itinerary to accommodate our wishes which was very wonderful. For business, I have traveled to Europe, Russia, all over Asia and South Africa but was blown away by all the beautiful sites in Argentina and Chile.
All the little touches made by our Enchanting Travel consultant, Amelia Edwards, were noticed and recognized by my wife and I. Thank you for making our milestone trip (25th wedding anniversary) such a memorable one! We look forward to engaging Enchanting Travels again for our next South American adventure!!
This was my first adventure as a solo traveler. But while I may have traveled on my own, I was never alone. I was well taken care of by a superb team of planners, trip coordinators, guides and drivers.
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