Kenya Culture safaris: Kenyan Culture, history, food people safaris tours

Published: 04th December 2006
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Kenyan cultures

Kenya is a diverse country, with many different cultures represented. Notable cultures include the Swahili on the coast, pastoralist communities in the north, and several different communities in the central and western regions. Today, the Massai culture is the best known, due to its heavy exposure from tourism.

Kenya's culture is both varied and fragmented. Nowhere else in Africa is there such a large number of ancient cultures, all alive and well in no hurry to change.

Each cultural / ethnic group have their unique traditional arts & crafts, architecture in homestead designs, clothing and jewellery, food, social and economic activities etc.

Kenyan Tribes

Kenya is bestowed with well over 40 different ethnic groups with different languages and dialects, customs, beliefs and lifestyles. Unique of all tribes is the Elmolo, Kenya's smallest group which is a surviving tribe just emerging from the stone age standard of living usually described as the race that has stood the test of time.

The Kenyan Maasai people

The well known Maasai too, famous for their warriorship, have a strong practical lifestyle which is basically seen to represent Kenya's traditions by foreigners. The Maasai land incorporates many of the National Parks like Amboseli, Mara, Tsavo and Nairobi National Park is now involved in the wildlife conservation projects to encourage eco-tourism.

This enables the Maasai tribe to make a living from conservation and is an important factor in the preservation of wildlife habitats outside the Parks. Visitors can experience a unique holiday leaving about their culture, wildlife and ecosystem of this fascinating tribal people.

Going on a cultural Kenyan tour

Landmark Safaris in Kenya includes cultural trips into the traditional villages where tourists can visit, talk and live with the people, experience their lifestyles, customs etc.

Swahili culture in Kenya

Another spectacular culture is the Swahili, an urban culture along the East African coast. The Swahili do not form an ethnic unit, however, since the population of the coastal region comprises Bantu, Arab, Persian, Indian and Indonesian peoples who all speak their language "Swahili", a Bantu language.

It is interesting to note that the complex cultures of the Coastal population developed independently and without affecting the cultural development of the peoples inland. The latter were only of interest to the coastal dwellers as suppliers of slaves and Ivory, the mainstays of trade along the coast.

Kenya cultural destination

Lamu is one of the last viable remnants of the Swahili civilisation, which was the dominant cultural force all along the Kenyan coast. It is a place of fantasy, wrapped in a clock of medieval romance known as the "Kathmandu" of Africa.
Kenya's culture starts with the cradle of mankind.

Kenya, the cradle of Mankind

Man was born on the eastern shores of Lake Rudolf, now Lake Turkana, according to recent fossil evidence, which makes Kenya the "Biblical Garden of Eden, from which descendants moved out to populate the world."

A reverse migration began nine to ten thousand years ago when Kenya became the point of contact in Africa for the Stone Age and civilisation, spreading from the Mediterranean through to Southern Arabia.

Successive invasions, until the British colonisation in the late 19th Century, have left their mark in the rich mixture of tribes, race and customs seen in Kenya today in meeting and learning about these people, their cultures and traditions and of discovering that there are still remnants of the full span of evolution, starting with the original bushmen.

National Museums of Kenya

The National Museums of Kenya runs one National Museum in Nairobi and seven other regional museums elsewhere in the country enhancing Kenya's rich cultural heritage. The museums have material culture in the Ethnography departments, which are a reflection of their skill, habit and religious beliefs.

Robert is a tour operator with Landmark Safaris. To tailor your own Kenyan cultural safari visit

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