Kenya

Kenya

Monday, 20 May, 2024

Located on the east coast of Africa, Kenya is a fantastic place to explore Swahili culture and get close to exotic wildlife — lions, elephants, cheetahs, giraffes, impalas, gazelles, warthogs, wildebeests, and so many birds.

The capital city of Nairobi sits on a plateau between the Indian Ocean (hello, picturesque beaches!) and the Great Rift Valley (lush green hills, blue lakes, hot pink flamingoes). Nairobi hums with energy and everything you’d expect in a major capital. The city also gets a little wild — literally — with Nairobi National Park inside the city limits.

As you might expect in Africa, Kenyan history is basically two big buckets: before colonialism and after. The rich influences that led to the Swahili culture — Arab, Persian, Indian, and African — are all on display in cities like Mombasa. Wander the narrow alleys and take in the romantic architecture, then cruise on a white-sailed dhow to the nearby island of Zanzibar.

Outside the cities, get ready for outdoor adventures with a jeep safari, a hike on Mt. Kenya, a cycling tour through Hell’s Gate (!), or a visit to a Maasai village to experience their traditional lifestyle.

our podcast

In this episode, we daydream about safari animals, listen to African music, and explore why Kenyans are such fantastic runners. Then we recommend five great books that transported us to Kenya on the page, including an epic poem, a deeply moving graphic novel, a memoir of derring-do, a challenging family saga, and a sweet rom-com about bird-watching. (show notes / transcript)

recommended books

Dust

buy | read review

West with the Night

buy | read review

The Perfect Nine

buy | read review

The Perfect Nine

buy | read review

When Stars Are Scattered

buy | read review

When Stars Are Scattered

buy | read review

A Guide to the Birds of East Africa

buy | read review

Top image courtesy of Juliya Shangarey/Shutterstock.

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featured posts

There are so many things to see and do in Kenya. Yes, you can go on a safari. (Glamping, anyone?) You can also meet the Maasai in a traditional village and stroll narrow lanes in the romantic coastal city of Mombasa.
This poem and interview with its author are like a warm shot of direct sun to brighten your day and make you feel unstoppable. It's happy, inviting, tender, and triumphant. Treat yourself to a few feel-good moments.
Get ready to fall in love with Kenya's otherworldly beauty, majestic wildlife, and welcoming culture. You can visit a Maasai village, cruise on a white-sailed ship at sunset, and relive epic adventures of the past.

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