KENYA WILDLIFE SAFARI
Are you thinking about going on a safari in Kenya? You may already be aware that Kenya is one of Africa’s best safari destinations. But did you know there are a plethora of little-known historical facts about Kenyan safaris? In this article, we’ll look at some of Kenya’s lesser-known and fascinating facts about safaris.
Kenya is a popular safari destination with fascinating, enthralling, and occasionally little-known Kenya safari facts. It is the birthplace of the African safari, providing up-close encounters with some of the world’s most magnificent animals as they meander across its grassy savannah.
Nothing beats a safari vacation in Kenya, with its stunning scenery, incredible wildlife, vibrant culture, and diverse flora. Now, every country in Africa claims to be the origin of safari, and this distinction isn’t really worth arguing about because what matters is that a visitor has a good time. Can we, however, digress a little and say that East Africa, specifically Kenya, is the birthplace of wildlife exploration in the form of safari? We can now get into some fascinating Kenyan wildlife facts.
Whether you’ve been dying to visit the Masai Mara your entire life or you simply enjoy absorbing random trivia knowledge, here are 15 interesting facts about Kenya to add to your memory bank.
QUICK FACTS TO KNOW
- Name: Republic of Kenya
- Population: approximately 54 million people.
- Capital city: Nairobi
- Currency: Kenyan shilling
- National Day: Jamuhuri Day, December 12 (Independence Day)
OTHER FACTS TO KNOW
- Kenya has about 50 national parks and reserves.
You’ve most likely heard of the Masai Mara and Amboseli National Parks. Both are Kenya’s popular safari destinations, and Amboseli provides unrivaled views of Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro. But did you know that Kenya has about 50 national parks and reserves? The Kenya Wildlife Service manages and maintains 22 national parks and 28 national reserves, ensuring that the land’s native wildlife is protected from hunters and poachers.
- Kenya’s first national park was established in 1946.
Nairobi National Park, Kenya’s first national park, was established in 1946. The park is only a few miles from Nairobi’s central business district. It has 117 square kilometers of land and is home to a variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, buffalos, and giraffes. The park also has over 400 different bird species.
- The Great Rift Valley was formed more than 25 million years ago.
This is most likely one of the most fascinating facts about Kenya. The Great Rift Valley, also known as the East African Rift Valley, cuts through Kenya from north to south. It is approximately 6500 kilometers long and 60 kilometers wide and was formed more than 25 million years ago by geological tension in the earth’s crust. The wide valley allowed for the formation of many lakes, resulting in unique habitats for the country’s wildlife.
- There are over 60 languages spoken in Kenya.
Even though there are only two official languages in Kenya—English and Kiswahili, also known as Swahili—there are 68 other languages that are widely spoken there. If you’re taking a Kenya safari tour, say “Jambo” to say hello or “Habari” for “Good day, how are you?” to the people you meet.
- The first recorded safari to Kenya took place in 1836.
The history of safaris in Kenya is extensive and dates back to the early 19th century. In 1836, a British explorer by the name of William Cornwallis Harris went on the first known safari to Kenya while conducting a hunting expedition there. Harris was a skilled hunter who had traveled to South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula in the past. He pursued elephants, rhinos, and other large game during his safari in Kenya.
- Queen Elizabeth II went on a safari in Kenya in 1952.
A young British princess named Elizabeth, who would later become Queen Elizabeth II, and her husband, Prince Philip, went on a safari in Kenya in 1952. In Aberdare National Park, the couple stayed at the Treetops Hotel. They discovered there that Elizabeth had become the new queen following the passing of her father, King George VI. The Treetops Hotel is now a well-known safari destination in Kenya because of its breathtaking wildlife views.
- Kenya’s safari industry suffered a downturn in the 1980s and 1990s.
Due to political unrest and poaching, Kenya’s safari industry experienced a decline in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, poaching was a significant issue, decimating many of Kenya’s wildlife populations. However, Kenya’s wildlife populations started to recover in the late 1990s and early 2000s after the government and conservation groups launched a successful anti-poaching campaign. Today, Kenya’s safari sector is booming, and the nation is once again one of Africa’s premier safari locations.
- Kenya’s first female safari guide was trained in 1983.
The Kenya Wildlife Service trained Jacinta Nzioka, the country’s first female safari guide, in 1983. Nzioka overcame obstacles and paved the way for other women to work in the largely male-dominated safari sector. In Kenya today, there are a lot of female safari guides, and people value them greatly for their knowledge and experience.
- Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa.
A fascinating fact about Kenya is that Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, behind Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Kenya’s national animal is the East African lion.
The East African lion is Kenya’s national animal, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature currently rates this species as vulnerable. The African lion is one of the “Big 5,” along with the African leopard, African elephant, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros, which are all magnificent creatures native to the continent.
- Lake Turkana is the world’s largest desert lake.
Despite being the largest desert lake in the world, Lake Turkana is also the largest lake in Kenya. It is a part of the three Lake Turkana National Parks: Sibiloi National Park, Central Island National Park, and South Island National Park, and is situated in the northern portion of the Great Rift Valley.
- Coffee is the country’s most valuable export.
Kenya exported coffee worth roughly 4.56 billion Kenyan shillings (or over 40.2 million US dollars) in March 2021. Since most Kenyans don’t actually drink coffee and only a small amount is sold domestically, locals place such a high value on the commodity.
- Kenya is home to some of the most endangered wildlife species in the world.
Black rhinos, white rhinos, Grevy’s zebras, and mountain bongos are just a few of the wildlife species that call Kenya home and are among the most endangered in the world. The nation has started a number of conservation projects to safeguard these species and their habitats. By visiting national parks and reserves, tourists can contribute to these conservation efforts and learn more about Kenya’s wildlife.
- The Great Wildebeest Migration has no beginning or end point.
One of the most fascinating facts about Kenya is that although many people believe the Great Migration only occurs once a year, in reality it is a year-round natural phenomenon that technically has no “start” or ‘finish’ points. One of the best places to see this one of nature’s most spectacular displays is in Kenya’s Masai Mara Nature Reserve, where wildebeest, zebra, and antelope migrate in a clockwise loop between Kenya and Tanzania.
- Kenya’s safari lodges are among the most luxurious in Africa.
Safari lodges in Kenya are renowned for their comfort and luxury. A lot of the lodges are situated in outlying areas and provide breathtaking views of the African countryside. For guests to arrive in style, some lodges even have their own personal airstrips. Numerous lodges also provide spa services, fine dining, and other luxuries to make guests’ safari experiences as cozy and pleasurable as possible.
WHAT IS KENYA KNOWN FOR?
With 50 magnificent national parks and reserves that are home to a variety of wildlife, including the Big Five—lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalo—Kenya is renowned as the best safari destination in the world.
WHAT IS KENYA’S OLD NAME?
Since Kenya was a part of the British Empire in Africa from 1920 to 1963, it was formerly known as British Kenya. The date of December 12, 1963, when Kenya gained independence from Great Britain, is now known as Jamuhuri Day.
One of the best safari Destinations in Africa is Kenya, which has a long history of safaris. Visitors can now take safari tours that concentrate on wildlife observation and conservation because the country’s safari industry has transitioned from hunting to eco-tourism.
In order to preserve these species and their habitats, Kenya has launched a number of conservation initiatives. The country is also home to some of the most endangered wildlife species in the world. No matter if you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, Kenya’s safaris offer an unforgettable and distinctive experience that you won’t find anywhere else.