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15 Things You Didn’t Know about Kenya

6 July 2021

Kenya Is a Beautiful Country. Find Out All That It Has to Offer.

For many people, the most “Kenya” they have experienced is Lindsay Lohan’s awkward “Jambo” in the film Mean Girls.

There’s more to Kenya than Jambo, and we’re here to bring you facts about the jumping tribe, Kenya’s huge crack, a women’s only village, warm beer and how Obama is connected.

Here are 15 Things you didn’t know about Kenya.

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Instead of reading this boring lifeless article, head over to the video version and have a look at some amazing views of Kenya.

With that out of the way, let’s bounce back to the article.

1

Kenya Has Its Own Monopoly Game

Forget St James Place or New York Avenue, Kenya has its own Monopoly game in the country called Kumiliki.

The rules are the same; hot property changes hands as players build up their wealth through acquiring good assets. In Kumiliki the hottest properties are Muthaiga, the area where the President lives, and the home of Karen Blixen from the famous biography Out of Africa.

No top hats and ships here, in the OG version soapstone animals are hand carved, and in the upgraded version even the huts, in place of houses, are hand-carved stone.

We especially love the name for the pink Community chest cards: in Kenya’s Swahili language it is Bahati!

More on Kenya’s mother tongues coming up soon.

2

School Is Free

In 2003, the then president, Mwai Kibaki, declared schooling free once more. Kimani Maruge, an 84-year-old farmer signed up to primary school. He was elected head boy at the age of 86 and was the worlds oldest person to enrol in primary school.

In 2009 an audit of Kenya’s education reaped poor results. So, the system has been revised in recent years to uplift the standard of education. We wish Kenya all the best with this initiative; at Alux we know that education unlocks the world.

Aluxers, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel before we head into number 3.

3

Most Tourists Miss the Beaches, but They Are Beautiful

When people think of Kenya, they picture grassy plains and animal migrations. But Kenya has 536 kilometres of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline. The warm waters, fine white sand and protected coral reefs are some of the worlds best.

Beach resorts and hotel chains offer you a similar experience to any international destination but at affordable rates. Beaches are shark free, so take a dip at Diani, Watamu or Malindi beach, to name a few.

If you want to explore more beaches in Africa, check out 10 Best Beaches in Africa

4

There Is a Woman Only Village

It sounds like a fairy tale come true for some, but its reality. Kenya has a village that is 100% women only. Sadly, Umoja Village wasn’t created out of a happy ending. Rebecca Lolosoli founded the village in 1990. She had been beaten and thrown out of her community for disagreeing with Female Genital Mutilation practices.

Umoja means Unity in Swahili and it started with 15 villagers. Now there are 37 women and children. They construct their own homes and have made a school.

The village is more than a haven, it is a turning point in Kenya’s history. The women of Umojya are in talks to be granted the title deed to a tract of grazing land by the county government. This will be a huge advancement for women’s rights in the country as according to Kenya Land Alliance, women in Kenya own less than 2% of all titled land.

5

Kenya Has 68 Spoken Languages

Nope I am not speaking Swahili, Kenya indeed has 68 languages!  

Swahili and English are the official languages of Kenya. But over a million people speak the languages or Kikuyu, Luo and Luyia, as well as Kamba and Kalenjin.

If you’d like to hear some of those languages, we’d suggest booking your trip by using AirBnB…

We always use it, so we partnered with them to give you a discount. Go to alux.com/airbnb and get 25$ off your first trip.

6

Kenya Doesn’t Have 4 Seasons

In Kenya you can forget 4 seasons. There aren’t the kinds of seasonal definitions of a New York autumn or springtime in Paris. In Kenya, the climate is much milder with just 2 seasons really: The rainy season, and the dry season.

Except for the coastal region that can get humid and reach 30-degrees, or the mountainous areas of the country where it can get cold, most of Kenya is mild all the time.

7

Run, Kenya, Run

The Kalenjin tribe is known as “the running tribe” because of their unprecedented amount of world breaking runners they produce. The small tribe have been studied by sport scientists who are convinced that superior genetics are what contributes to their athletic success. However, many think that the Kalenjin’s training environment and high starch diet are what gives them the advantage.

8

Maasai Tribe

You know those videos you see of people jumping head height, well that’s the Maasai tribe!

The jumping dance is called adamu. It is practiced by the 1 million strong tribe as a coming-of-age tradition. It’s also one of the ways young men attract a bride. The Maasai men can jump as high as 8-ft off the ground… that’s on the spot, no run up. Give it a try and let us know how you do.

9

Lamu Island Is an Island with No Traffic Lights

Kenya’s Lamu Island, has no cars. Travel is by foot, donkey or dhow. There are only 2 cars on the island, one owned by the governor and only for official occasions, the other an ambulance for donkeys.

The island is a leisure paradise with sandy beaches, fishing, and endless local cuisine. Lamu has small winding roads that are perfect for exploring the island pole-pole, a Swahili phrase for “slow or laid back living”. 

10

You Can Straddle the Equator

Why choose one hemisphere when you can be in both at the same time? The equator runs right through Kenya, and you can visit the line and jump back and forth to your hearts content.

There are all kinds of fun signs and markings all through Kenya at the equator line. These make your photos even more authentic to prove you visited “middle earth”.

11

Kenya Has a 6,000-Kilometre Crack

Plumbers have nothing on Kenya’s crack. 20 million years ago the earths crust cracked open when the massive continent of Pangea broke into separate continents. This formed the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. The giant valley is nearly 6,000 kilometres long, 220kms wide and up to 2kms deep.

To compare, the Grand Canyon is only 277km long, 18kms wide and 1.8kms deep at its maximum.

12

Women Are Empowered

Kenya boasts a lot of prize winners, but one particularly notable winner of the country is Professor Wangari Maathai. In 2004 she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her conservation and environmental work, and her dedication to women’s rights. She was the first African women to with the prize, as well as the first environmentalist to ever win a Nobel Peace Prize.

Asante-sana, Prof Maathai.

13

The Wildebeest Migration

Every July to October the plains of the Maasai Mara national reserve are on the move. During the season over 2 million animals will migrate from the Serengeti National Park in neighbouring Tanzania to Kenya’s “greener pastures”.

The natural spectacle is described as a sea of moving animals. This great migration is listed as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World.

14

What Is the Obama Connection?

Was Trump right about Obama? Trump loved to lament that former president Obama was a foreigner, born in an ever-changing number of “exotic places”.

Here is the truth behind the Obama-Kenya connection.

Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was a Kenyan senior governmental economist and the father of former US president Barack Obama. He was born in 1934 in Rachuonyo District on the shores of Lake Victoria. His family are part of the Luo ethnic group. He was selected to attend college in the United States and studied at the University of Hawaii, there he was married, and his son Barrack Jr was born.

15

Kenya Produces the Most Coffee and Drinks the Least

When you consider the amount of coffee that comes from Kenya you probably think that the black gold that gets you up in the morning is a firm favourite in the country of origin. But the truth is that Kenyan locals don’t care much for coffee. Kenya exports over $20 million dollars’ worth of coffee monthly.

Question:

What is the number 1 reason you will visit Kenya?