Thursday, April 24, 2014, 6:35am
Introduction to KENYA
Date travelled: 26th January to 10th February 1997
Tour Operator: Somak
The Giriama tribe, the largest among the coastal tribes of Kenya, are staunchly proud of their traditional customs. They resisted colonial influences, particularly conversion to Christianity. A female warrior called Mekatilili wa Menza became a Giriama folk hero by actively fighting to protect her people from Christian missionaries. They have a rich traditional dance culture and use a lot of jewelry as part of the dance costume. Life in the villages of this district, called Kwale, is at a much more relaxed pace. The climate is ideal for the growth of coconuts, sugar cane, cashew nuts and fresh fruits. It is known for the production of palm wine, a popular local drink and is worth a visit.
The Bombolulu workshops were founded in 1969. It is a major tourist attraction which consists of a Cultural Centre with 8 traditional homesteads. The Centre also runs a traditional Restaurant and entertains guests with traditional dances throughout the day. The Centre is run by the "Association for the physically disabled" and employs 150-disabled craftsmen/women who produce jewellery, handprinted textiles, wood carvings and leather crafts.
Ngomongo Village is a miniature reflection of tribal community groundings. Sample their lifestyles and culture in the different tribal huts and catch a real life glimpse of what may have been before "Civilization" set in. A number of traditional huts serving different tribal groundings have been recreated in this theme village. Watch or participate in the traditional food preparation, sample the various local brews and marvel or participate in the tribal dances.
The Portuguese built Fort Jesus in 1593 to guard Mombasa Harbor and secure the safety of Portuguese colonists on Africa's eastern coast. Over the next 300 or so years it changed hands between Portugal and Oman approximately nine times. When Britain made Kenya a colony in 1895, it turned Fort Jesus into a prison. When Kenya attained independence in 1958, it declared Fort Jesus a historical monument, which now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors a year.
This amazing habitat, Bamburi Nature Trail, the largest animal sanctuary in Mombasa, has been restored from a cement factory and is now home to a large number of bird species, several hippos, crocodiles, antelopes and giant tortoise. A walk around the trail is the ideal way to look at the various animals found within.
There are many different safaris on offer, varying in length and location. A two day safari in Tsavo Hills is a gentle introduction to the wildlife. The photograph on the left is of Treetops in the Aberdares National Park where we stayed for one night whilst in Kenya. The game lodge overlooks a waterhole and salt lick, which attracts a host of wildlife and, with its open platforms and decks, provides excellent viewing and photographic opportunities.
Crocodile Farm & Snake Park
Akamba Wood Carvers
** Information on the travel pages was correct at the time of publishing. Passport & Visa information applies to UK citizens.