kenya

diving into history: Exploring the indian ocean's rich tapestry in mombasa

I’m thrilled to share our exhilarating experience of swimming in the vast and historically rich waters of the Indian Ocean during our stay in the enchanting city of Mombasa in Kenya.

Join me as we dive not only into the crystal-clear waves but also into the ocean’s captivating past.

As i submerged myself into the warm embrace of the Indian Ocean, little did I realize that I was swimming in a body of water with a history that dates back a staggering 180 million years. The Indian Ocean, a result of the breakup of the supercontinent Gondwanaland, has witnessed the ever-shifting dance of tectonic plates over millions of years.

Picture this: 125 million years ago, the Indian subcontinent embarked on a northward journey, getting cosier with Eurasia. About 53 million years ago, Africa decided to take a westward stroll, parting ways with Antarctica. Today, this immense water expanse finds itself bordered by the vast continents of Asia to the north, Africa to the west, and Australia to the east.

Interestingly, the Indian Ocean stands out among its oceanic siblings. In the Northern Hemisphere, it shyly avoids the Arctic waters and lacks a temperate-to-cold zone. Its coastal beauty is accentuated by fewer islands and narrower continental shelves. Covering approximately 20% of Earth’s surface water, it proudly holds the title of the third-largest oceanic division on our planet.

Now, let’s talk geography. This ocean is a haven for exploration, with the Red Sea and Persian Gulf to the north, the Arabian Sea and Andaman Sea flanking its northwest and northeast, and the stunning Bay of Bengal gracing its northeastern shores. The southern coast of Australia is kissed by the Great Australian Bight, completing the ocean’s diverse landscape.

But it’s not just a pretty face – the Indian Ocean plays a crucial political role. A strategic water body, it was a key player during the Cold War, witnessing the global tug-of-war between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the midst of this geopolitical drama, India chose the path of neutrality, gracefully navigating the turbulent waters.

As I floated on the surface, the ocean’s unique features became apparent. With an asymmetric and semiannually reversing surface circulation in the north, the Indian Ocean stands alone in its characteristics. No separate source of bottom water and highly saline waters from the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea contribute to its distinct personality.

Marvelously, the Indian Ocean connects 57 island groups and fosters direct links between 16 African countries and 18 Asian countries. It’s a testament to the ocean’s role in fostering cultural exchange and trade throughout the centuries.

But what about beneath the surface? The Indian Ocean, known for its limited marine life due to higher water temperatures, resembles a giant warm tub. With the lowest oxygen content globally, it provides little scope for plankton and other species to thrive. Yet, as I swam through its gentle waves, I couldn’t help but feel the magic that this ocean holds.

So there you have it, fellow wanderers – my plunge into the historical and geographical wonders of the Indian Ocean. Mombasa, with its inviting shores, served as the perfect gateway to this extraordinary aquatic realm. Until our next adventure, keep exploring, keep discovering, and may the oceans continue to unfold their secrets before us!



Traveling with Kids to Kenya?  Here is a list of handy things to keep in mind

“The Safari Survival Guide for Tiny Explorers”

After 3yrs of traveling the United States with my family, we are getting ready for some adventures of traveling to Africa and here is how am preparing my American born family for the 17hr trip. 

Gearing Up for the Safari: Our mini-explorers are equipped with tiny binoculars, cameras, worksheets and favorite stuffed animals doubling as safari companions. Consider this their safari squad! I hope to introduce various worksheets and games at different intervals of the journey as we navigate from Nashville to London to Nairobi crossing the oceans and touching 2 either continents. I always encourage them to document their adventures, be it, scribbles in a journal or ‘wildlife photography’ with a camera. They are building a safari chronicle to treasure for the rest of their lives

Language practice is near and dear to me. Born and raised in Kenya, i spoke the national language Swahili for the most part and am teaching the kiddos some swahili common phrases

Loading up on the snack safari as I embrace the ‘snack whisperer’ role. Food allergies are a concern and to make for a less stressful flight, i am packing some healthy snacks…aka our co-travelers allies in adventure.

Creative In-flight Entertainment: As a homeschooling family, we rarely watch shows, we don’t even have a TV subscription! The kids tablets are loaded with several games, our 10yr old will be diving deep into her Kindle and we look forward to some in-flight entertainment sponsored by the flight crew. 

Naps and sleep strategy: We have a total of 17hrs on the air broken into 2, 8hrs and another 8hrs and some. Our regular sleep routine goes from 9p to 6.30am and i do have not yet mastered the delicate art of convincing my tiny humans to nap at moments notice. Perhaps the flight crew will allows us to convert the plane seats into cozy hideouts for our mini-explorers. I am investing in neck pillows and bringing their favorite blankets in the carry on luggage

Mentally preparing myself for the journey, hoping to use humor and creativity as we embrace the journey, its chaos, savor the adventure, and create memories that’ll make this safari an unforgettable family expedition!

Here is a list of items i am packing.

I also paid for Travel protection just in case something happens and we need to make adjustments

  • Medication-Allergy, Pain, Fever
  • Food-dry and powdered food, snacks
  • Mosquito net and repellant/mosquito catcher device
  • Toilet paper 
  • Portable toilets/portable toilet seat cover
  • Electronic Gadgets including headphones
  • Worksheets to learn about Europe Africa and Kenya
  • Board games 
  • Books to read 
  • Journals to write on
  • Wipes



travel TIPS

Travelling To Kenya +254

10 Things to be aware of, before travelling to Kenya.

Visa requirements: Visitors to Kenya must have a valid passport and may also need to obtain a visa before travel.

 

Vaccinations: Some vaccinations, such as yellow fever and typhoid, are recommended or required for travel to Kenya. It’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional or travel clinic before your trip.

Currency: The official currency in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling, but US dollars and other major currencies are widely accepted in tourist areas.

Safety and security: Kenya has a relatively high crime rate, especially in urban areas. Visitors should exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

Power and electricity: Kenya operates on a 240-volt power supply, and it’s advisable to bring a power adapter.

Climate: Kenya has a tropical climate, with temperatures varying depending on the region, but it can be hot and humid, so pack accordingly.

Transportation: Kenya has a well-developed transportation network, with options such as buses, matatus (minibuses), and taxis, but it’s advisable to arrange transportation through a reputable company or tour operator.

 

 

Tipping: Tipping is expected in Kenya, especially in the tourism and service industry, it’s recommended to budget accordingly.

Cultural sensitivity: Kenya is a multi-ethnic country with a rich cultural heritage, and it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions.

Travel insurance: It’s recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance before traveling to Kenya to cover any unexpected medical or other expenses.

Diaspora Visiting Kenya for a long time can rely on this Mind Map when making preparing to return to Kenya

Travel Mind Map

kenya; cradle of humankind

Located in East Africa on the eastern coast of the continent, Kenya is often referred to as the “Cradle of Humankind.” due to the country’s significant archaeological and paleontological discoveries that have provided crucial insights into the early history of human evolution. The Great Rift Valley, a geological feature that runs through Kenya, has been a particularly rich source of such discoveries.

  

The region has yielded numerous fossils, including those of early hominids and extinct species, contributing to our understanding of human evolution. Some of the most famous fossil finds, such as the remains of Homo erectus and Homo habilis, have been uncovered in Kenya. As a result, Kenya has earned the nickname “Cradle of Humankind” for its pivotal role in advancing our knowledge of human ancestry and evolution.

 

Geographical Coordinates of Kenya

  • Latitude: 1.2921° S

  • Longitude: 36.8219° E

Kenya’s position on the equator means that it is precisely bisected by this line and the equator passes through several locations in Kenya, including towns and regions such as Nanyuki, Nyeri, Embu, Meru, and parts of the Rift Valley.

Here are a few key points regarding Kenya’s location on the equator:

  1. Climate: Being on the equator, Kenya experiences a tropical climate. This generally means consistent temperatures throughout the year, with two main seasons—wet and dry. The equatorial location contributes to the warmth and high humidity in many parts of the country.

  2. Day and Night Length: Near the equator, the length of day and night remains relatively constant throughout the year. Kenya experiences roughly 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness, with only slight variations.

  3. Solar Intensity: Areas near the equator receive more direct sunlight compared to regions farther from the equator. This results in a higher solar intensity, influencing the ecosystems and biodiversity found in these regions.

  4. Coriolis Effect: The Coriolis effect, caused by the Earth’s rotation, is minimal near the equator. This means that weather systems, including hurricanes and typhoons, generally do not form directly on the equator. However, they can influence weather patterns in nearby regions.

      

Major Geographical Features:

  1. Great Rift Valley: The East African Rift runs through the western part of Kenya, featuring stunning landscapes, escarpments, and volcanic formations. It should be noted that The Great Rift Valley is a tectonic plate boundary that extends from Lebanon in Asia to Mozambique in Southeast Africa. It is a complex geological feature where the Earth’s crust is slowly pulling apart, leading to the formation of rifts and faults.

  2. Mount Kenya: Africa’s second-highest peak, Mount Kenya, is a prominent geographical feature located in the central part of the country. It is an extinct stratovolcano with three peaks.

  3. Kenyan Highlands: These highlands cover the central and western parts of the country, characterized by fertile plateaus and rolling hills.

  4. Great Lakes: Kenya is home to several great lakes, including Lake Victoria (shared with Uganda and Tanzania), Lake Turkana, and Lake Naivasha.

  5. Coastal Plain: The Indian Ocean borders Kenya to the southeast, and the coastal plain along the ocean features beautiful beaches and coral reefs.

Bordering Countries:

  1. Ethiopia to the North: Kenya shares its northern border with Ethiopia.

  2. Somalia to the East: The eastern border of Kenya is shared with Somalia.

  3. Tanzania to the South: To the south, Kenya shares a border with Tanzania.

  4. Uganda to the West: Uganda is located to the west of Kenya.

  5. South Sudan to the Northwest: The northwest border of Kenya is shared with South Sudan.

     Kenya | Culture, Facts & Kenya Travel | CountryReports - CountryReports 

    History:

    Kenya’s history is deeply rooted in its pre-colonial era when various ethnic groups, such as the Maasai and Kikuyu, thrived. The coastal regions were influenced by Arab traders and later became a hub for Swahili culture. Colonialism left a significant impact, with Kenya gaining independence from British rule in 1963, marking the beginning of a new chapter in its history.

    Geography:

    Kenya’s geographical diversity is breathtaking. The Great Rift Valley traverses the country, offering stunning landscapes. Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak, dominates the central region, while the coastal areas boast beautiful beaches along the Indian Ocean. Wildlife-rich savannahs, expansive lakes, and lush forests contribute to Kenya’s diverse ecosystem.

    Religion:

    Religious diversity is evident in Kenya, with the majority of the population practicing Christianity and Islam. Indigenous beliefs and practices also hold cultural significance, especially among various ethnic communities. Mosques and churches coexist harmoniously, reflecting the country’s pluralistic ethos.

    Political Structure:

    Kenya is a presidential representative democratic republic. The President is both the head of state and government. Over the years, Kenya has navigated a political landscape marked by democratic transitions and constitutional reforms, striving for stability and inclusivity.

    Cultural Aspects:

    Kenya’s cultural mosaic is vibrant and multifaceted. Traditional music, dance, and art are integral to various ethnic identities. The Maasai’s distinctive attire, beadwork, and rituals, for instance, showcase Kenya’s cultural diversity. The Swahili language, spoken along the coast, serves as a unifying linguistic thread among different communities.

    Economic Aspects:

    Kenya’s economy is dynamic and diverse. Agriculture, including tea and coffee production, plays a crucial role. The country has also embraced technology, with Nairobi gaining the nickname “Silicon Savannah” for its burgeoning tech industry. Tourism thrives due to the country’s natural wonders, including the Maasai Mara National Reserve, renowned for the annual wildebeest migration.

    In conclusion, Kenya offers a wide range of unique and uncommon experiences for residents and visa.

    Karibu (welcome) Kenya

 

Hidden Gems in Kenya

The Aberdare National Park: This park offers lots of Unique and unspoiled wilderness experience, with a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, black rhinos, leopards, and several species of antelope. The park is also home to several rivers, waterfalls and the Kinangop Plateau, which provides a great view of the park. The park is known for its tree-climbing lions, which can be seen in the Salient area.

http://www.kws.go.ke/content/aberdare-national-park

 

Lake Bogoria: This is a stunning soda lake and home to thousands of flamingos and other bird species, as well as geysers and hot springs which are caused by volcanic activity beneath the lake bed. Visitors can also enjoy a soak in the hot springs, which are said to have therapeutic properties.

https://www.kenyasafari.com/lake-bogoria.html

 

The Meru National Park: This park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, lions, and leopards, as well as over 400 species of birds. The park is also home to several rivers, and the Tana River, which is the longest river in Kenya. The park offers a great opportunity to explore its wilderness and spot wildlife.

http://www.kws.go.ke/content/meru-national-park

 

The Mara Triangle: This secluded region of the Maasai Mara offers a more peaceful and off-the-beaten-path safari experience. The region is known for its wildebeest migration whereby you can view the dramatic river crossings during the great migration  between July and October. Visitors can also see other wildlife, including lions, elephants, zebras and giraffes.

https://www.masaimara.com/mara-triangle.php

 

The Samburu National Reserve: From camel trekking safaris to less costly bush meals and nature walks or wildlife treks, this is home to a wide range of unique and endangered species, including the Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, and Reticulated giraffe. The reserve is also home to several rivers and waterfalls, which are a great place to spot wildlife and birds. Visitors can also enjoy cultural tours to the local Samburu people, who are known for their distinctive customs and traditional dances.

https://www.samburureserve.com

 

The Shimba Hills National Reserve: This reserve is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and several species of antelope, as well as over 300 species of birds. The reserve is also home to a number of waterfalls, including the Mwalau waterfall, which is a popular spot for picnics and swimming. The reserve offers a great opportunity to explore its wilderness and spot wildlife.

http://www.kws.go.ke/content/shimba-hills-national-reserve

The Tana River: This beautiful river flows from the Aberdare Mountains and enters the Indian Ocean at Formosa Bay, Kipini. It is home to a wide range of fish species, as well as crocodiles and hippos, and is a popular spot for fishing and river rafting. The river is also home to several communities, including the Pokomo and Orma people, who have a rich culture and tradition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tana_River_(Kenya)

 

The Kakamega Forest: This lush rainforest is home to a wide variety of primates, including the endangered De Brazza’s monkey, as well as over 300 species of birds. The forest is also home to several rivers and waterfalls, which are a great place to spot wildlife and birds. Visitors can also enjoy cultural tours to the local Luhya people, who are known for their distinctive customs and traditional dances. Don’t miss the viewpoint of Buyangu Hill with the wonderful overview of the surrounding forest at sunrise.

http://www.kws.go.ke/content/kakamega-forest-national-reserve

 

The Chyulu Hills National Park: This park offers a unique combination of volcanic landscapes and diverse wildlife, including elephants, zebras, and several species of antelope. The park is also home to several volcanic cones and caves, which are a great place to explore.Chyulu hills divides the Tsavo and Amboseli plains and offers some of the best views of Mt Kilimanjaro in neighboring country Tanzania.

https://www.andbeyond.com/destinations/africa/kenya/chyulu-national-park/

Learn more about tips for traveling to Kenya here

https://www.afericanjourneys.org/travel/

swahili to go

How did Swahili become popular in Africa?

Swahili is among the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world and the only African language within the Directorate of the Global Communications at the United Nations.

Swahili is among the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world and the only African language within the Directorate of the Global Communications at the United Nations.

On 7 July 1954, Tanganyika African National Union (TANU) leader Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the eventual first President of Tanzania, adopted the Swahili Language as a unifying language for African independence struggles. Jomo Kenyatta, the first President of Kenya, followed suit and also used the Swahili language to mobilize and unify the people of Kenya in the struggle against colonialism through the use of the popular “Harambee” slogan. The East African Community (EAC) was re-established to rekindle the spirit of cooperation and integration among the East African people of the United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda where Kiswahili language is widely spoken. Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan later joined the EAC and are now members.

 

7 JULY OF EACH YEAR IS WORLD KISWAHILI LANGUAGE DAY AS DECLARED BY UNESCO MEMBER STATES IN ITS 41ST SESSION, PARIS, 2021.

swahili is among the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world and the only African language within the Directorate of the Global Communications at the United Nations.

 

 

 

Aferican journey travel

Swahili, also known as Kiswahili, is a Bantu language that originated on the East African coast, particularly in the region that is now modern-day Tanzania, Kenya, and parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and Rwanda. The history and development of Swahili can be traced back to several influences and interactions over the centuries.

Bantu Roots: The core of the Swahili language is of Bantu origin. Bantu is a major language family in Africa, and many Bantu-speaking people lived in the region. Swahili incorporates Bantu grammar, vocabulary, and structure.

Arab Influence: The Swahili language has been significantly influenced by the Arabic language and culture due to the historical trade connections between the East African coast and the Arab world. Swahili has borrowed a considerable number of words from Arabic, especially in fields like religion, commerce, and everyday life.

Persian and Indian Influences: Swahili has also incorporated vocabulary and cultural elements from Persian and Indian languages, particularly in relation to trade and cuisine. This influence is due to historical trade connections along the Indian Ocean coast.

Portuguese and European Contacts: During the Age of Exploration, Portuguese explorers and traders arrived in the East African region. This contact led to the incorporation of some Portuguese words into Swahili. Subsequent European colonial powers, such as the British and Germans, also had an impact on the language.

African Roots and Dialects: Swahili evolved from interactions between various Bantu-speaking communities living along the East African coast. Different dialects of Swahili developed in various regions, and over time, a standardized version, known as KiSwahili, was developed to facilitate communication between different groups.

Swahili as a Lingua Franca: Swahili became a lingua franca in the region, as it allowed people from diverse linguistic backgrounds to communicate with each other. This role as a common language contributed to the language’s development and spread.

Independence and Modern Usage: Swahili was adopted as one of the official languages in many East African countries after gaining independence from colonial rule. It plays a significant role in education, government, and the media in these countries. It is also one of the official languages of the African Union.

Swahili’s rich history and diverse linguistic influences make it a unique language with a strong cultural and historical significance in East Africa. It continues to evolve and thrive as a widely spoken language in the region and is one of the most widely spoken languages in Africa.

 

NUmbers
Days of the week
Useful Expressions
Parts of the body
Sehemu Za Mwili
parts of the body
Sehemu Za Mwili

kenyan meals, snacks, delicacies

yummy Mandazi 

dairy free, egg free

Ingredients

  • 3 cups organic baking flour
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2tbs chia seeds
  • ½ cup coconut flakes to make 12oz milk
  • Coconut oil for deep frying

How To Make

  • Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cardamom, cinnamon and salt.
  • Combine coconut milk and chia seeds
  • Mix together until the dough comes together.
  • Place dough on clean floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide the dough into 4 portions. Roll out 1 portion of dough into a circle about ¼in thick. Cut into 8 triangles. Repeat with the remaining dough portions.
  • Heat the oil in a large pot 350˚F ).
  • Using small batches, fry the mandazi for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown
  • Drain and serve as breakfast or a snack

Dairy Free, Egg Free