Kenya

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Kenya
Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa, bordered on the north by South Sudan and Ethiopia, on the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, on the south by Tanzania and on the west by Uganda. The capital and most populous city is Nairobi. The country is situated on the equator. The area of ​​Kenya covers 581 309 km². Its name originates from Mount Kenya, its highest geographical point and the second highest mountain in Africa.

Lake Victoria, the world's second largest freshwater lake and largest tropical lake in the world, is located southwest of the country and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya is famous for its safaris and various wildlife reserves and national parks such as the Tsavo West National Park, the Masai Mara, the Nakuru Lake and the Aberdares National Park. There are several world heritage sites such as Lamu, and world-renowned beaches such as Kilifi, where international yachting competitions are held every year.

The African Great Lakes region, of which Kenya is a part, has been inhabited by humans since the Lower Paleolithic period. The Bantu expansion reached the West-Central Africa area in the first millennium AD, and the borders of the modern state of Kenya comprise areas of the ethno-linguistic continent of Niger-Congolese, Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asian languages, making Kenya a multi-cultural country. The European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates back to the beginning of the modern period, but European exploration in the interior began only in the nineteenth century. The British Empire established the protectorate of British East Africa in 1895, known since 1920 as the Colony Kenya. The Republic of Kenya became independent in December 1963. By a referendum in August 2010, and the adoption of a new constitution, Kenya is now divided into 47 semi-autonomous counties, governed by governors-elect.

The capital, Nairobi, is a regional shopping center. Kenya's economy is the largest in East and Central Africa. Agriculture is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and, more recently, fresh flowers to Europe. The service sector is one of the main drivers of the economy. Kenya is a member of the United Nations (UN), the African Union (AU) and the East African Community (EAC).
Official language
English and Swahili
Currency
Kenyan Shilling
Documentation
Passport with at least 6 months validity and entry visa required.

Since 1 January 2014 the East African Tourist Visa (EAVT) has been in force, covering Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
 
The EAVT is a 90-day, multi-entry visa at a cost of about US $ 100 and allows free movement between the three countries. The visa holder must enter through the issuing country and then travel to the remaining countries. The visa is not working and can not be extended.
 
Visas for Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda may be required in the diplomatic representations of those countries.
 
You may be asked for a yellow fever vaccination certificate, in particular if you are traveling from another African country.
 
The export of ivory, fur and turtle shells, among others, is expressly prohibited (consult the Kenya Wildlife Service locally).
Tourism
Kenya has some national parks where you can find large African mammals such as lions, elephants, giraffes, buffalo, cheetahs, leopards and others, suitable for Kenya's famous safaris.

The highest point is Mount Kenya, 5.19 m, the second highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro.

The pink flamingos (phoeniconaias minor) at Nakuru Lake, Rift Valley, Nakuru, a shallow lake of saline and alkaline waters, due to the volcanic features of the region with its large amount of algae in the lake that attract the flamingos and their alkaline waters which distract predators, and the zebras grazing in Amboseli National Park are more than enough attractions to visit this country.
Gastronomy
The gastronomy of Kenya is specialized in meat in the interior and fish in the coastal areas.

The meat is usually served stew or grilled and can be of goat, pork, veal or ox. Typical are goat kebabs, veal sausages, irio, minced bean, potatoes and other vegetables, githeri, beans, potatoes and vegetables without mincing, matoke, steamed banana piré and ugali.

As fish stands out trout, perch, rock cod, parrotfish and some clams, such as giant crawfish, small crabs, oysters and lobster. It is very typical the dish known as "prawns pili pili", prepared with the pili pili sauce.

Fruits are used for both cooking and salads. It stands out the banana, the coconut, the apple, the pineapple, the papaya, the mango, the potatoes and the fruits of the bread-tree. Potatoes, corn, rice, avocados, asparagus, artichokes, and vegetables are also widely consumed.

Although Kenyan food is delicious, not all stomachs admit it. Therefore, it is advisable to eat carefully, starting with the milder dishes combined with international food and gradually increasing the consumption of typically African dishes.
Weather
The country has a hot and humid climate along its coast in the Indian Ocean, with savannah-rich fauna and inland lawns to the capital.
Nairobi has a cold climate that is decreasing as it approaches Mount Kenya, which has three peaks permanently covered with snow. Further inland, there is a hot and humid climate around Lake Victoria, and hilly and mountainous areas of temperate climate in the western region. Northeastern regions along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia are arid and semi-arid regions with almost desert landscapes.
Safety
The main risks to visitors to Kenya result from high levels of crime and traffic accidents, although there is a non-negligible terrorist risk.
 
High crime does not advise walking the streets of major cities at night and car traffic must always be done with the doors and windows closed. The traveler should also avoid being alone in isolated areas or holding jewels and valuables. In case of assault or "carjacking", the traveler should not offer resistance. It is advisable to make all the trips in cars of the hotels or recommended by the hotels. Long-distance travel between airports, hotels and national parks should preferably be done by air or, alternatively, by means of transport provided by well-known tourist agencies or hotels. In the latter case, night travel should be avoided. Although it is possible to use taxis and public transport for urban travel, the traveler should always seek the advice of the hotel where he is staying on which transport company to choose. "Matatus" - small vans that function informally as a means of public transport - should be avoided.

 The proximity of areas of regional instability, the ability to attract a large number of tourists and the fact that Nairobi is home to the UN African Office and the regional economic capital, makes Kenya a target for radical groups. Several recent attacks with grenades and small improvised devices in various locations in Kenya (Nairobi, Dani, Mombasa), as well as the previous attack on a commercial center in Nairobi by the Somali group Al-Shabaab, confirm the persistence of the risk of terrorist attacks in the Kenya. The targets of such attacks may be bars and nightclubs, shopping centers, buildings and public transport. The need for greater prudence in traveling to this country is reiterated, maintaining a constant vigilance and giving absolute priority to personal safety in daily habits.
 
Any movement is not advisable:
- areas near the border with Somalia, due to the recurrent abductions of Westerners and incursions by radical groups;
- The Lamu archipelago due to piracy of Somali origin, responsible for recent attacks on European citizens.
 
Travelers are advised to avoid coastal areas less than 150 kilometers from the Somali border.
 
Unless justified by reason of work and properly prepared, they are also advised against:

- visits to neighborhoods such as Kibera or Mathare in Nairobi;
- travel to northern Kenya, near the border with Ethiopia and Sudan;
- travel to the areas of Lake Turkana;
- travel around Mount Elgon;
 
Road trips to Marsabit should only be done by police escort. Travel by land between Melinde and Lamu, as well as in general any trips in remote areas, should be organized by caravan with other travelers, if possible with the support of local authorities.
 
Natural parks are generally safe, as long as they respect the guides' recommendations and do not get too close to wild animals.
 
Particular caution should be exercised in responding to job advertisements in Kenya found via the Internet, as cases of fraud have already been identified. Always seek information and obtain solid references about the companies or NGOs in question.
Health care
The health network is reasonable.
 
It is advisable to consult the traveler at the Health Center of the area of ​​residence before traveling and ensure that you have all recommended vaccines.
 
Malaria prevention prophylaxis is advisable unless the trip is limited to Nairobi where the risk of contracting the disease is practically non-existent due to altitude. The mosquito responsible for malaria is more active at dusk, and mosquito repellent and mosquito netting are important.
 
The traveler should avoid eating salads and unboiled or non-bottled water. You should also avoid bathing in rivers or freshwater lakes due to diseases, parasites and wildlife.
 
It is advisable to make a comprehensive insurance before departure that covers any eventuality (illness, accident, theft, air evacuation, hospital expenses). It is not released without payment of hospital expenses.
 
Recommended health facilities are Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi and Monbasa Hospital in Mombasa.
Electricity and Telecommunications
Electricity
The electricity is 240V and 50Hz.
It is advisable to have a universal adapter kit for the sockets.

Telecommunications
Fixed and mobile telephone networks in Nairobi and Mombasa are reasonable, although international calls are established with some difficulties. Inside, the telephone network is poor. The roaming system and the internet access work reasonably.

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