Mystic and reality in Kenya

Dry land with welcoming shores and an aurorean history, Kenya was remained inside much time unknown. The equatorial forest, inaccessible and virgin created huge obstacles to increase the economical and cultural relations between Kenya and other countries.

The first explorers such as Mungo Park (1975); H. Owen (1822); David Livingstone (1841) and H. Makinder (who escaladed in 1899 Kenya Mountain (White Mountain) and from where comes the country name) were the people who opened the geographic era to the Eastern Africa.

Besides those geographic discoveries, the health of Kenyan land was the reason that made those capitalist adventurers to settle there at the end of the 19th century. The conquering of Kenya by the English colonialists transformed it into an inexhaustible source of enrichment.

Jomo Kenyatta (the president of Kenya after WW II) wrote „In different corners of Africa, the African wakes up and starts to understand that a river which flows cannot be sluiced forever, as one fine day this river will sweep the dams which stand in its way. Its forces are prisoned; but they start to come up and soon the African will shake the tutelage and the oppression that have been imposed”. Following this direction, the Kenyan people gained the independence in 1963 December 12th. Since then until now Kenya, also gained 32 millions of inhabitants for  582 646 km2! A huge growth when other countries are confronting with a decrease. I believe that a short brief about Kenya’s history and geography will make our jaunt more interesting and in fact will influence us to visit it or not.

Tourism is a major business in Kenya and represents the second industry of the country. Kenya features the most opportunities to practise tourism: its national parks, attractive landscape, flora and fauna, a remarkable richness. The biggest attraction for tourists is the wild life of jungle and the safari tour. The majority of tourists comes from UK (where a fight takes 9 hours between capitals), then from USA, Asia and Europe.

Among principal touristic objectives we can enumerate:  Nairobi – Kenya’s capital where the distinctive note is given by the Buddhistic temples and its amazing surrounds, Mombasa, Lamu, Malindi with its antique vestiges and astonishing originality.

The geographic elements which characterised Kenya are given prominently by the volcanic mountains and a medium high of 1000-1200 m for which Kenya was called an „African Switzerland”; the open to Indian Ocean has a big importance for Kenyans but this also was the entrance for colonialism. Besides all above, in Kenya we meet a varied landscape from a vast desert into the North to 5199 m high into the Kenya’s heart where we find an eternal spring.

Fauna in Kenya imprints to those regions where it can be found, a distinctive note, fauna is without doubt an element of landscape. For this reason and to protect the wild life, the Kenyan authorities chose to create natural reservations and parks, where hunting is prohibited and the visitors cannot bring guns, explosives, tools for capturing or poison.

The most visited park of Kenya – „ Nairobi National Park” was created in 1946. This is situated in the South of capital on an area  of 115 km squares and on an altitude between 1500 and 1800 m.  The park is surrounded by dense forests and deep valleys.

On the large depression Lion Valley, the tourist can meet a varied fauna from many antelopes to african struts and where the animals do what they wish and the only human presence is the one which admires these wild creatures. An russian tourist wrote years ago „ In National Park of Nairobi we have luck. We can see a female lion with her babies. Surrounded by cars with tourists, the female lion enjoys all what life has to offer her: she lays or rolls in the grass. The little lions play as kitties. Neither they , nor even her mother pay attention to the cars which are passing near them. Perhaps they find that the administration of the Park forbids categorically for tourists to open the windows.”

The tourists also can admire the splendid gardens arranged especially for this purpose or the Coryndom Museum where can be found  archeologic, ethnographic elements of natural history. In the wild life, the tourists have on their disposal some houses for accommodation which are suspended on pylons and their stairs are protected or removed to avoid the wild  intruders.

The National Park of Nairobi can be visited with a driver guide, renting a car for several hours. There are some accidental roads where it walks lined up closed one to another without noise and words, just quiet. These conditions are absolutely necessary to explore and  finish the expedition.

The National Park Tsavo is extended on 20880 km squares and was created in 1948. It is located in the South-East of Kenya. There is a huge reservation of fauna wich are protected against hunters and which finds the peace in this park: elephants, hippopotamus, rhinoceros, buffalos and varied types of antelopes. Being a semi-arid zone, the flora has small and high trees with dense green crowns. The park is closed in April, May, November, December and during the night. With all measures, there are some tribes who hunt against the law and consist a real danger for the wild fauna, inside or outside the park.

Another important park is „ Mount Kenya” with 600 km squares which hosts the most attractive volcanic cone Kenya which because of its highness (5199 m) made possible here  a bug number of icebergs between small eyes of water and Morones, contrasting considerably with the Ecuadorian climate. At the beautiful landscape concur the richness of flora, especially fauna. The forests cover all muddy area and toward the peaks appear varied species of montane and rare plants. We can hear the presence of a numerous birds, very coloured and see small rodents.

Amboseli” is one of the natural reservation created in Kenya in 1948 with an area of 3270 km sq. Located near Tanzania on altitude of 1200 m. The natural reservation is dominated by a high plain, easily undulated with a land formed by volcanic ash from Kilimanjaro. This reservation is very rich in flora and populated with all kind of wild life. Less dressed with vegetation but with the same fauna „Marsabit” has 26720 km sq, located in the North and is the biggest from Kenya.

Besides those parks and natural reservation, there are some areas where safari is allowed and travel agencies organise them:

If the predatory hunting would be left free for those unscrupulous individuals or organisations, we would have now a mutilation of one of the most beautiful regions on the globe, how is well-known, Kenya.

Source: „Kenya” by Benone Zotta & Constantin Nedelcu (1970 edition)

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