Traditional dress on the community project tour, Kenya |  <i>Ian Williams</i> Jumping with the Masai |  <i>Sue Badyari</i> Mount Kenya with lobelia |  <i>Sue Badyari</i> Baby elephant at Shelricks |  <i>Ian Williams</i> Cheetahs rest in the shade at the Masai Mara Game Park |  <i>Sue Badyari</i> Trekker on Mt Kenya |  <i>Sue Badyari</i>
  • The safety of our young travellers is our number one priority

    Our commitment to provide a proper duty of care guides everything we do

    World Youth Adventures has an unblemished record in the operation of school & youth adventures

    We will only operate tours in accordance with strict operational standards that have built our reputation as leaders in the student travel industry

    Every tour is underpinned by an industry leading risk assessment plan that exceeds the benchmark standard in Australia, New Zealand, the UK as well as the USA and Canada

    Three decades of tailoring successful student expeditions adds another dimension to the overall student experience

    Our Price & Value Guarantee

    Thanks to careful management and thorough consultation with local partners our track record is exemplary

    Our industry leading risk management procedures have become a skill that we continue to refine

    All of our school group experts are highly trained and experienced consultants who have safety as their number one priority

    Expert leaders, risk assessments, quality inclusions and your financial security all come standard when travelling with World Youth Adventures

    Learn more about our safety practices on our Safety page

    World Youth Adventures is committed to responsible travel and true sustainability

    The National Park authorities charge daily entry fees that are used to maintain and improve National Park infrastructure, protect wildlife, and also to assist in the development of local communities. These fees are included in the price of all our Kenya trips

    Our Kenya program also has a long-standing policy of camping rather than using hotels. Many hotels in Kenya do not follow true sustainability practices - it is common for them to use firewood cut from World Heritage areas to provide energy for tourists. The lodges that we use adhere to strict responsible tourism guidelines.

    While on safari, our routes vary each time so the tourist footprint is lessened, and when out walking we employ local guides. We avoid the tourist shops and commercial villages, and encourage our travellers to purchase curios and products directly from the people who make the items.

    We encourage our travellers to avoid purchasing products made from endangered species, hard woods or ancient artifacts.

    Well-defined environmental plans exist on every trip within this country

    Learn more about our commitment, and view our free Responsible Travel Guidebook, on our Responsible Travel Page

    Before arriving in a community our travellers are given information concerning local customs and traditions ensuring that they are aware of the impact their behaviour can have on a local community.

  • Mt Kenya: Mt Kenya is regarded as the most visually stunning of the ice-capped African peaks and is home to a great diversity of wildlife, including leopard, elephant and buffalo. An ascent is an exhilarating and diverse trek, with only a tenth of the number of hikers compared to Kilimanjaro.

    Masai Mara: named after the traditional inhabitants of the region, the ‘Mara’ extends from the Serengeti and is located in south-west Kenya. It is home to many of the big cats and is famous for the wildebeest migration each year between July to October.

    Sweetwaters Conservancy: situated near the foothills of Mt Kenya, Sweetwaters, also known as Ol Pejeta Conservancy, is a wildlife conservation area closer to Nairobi than many of the more famous parks that boasts an astounding variety of animals including the non-indigenous chimpanzees and the big 5 (the endangered black rhino, leopard, elephant, buffalo and lion).

    The complex cultural, political and linguistic profile of modern Kenya is the result of a long history of struggles for authority over the East African region, and the impacts of various tribal African and international influences.

    Archaeological finds from the Lake Turkana region in northern Kenya—fossilised skulls and stone tools—prove the existence of various hominins (ancestors of modern humans) in Kenya as far back as 3.5 million years ago.

    The 8th century saw the rise of Islam in the Middle East, and Arabic, Indian, Persian and Chinese merchant ships arriving along the East African coast in earnest. Communicating via their new lingua franca of Swahili (a variant of Bantu language with many Arabic, Persian and Portuguese words), the new business relationships and family dynasties forged between visiting merchants and the wealthy Bantu resulted in the development of many prosperous new commercial cities along what is now known as the Swahili coast. Business flourished as merchants traded exotic goods such as spices, silks, skins, ivory and gold from throughout the Indian Ocean world. A distinctive Swahili culture emerged, marked by Arabic and Asian-influenced art and architecture and an almost-universal adoption of Islam throughout the region.

    Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama arrived in 1498 and in capturing the coastal city of Mombasa—at that time the seat of Swahili power—was able to gain control of the Swahili coast, with the Portuguese going on to occupy or sack most of its trading towns. After two centuries of harsh military rule, the turn of the 18th century saw the Portuguese overthrown by Omani Arabs who then succeeded to but later ousted from power the Mazrui clan of Mombasa. The Sultan of Oman then moved his capital from Muscat to the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of neighbouring Tanzania. The Sultan developed a successful commercial empire on Zanzibar, bringing new prosperity, and merchant and landownership systems to the Swahili coast. Trading of slaves and exotic goods thrived in Zanzibar’s capital and main port of Stone Town, with financial and cultural effects across Kenya and Tanzania.

    In the mid-18th century, the Maasai moved from north of the Lake Rudolf area into what is now central Kenya, dominating considerable parts of Kenya due to little resistance from the Bantu-speaking inhabitants. The Nandi, Taveta, Taita and Kikuyu tribes all managing to withstand their respective territories against the Maasai. The Kikuyu were many in number and posed the greatest threat to the Maasai, however, the power of both the Kikuyu and the Maasai was eventually undermined by the effects of famine, disease (to both humans and livestock), and infighting following the death of leadership. Unable to revive power, control of the region was eventually won by European traders and administrators.

    During the 19th century, the Swahili coast’s market demand for ivory pushed Arab and Swahili caravans west from the coast into the interior of Kenya and Tanzania. Regions to the south in Tanzania had some popular routes, but the difficulties of crossing the hot desert of the Taru Plain of Kenya, together with the hostility of its Maasai inhabitants, meant that only two initial journeys by Europeans were made (in 1848 and 1849), after which more than 30 years passed before Europeans again dared to venture into the Maasai-occupied Kenyan interior.

    The mid-1880s saw Germany, Britain and France carving up East Africa, and although they recognised the authority of the Sultan of Oman over Zanzibar and small parts of the Kenyan coastal strip, Britain took control of the interior of modern-day Kenya and Germany claimed what is now known as Tanzania. Together, the British and German-occupied territories were known as the East Africa Protectorate. The Swahili Mazrui family, the Kikuyu and the Nandi actively resisted the new British authority, however, the Maasai offered no resistance, even serving in the military during British attacks on the Kikuyu.

    From 1895-1903, the British oversaw the construction of a railway from the coast at Mombasa to Kisumu on Lake Victoria, enabling the export of cash crops from the fertile Lake Victoria region. By 1906, the British had allocated large portions of Kenya to European settlers, and some tribes (such as the Maasai) had begun to be confined to ‘reserves’. As more land was taken from Africans and gifted to Europeans, concerns about labour supply arose. European farmers petitioned the government to compel Africans to work for them, but due to public outcry in Britain following WW1, compulsory labour was strictly forbidden. During WW1, Britain and Germany engaged in hostilities that would devastate the Kenyan and Tanzanian populations, resulting in casualties (of both civilian and forced African troops), food shortages and soil depletion (in turn causing drought and famine). European settlers joined the troops, leaving their wives to look after farms. In 1920 the East Africa Protectorate was renamed Kenya (after its highest mountain peak), and Britain took possession of Tanzania following WW1. Both the worldwide recession of the early 1920s and the currency switch from the Rupee to the East African Shilling affected economic stability. Kenya’s economy had recovered by the mid-1920s, but the Great Depression of the 1930s brought hardship to all of East Africa.

    A 1923 White Paper issued by the colonial secretary pointed to the many social issues concerning the African people, signaling the beginning of a string of political movements geared at raising freedoms and living standards for Africans. Following WWII, the colonial government began including African representatives in Kenya’s Legislative Council, but the infrequent appointments failed to satisfy the growing demands for African political equality, and it is in this climate that African politician Jomo Kenyatta came to gather a mass following. Groups such as the Mau Mau movement did not feel that Kenyatta’s tactics were resulting in concrete change and therefore initiated its own violent actions, causing the colonial government to declare a state of emergency from 1952 until 1960, relocating a huge number of African civilian during that period. Kenyatta was charged with directing the Mau Mau uprising and subjected to imprisonment followed by home confinement. Following the actions of the Mau Mau, huge numbers of Africans were centralised into large villages and rural detention camps, with the colonial government banning African political parties from 1953 until 1960.

    Kenyatta was freed from detention in August 1961 and after the formation of a coalition government between the Kenya African National Union (KANU) and the Kenya African Democratic Union (KADU) in 1962, elections were held in May 1963 in which Kenyatta became Prime Minister under a constitution that gave Kenya self-government. Kenya went on to become fully independent from British rule as of December 12, 1963, then becoming a republic one year later.

    The next 15 years were marked by fears for ethnic interests, bungled coup attempts, assassinations, and claims of elitism and government corruption against Kenyatta, until Kenyatta’s death in 1978. Kenyatta was succeeded as President by Daniel Arap Moi, a member of the minority Kalenjin people. Moi’s leadership was initially blessed with a smooth transition and economic prosperity due to booming coffee prices, and support of the military (which was proven during various coup attempts), however by the early 1990s, demands from the West for political and economic reform forced Moi to accept a constitutional amendment that reinstated multiparty elections. Moi was reelected in 1991 and 1997, announcing that his son Uhuru Kenyatta would run in his place in 2002 elections, however Uhuru Kenyatta was defeated by Mwai Kibaki, who went on to serve as President from 2002 until April 2013, but whose reign was marred by scandal and violence. Thinking that challenger Raila Odinga would be victorious in the December 2007 presidential election, the record-high voter turnout erupted into widespread protests upon announcement of Kibaki’s narrow win, escalating into horrific violence involving the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Luo peoples, with more than 1,000 killed and over 600,000 displaced. In August 2010 a referendum was passed to adopt a new constitution, designed to disarm the country’s long-running political corruption. In 2012 the International Criminal Court (ICC) announced that Uhuru Kenyatta and others would face trial for charges of directing post-election violence, but did not dissuade him from running in the upcoming 2013 presidential elections, and following his successful bid, Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as president on April 9, 2013.

    These days, Kenyans simultaneously embrace their individual tribal cultures with pride, while recognising the importance of national solidarity as so stressed by the Kenyan government since independence. However, resentment persists, with the estimated net worth of $500 million and ownership of more than 500,000 acres of Kenyan land (acquired by Jomo Kenyatta during a postcolonial land-transfer program) of the Kenyatta family causing animosity from families whose land was taken in the colonial era.

  • Kenya is a predominantly Christian country (82.5% - broken down as Protestant 47.4%, Catholic 23.3%, other 11.8%), followed by Muslim 11.1%; Traditional beliefs 1.6% and Other/Unspecified 4.8%.

    Christianity was brought to Kenya in the 15th century by the Portuguese, but spread rapidly in the 19th and 20th centuries via the proselytism of colonists and missionaries. Today, more than 4/5 of the total population identify as Christian. More than 10% are Muslim, with the balance made up of Bahá'í, Hindu and traditional African beliefs. Kenya's constitution includes provisions for the guarantee of religious freedoms

    More than a 10% of the population is Muslim, mostly concentrated along the coast, although there is also a notable Muslim community in Nairobi. The island of Lamu is predominantly Muslim and the UNESCO World Heritage Listed site of Lamu Old Town, along with Zanzibar off the coast of neighbouring Tanzania, is an excellent example of Swahili history and culture

    In Muslim areas, the adhan (call to prayer) can be heard 5 times throughout the day. Most families live fairly simply and self-sufficiently in small villages and towns. Marriage is an important institution, with polygyny (multiple wives) common, as elsewhere in the Muslim world. Girls and women dress modestly with the head and chest covered by a hijab headscarf, but are often wrapped in colourful Swahili "kanga" fabrics: vibrant, patterned cotton fabrics emblazoned with Swahili proverbs and sayings. Muslim men can often be seen in the traditional long shirtdress and kofia (brimless cap), but young men can increasingly be seen wearing more western clothing such as jeans and tshirts

    The majority of the Christian population also live simply in small villages and towns (with the biggest interior urban population being in the Nairobi area, and the largest coastal city being Mombasa). For most Kenyans living in rural areas, the role of the church mission extends also to education and health services. Christian Kenyans tend to dress in modest western-style attire

    More than 50 different tribes exist across Kenya, with communities of people living based on traditional tribal beliefs, customs and social structures.

    One of the most visible and memorable tribal communities for visitors to Kenya (or neighbouring Tanzania) are the Maasai people. The pastoral Masai travel in nomadic bands throughout the year, living traditionally in ‘kraal’ encampments made of mud-dung houses and surviving on the meat, milk and blood of their cattle herds. Marriage is an important institution, with polygyny (multiple wives) common among older Masai males. Between the ages of about 14 to 30, Masai men live in isolation in the bush, honing tribal skills and developing the qualities of strength, endurance and fearlessness that Masai warriors are renowned for. The most important social institution of Masai life is the tiered system of ‘age sets’. Each age set lasts roughly 15 years, as similar age groups of men ascend the hierarchy from junior and senior warriors, to junior and senior elders. Senior elders are highly respected members of society and form the council responsible for decisions concerning the tribe. The Masai people are highly recognisable in their traditional attire: vibrant red blankets and intricate beaded jewellery adornments

    Kenya's high rate of urbanisation—accelerated by the increased urban economic development since independence—poses challenges for the provision of health care services, clean water, sanitation, utilities and education.

    Kenya is a mixture of Christian, Muslim and traditional beliefs

    People are generally very polite, and they should be treated with respect and you should behave (and dress) with a reasonable amount of modesty

    If you want to take photographs (especially of Masai or other tribal people) you should always seek permission first

    Pens, pencils, exercise books and paper are much better than sweets/candy as small gifts for the rural children that you meet on your travels. Sweets create dental issues for the children and pollution issues for the local environment when wrappers are dropped

    Visiting a Masai village provides a good opportunity to learn about the inner workings of local village life. However, you need to be aware that the commercial reality of permitting this fascinating glimpse of Masai culture necessitates the sale of handicrafts, jewellery and other items. Of course you are under no obligation whatsoever to purchase these items, however should be aware they will be offered

    Travellers should take particular note of the dates of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting, as visits to Muslim areas during this month are not advisable for the average traveller due to the large number of restaurants, bars and other businesses closed during the daylight hours, making travel difficult

    Ramadan is a holy time of sacrifice for Muslims, so if you do find yourself in Muslim parts of Kenya during this month, please exercise respect for people observing Ramadan by not eating, drinking, smoking or kissing in public view during daylight hours. Consideration should also be given to the fact that any Muslims observing Ramadan may be weak from fasting, so patience is key!

    Various Christian holidays and festivals are observed by the majority of the population, including Lent, Easter and Christmas

    Muslim holidays are celebrated with great enthusiasm on Lamu and in other Muslim areas along the coast. Travellers should take particular note of the dates of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, as visits during this month are not advisable for the average traveller due to the large number of restaurants, bars and other businesses closed during the daylight hours. Dates are based on the Islamic (lunar cycle) calendar and therefore change each year

    Eid-e-Fitr, on the other hand (the four-day celebration immediately following the end of Ramadan), is a joyful party experience you won't soon forget. Also known locally as "sikukuu" (Swahili for celebration), it's the biggest party of the year and the streets are full with people of all ages: exchanging gifts, wearing new clothes, dancing and sharing feasts with family and friends. Celebrations happen along the coast, but especially on the island of Lamu

    Lamu is also home of two major festivals: the Maulidi Festival in Jan/Feb (the annual celebration of the prophet Mohammad's birthday), and the Lamu Cultural Festival in late August. Both offer visitors a chance to enjoy traditional dancing, arts and crafts displays, dhow sailing events, and more

    The Rift Valley Festival takes place at Lake Naivasha on the last weekend in August, with a diverse mix of Kenyan and international music on offer

    Safari Sevens is a major international Rugby event taking place in Nairobi each September. East Africa Safari Rally, a classic car rally through Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda, happens every December

    Secular public holidays include: Madaraka Day (1st June); Moi Day (10th October); Kenyatta Day (20th October) and Independence Day (12th December).

    Total population is 44,037,656; Kenya being the 32nd most populous country in the world, growing at a rate of 2.27%

    The median age is 18.9 years; with 42.4% aged 0-14 and 2.7% aged 65+.

    Sex ratio is 1 male to 1 female

    The urban population is 24% (2011), with average annual rate of urbanization at 4.36%.

    Kikuyu 22%, Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%, non-African 1%.

  • Trekking on Mount Kenya&#160;-&#160;<i>Photo:&#160;Lauren Bullen</i>

    Kenya's climate varies from fertile west to arid interior to tropical coastline, but as a general rule, the country is usually warm by day and cool by night. Kenya has three climatic seasons: the 'short rains' (October - November), the 'long rains' (March - May) and the dry season outside of these months. Downpours generally occur in the late afternoons, with the earlier part of the day usually being warm and sunny.

    Temperatures plummet near the summit of Mt Kenya, where it is possible to experience temperatures as low as -20°C (-4°F), with rain, cold and high-altitude conditions all commonplace as you ascend.

    Nairobi and the highlands can get cold (especially in the evenings) during July - August. Daily temperatures in Nairobi vary from about 11–23°C (52-73°F) in July to 13–28°C (55-82°F) in February.

    January and February sees hot and dry weather and a high concentration of wildlife, and as such crowds and accommodation rates swell during these months. Things are quieter and cheaper during the long rains (March - May); June - October sees favourable dry conditions and the annual wildebeest migrations; with October - November bringing the short rains and some good travel deals again.

    The Lake Victoria area receives good annual rainfalls making it a fertile basin of high agricultural value. The floor of the Rift Valley is generally dry, however the fertile soils and reliable rainfalls of the Mau Escarpment in the valley's highlands make this region important to Kenya's agricultural production.

    The arid and semiarid areas of northern, northeastern and southern Kenya experience extremely variable precipitation and high temperatures, hampering agricultural activity.

    The Kenyan coast is marked by year-round high temperatures (exceeding 27°C / 80°F) and humidity, and only the southern coast receives reliable enough rainfall to support thriving agricultural activity.

    South Sudan and Ethiopia to the north; Somalia and the Indian Ocean to the east; Tanzania to the south and Uganda to the west

    580,367 sq km (224,080 square miles) / (49th largest country in the world), divided into 47 counties

    Kenya is ranked at 140 out of 178 countries, with an improving trend, on the Environmental Performance Index (2014), which quantifies and benchmarks performance of government environmental policies and outcomes

    Environmental issues include soil erosion; deforestation; desertification; water pollution from urban and industrial wastes, pesticides and fertilisers; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria and illegal hunting and poaching

    Natural hazards include flooding during rainy season and recurring drought

    Kenya is a signatory to various international environmental and conservation agreements

    Kenya's national parks and reserves are quite possibly its greatest cultural legacy: home to abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery at every turn

    Kenya is home to a staggering diversity of wildlife including lions, leopards, cheetahs and wildcats, elephants, giraffes, primates, many different ungulates (including zebra, gazelle, impala, wildebeest, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses), buffalo, crocodiles, birds, fish, marine mammals and insects. Tsetse flies and mosquitoes infest the western regions and coastal belt, spreading sleeping sickness and malaria respectively

    From July to October each year, around 1.5 million white bearded wildebeest follow a fairly predictable migration route from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, north to the greener pastures of Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve. Joined by hundreds of thousands of gazelle, eland and zebra, the wildebeest journey northward for months and are greeted by an annual audience of hungry predators, including crocodiles, lions, hyenas and cheetahs. Within the Maasai Mara are the best spots to view the incredible spectacle of the great migration.

    The country is dotted with many more spectacular national parks known for their significant wildlife populations, including Amboseli, Marsabit, Tasvo East and Tsavo West, Mount Kenya, Lake Turkana, Lake Naivasha, Kakamega national parks and reserves. Many animals live outside the bounds of national parks and reserves (such a baboons and zebra), often causing conflicts close to human settlements and urban centres

    Kenya's distribution of different vegetation is directly linked to each region's distribution of wildlife. The fertile rainforests of the highlands support a variety of large mammals including elephants and rhinoceroses, as well as predators such as lions, leopards, and wildcats, and primates such a Colobus monkeys and galagos ('bush babies')

    The extensive grasslands between the highland forest zones and lower areas are home to the most prolific animal populations, including wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, impala, buffalo, lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, wild dogs, fish, crocodiles, hippopotamuses and a wide variety of birdlife.

    Elephants, rhinoceroses, lions, leopards, giraffes, gerenuk, impalas, dik-diks and various kinds of antelope inhabit the semiarid and arid regions, and elephants, buffalo and antelope are found in coastal forests.

    Coastal waters support an abundant diversity of marine life, and hippopotamuses, crocodiles and a variety of fish are found in Kenya's large rivers

    Agriculture plays a critical role in Kenya’s economy, also employing the majority of the population. Corn (maize) and wheat are the major domestic consumption crops, and tea, coffee, cut flowers, sisal, cotton, and fruits and vegetables are important cash crops for export.

    Forests are extremely important to Kenya's economy (largely wooded bush, bamboo, grass, and softwoods planted for the domestic paper industry) and yet occupy only a small portion of the country's land. Paper pulp and domestic wood fuel needs threaten the country's supply, and are also responsible for Kenya's issues with soil degradation.

    Kenya is a country of great contrasting geography: the fertile Lake Victoria basin and plateau to the west, the plains, valleys and mountains of the Rift Valley and central highlands, the rocky forelands of the eastern plateau, the semiarid and arid areas of the north and south, and the humid lowlands and natural harbours of the coast

    The Lake Victoria basin is itself a plateau area lying between 900 - 1,200 m (3,000 - 4,000 ft) above sea level, rising eastward from the lakeshore up to the Kenyan highlands of the Rift Valley, with the fertile highlands forming one of the most successful regions of agricultural production in Africa

    The Great Rift Valley (also called the Eastern Rift Valley) is one of two major branches of the East African Rift System, one of the world's largest rifts, extending from Jordan through East Africa and down to Mozambique

    The Rift Valley bisects the central highlands, with Kenya's highest (Africa's second-highest) peak being the snow-capped, glacier-edged Mount Kenya (5,199 m / 17,057 ft). The highland region is bisected by the Rift Valley into the Mau Escarpment to the west and the Aberdare Range to the east. Extinct volcanoes and shallow lakes occupy the floor of the Rift, including the lakes Naivasha, Magadi, Nakuru, Bogoria and Baringo.

    The eastern plateau forelands slope downwards from the eastern face of the Rift highlands to the coast plain, scattered with dry rocky hills and striking formations

    The semiarid and arid regions of the north and northeast contain scant water supply, tree and grass cover, with true desert conditions east of Lake Rudolf in the Chalbi Desert, east of Lake Turkana near the Ethipoian border.

    Lake Turkana National Parks (1997) Situated in northern Kenya and comprised of Lake Turkana and three adjacent national parks—Sibiloi, the South Island and the Central Island National Parks—the Turkana area is of outstanding value in the study of plant and animal life in the region, as well as in the understanding of human evolution. The site contains sedimentary formations housing many important plant and animal fossils, and the parks contain over a hundred different archaeological and paleontological sites, including evidence at Koobi Fora of an intelligent hominid (early human ancestor) species over two million years old

    Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (1997) Kenya’s second highest peak, Mount Kenya (5,199 m / 17,057 ft), is an ancient extinct volcano that sits within the national park of the same name in central Kenya, northeast of Nairobi. The park is one of Kenya’s most impressive natural environments, containing rugged snow-capped peaks, glaciers, forested slopes, and savanna grasslands. The park supports unique afro-alpine flora and fauna and is also situated within the traditional African elephant migration zone

    Lamu Old Town (2001) Lamu Old Town, the main settlement on the island of Lamu, is the best-preserved example of the unique and intriguing Swahili culture of East Africa. Developed as a trading port between African, Arab, Persian, Indian and European merchants, the town has been continuously inhabited for over 700 years. The old town features a labyrinth of narrow streets and well-preserved buildings made from a mixture of local coral limestone, lime, laterite (red rock soil) and timber, showing a hybrid of Arab, Persian, Indian, African and European artistic styles. One architectural detail to keep an eye out for is the many beautiful and elaborately carved wooden doors, many of which pre-date the buildings they are attached to, and which mostly came on ships from India. With a conservative, tight knit Swahili Muslim society, Lamu hosts various important cultural festivals and celebrations of Islamic and Swahili culture.

    Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests (2008) The Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests are a collection of eleven forested sites stretching over 200 km (124 mi) along the Kenyan coastline, which contain the remains of thirty fortified villages (or Kayas) of the Mijikenda people. With the villages being developed by the Mijikenda people in the 16th century and inhabited until they were abandoned in the early to mid-20th century, the sites today are thought of as the sacred lands of Mijikenda ancestors and are protected by a council of elders.

    Fort Jesus, Mombasa (2011) Fort Jesus was built overlooking the coastal city of Mombasa in the late 16th century by the Portuguese, who went on to control East African trade from this post for a century. The construction of Fort Jesus represents the first successful attempt of a Western civilisation to control the lucrative and previously Eastern-controlled Swahili trading coast, with the fort becoming a critical asset in the many subsequent occupations of the area. Built on a coral spur overlooking Mombasa and the Swahili coast, the fort today stands as one of the most impressive and well-preserved examples of 16th century Portuguese military architecture and Renaissance fortification.

    Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (2011) Comprising three interlinking lakes—Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita—the Kenya Lake System is a region of outstanding natural beauty and environmental importance. The property is home to a wide variety of mammals including lions, cheetahs, giraffe, black rhinos, wild dogs and various antelope. The spectacular property is also home to a huge diversity of birdlife, being an important feeding and breeding ground for enormous populations of flamingoes, pelicans and over 100 different migratory bird species. In addition to vast lakes, the property’s natural features include waterfalls, geysers, hot springs, marshes, forests and grasslands.

  • World Youth Adventures can tailor make a school expedition to Kenya to your school’s budget and curriculum requirements.

    Talk to us about your next school expedition, or if you need some ideas check out the trips below.

  • Capital City:  Nairobi
    Time zone:  Kenya is +3 hours ahead of UTC/GMT
    Language:  English (official); Swahili (official)
    Currency:  Kenyan Shilling (divided into cents)
    Highest Mountain:  Mount Kenya
    Highest Mountain Elevation:  5,199 m / 17,057 ft
    Three horizontal bands of black (top – signifying the indigenous people), red (blood shed for freedom) and green (natural wealth). Red band edged in white (peace). Maasai warrior shield in centre with shield and crossed spears (defence of freedom)