The ‘big five’ and various breathtaking sites are possibly the biggest attraction for tourists who visit Kenya. However, these are just an added bonus for those who visit Kenya to sample its diverse cultural tourism resources.
Cultural tourism comprises a wide range of recreational and educative activities that expose tourists to the historical background, religious beliefs and practices and ultimately the way of life unique to the inhabitants of the places they visit. These interactive visits enable tourists to appreciate the diverse cultures, and the reasons why the indigenous communities still hold on to them.
There are 42 tribes in Kenya, which are broadly classified into the Bantus, Nilotes, and Cushites. The three groups occupy specific regions on the Kenyan terrain and this further dictates their food culture and economic activities of these communities. Although majority of the Kenyan population is modernized, most of the communities still hold on to their cultural beliefs and practices.
The most famous of these are the Maasai, Turkana, and Samburu who are pastoralists. Indeed for most tourists, the colorfully adorned maasai are the face of the Kenyan tour. The three ethnic communities are famous for their dances and songs especially those that mark the various rites of passage. These are unique communities to visit. They still construct their houses using the traditional architectural designs and their meals still comprise of meat and a concoction of blood and milk from their cattle. These communities inhabit the regions along the Great Rift Valley. The Rift Valley is additionally recognized as one of the sites in the world where existence of early man has been recorded. Here you can visit historical sites like Sibiloi and Olorgesailie, including museums where prehistoric and cultural artifacts are displayed.
The Abaluhya and the luo ethnic communities occupy the Great Lake region, which lies to the west of Kenya. The Luo live near Lake Victoria and practice fishing. Most of the fishermen use traditionally crafted dhows and manage to bring in great catches of fish using tricks and skills handed down through generations.
The Kenyan coast headquartered in Mombasa is home to the Swahili, Kenyan Arabs and the miji kenda. The mijikenda are nine coastal tribes and they have shrines called kaya where they offer prayers and give offerings to their ancestors. The coastal town of Lamu is another hub of cultural tourism in Kenya due to its cultural festivals and the charm of the old town. Other coastal sites include the Fort Jesus and Gede ruins. For a comprehensive cultural tour in Kenya on your Kenya safari Holiday, make that trip today!