The freedom and ability to travel to any country in the worlds is a very enticing prospect to me. Different people have different countries and parts of the world that they wish to visit. Some dream of pristine beaches and warm tropical waters, some dream of dense forests and lush hills while others yet dream of steep mountains, deep valleys, and wild animals. Others still envision bustling cities, humongous towers and a vibrant nightlife. The motivation for traveling to these destinations also varies. They include the desire to sample different cuisines, cultures, histories, religions, among many others. Some people travel as a hobby or as a way to relax and unwind. Whichever the incentive, taking a trip to a part of the world that you have never been to before should be an experience of a lifetime.
My dream is almost a combination of all these. If I were to travel to any country in the world, I would not want to choose a cliché destination. I would visit Africa, the cradle of humankind. An African safari, in my opinion, is the epitome of adventure, discovery, and fun. To be specific, I would choose a country known as Kenya that is located to the eastern part of the African continent. I first learned of this country from my friend whose family spent some time there over the holidays last year. I could not get over the lovely photos that they took and the more unusual stories that I heard. Since then, Kenya has become my new dream holiday destination. I set about finding out all the information I could find over the internet so that I would be as ready as possible to travel there.
Kenya is an average sized country located to the east of the African continent. It is located right at the equator so the weather there is mostly pleasant and warm all year round. The climate there is tropical which means that there is a danger of contracting some tropical diseases such as malaria. There are some medications that one can take before traveling so that they cannot contract such diseases. The country has a population of roughly forty million people, and these people come from different ethnic groups. Because of this, there is great diversity among the Kenyan people (Schaeffer 31). It must be quite interesting to live in one country that is made up of so many different people who each have a unique culture.
The ethnic groups have different names and mostly live in one geographical area. However, the people are free to live in any part of the country hence the cities and towns are cosmopolitan regions in which the different ethnic groups converge. These groups have cultures dating back to the times of their ancestors, and this is expressed regarding the food they eat, the clothes they wear, the way their hair is braided and in their religious beliefs.
My friend told me that they visited the Masai Mara Game Reserve in which there are many wild animals (Grünewald et al 61). The reserve is situated in the land of the Masai people, whose culture is by far the most interesting I have heard of. What most captivated me was a painting that he had brought back that featured an extraordinarily tall man that had jumped some feet into the air. I was mesmerized. This was a Masai warrior or a ‘Moran’ as they are referred to.
They are usually very tall and dress in traditional regalia including colorful wraparounds. These are generally red. They wear sandglass on their feet that are made of rubber. Their hair is also dyed red which is from some special clay that is found in their land. In the past, these warriors were tasked with protecting their people, their cattle and the womenfolk. They would go out on cattle raids and conquer their enemies in far lands. In recent times, however, these wars do not exist anymore, but the Masai people have not abandoned their traditional ways of dressing. Their women are also a sight to behold. Around their necks, they wear intricately woven beads and necklaces that are quite marvelous.
The country has many wild animals, chief of who are the big five namely the lion, buffalo, leopard, elephant, and rhino. To start off the topic of wildlife, there are many endangered animals throughout and the white rhino is under threatened in Kenya. There are many conservation efforts to curb poaching especially of the elephants and rhinos that are killed for their horns that fetch millions of dollars on the black market. The conservation is, therefore, a significant concern, these animals should be preserved so that future generations can be able to go on safaris and see the many animals in their natural homes.
Wildlife is a major tourist attraction in Kenya. Aside from the big five, there are many other animal species such as gazelles, antelopes, hyenas, zebras, monkeys, snakes, crocodiles, hippos; the list is endless. I have never seen most of these animals at close range hence to see them would be quite a dream come true. These animals are found in game parks, conservancies, game reserves and sometimes even roaming about the wild primarily in the forests and savannah (Van Wijk et al 209). The capital city of Kenya is Nairobi which is also famed for the fact that there is a national park right outside the city. Visitors, therefore, do not have to travel too far out to get to see the animals.
Kenya has several geographical regions including the mountains and hills, valleys, the coastal area, and the plains. The beaches are among the significant attraction to visit the country. The coastline is quite expansive, and the lovely beaches are like something out of a fairy tale. Many of the sandy beaches remain conserved and unpolluted hence they are quite a sight to behold. The hotels at the coast are world-class and would make the visits to the coast a very comfortable and enjoyable one. The water there is warm and clear, and I would love to swim there among the many fish species (Mwaipopo & Mwanahija 249). There is also a marine park, and one can go scuba diving and explore the sea life. I would be delighted at this opportunity.
Another attraction at the coast is the culture of the people who live there. Their cuisine is quite delectable, and I would like to sample some foods that I have never tasted before. There are also many prehistoric sites such as the Gedi ruins and Fort Jesus. These sites would give a taste of the rich history that the coast has to offer. I would not miss the chance to visit some of the places in which there remains of the ancestors of man were found. World-renowned scientists of the Leakey family set up camp there to search for and study the remains of the earliest human species.
The rift valley region also offers some of the most spectacular views. During the formation of the rift valley, there were formed very steep sides which today are escarpments. From pictures, they look breathtaking and many adventurers have gone there to paraglide and bungee jump. There are also waterfalls that fall off some steep hillsides. Climbing the tallest mountain that is named after the country is one of the adventures that I would like to add to my bucket list. I have never climbed any mountain before but from reviews, it is quite scenic and reaching the mountaintop is a gratifying achievement.
I would also spend time in the cities to see how different or similar they are to ours. The pictures that I have seen from the internet of the capital city’s skyline especially by night show a vibrant city that does not want for entertainment. To cap it all off, the Kenyan people are amiable and welcoming. Should you have any questions or need directions, you have only to turn to the nearest person who will be more than willing to help you out. The warmth and friendliness of the people are undoubtedly one of the best feelings about visiting a new place that will leave you wanting never to leave.
Grünewald, Claudia, Matthias Schleuning, and Katrin Böhning-Gaese. “Biodiversity, scenery and infrastructure: Factors driving wildlife tourism in an African savannah national park.” Biological conservation 201 (2016): 60-68.
Mwaipopo, Rosemarie, and Mwanahija Shalli. “Aesthetic, cultural and spiritual services from coastal and marine environments.” Regional State of the Coast Report (2016): 242-250.
Schaeffer, Merlin. Ethnic diversity and social cohesion: Immigration, ethnic fractionalization and potentials for civic action. Routledge, 2016.
Van Wijk, Jakomijn, Machiel Lamers, and René van der Duim. “Promoting conservation tourism: The case of the African Wildlife Foundation’s tourism conservation enterprises in Kenya.” Institutional Arrangements for Conservation, Development and Tourism in Eastern and Southern Africa. Springer, Dordrecht, 2015. 203-218.