Kenya

Understand

Although foreign visitors are now a common sight in many parts of the country, there still exist vast areas off the beaten track where a white or yellow face will attract cries of “Mzungu! Mzungu!” (Kiswahili: “white person”) from local children. Visitors to these areas should think especially carefully about the long-term effects of their visit on the local community, and should for example avoid giving out sweets or money without restraint – merely playing with children, or talking to and helping villagers will yield far better results than merely giving out handouts.

Hominid fossils of significant scientific interest have found in the Rift Valley area, and it is often believed that this area of Africa is where the human species originated from.

Talk

English and Swahili are the two official languages. You can get by with English in the larger cities and when dealing with those connected to the tourism industry as well as the well-educated upper class, but, outside of that, a few words of Swahili go a long way.

Tribal languages, such as Maa spoken by the Maasai, are commonplace in more remote areas. You will still usually be able to find a local who can speak Swahili — although in such areas a guide will be indispensable. Sheng (a slang of English, Kiswahili and local languages) is spoken mostly by urban youths. (source: Wikitravel)

 

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