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Author: John Kani


Kenya Railways is operating under a long-term management concession, and the government sold 25% of Safaricom (10 billion shares) in 2008, reducing its share to 35%. Accelerating growth to achieve Kenya's potential and reduce the poverty that afflicts about 46% of its population will require continued de-regulation of business, improved delivery of government services, addressing structural reforms, massive investment in new infrastructure (especially roads), reduction of chronic insecurity caused by crime, and improved economic governance generally. Kenya requires travelers arriving from countries where yellow fever is present to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. Vaccination should be given 10 days before travel and at 10-year intervals if there is ongoing risk. Kenya is trying to lead the way. Besides the Turkana project, which is being backed by the African Development Bank, private investors have proposed establishing a second windfarm near Naivasha, the well-known tourist town.

Kenya's official language is English and Swahili is the national language. Tribal languages abound especially in the rural areas. Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), the principal medical research institute in Kenya, has been a collaborating institution with the UW AITRP since 1989 when the first of 7 KEMRI researchers participated in long-term training at the UW. KEMRI operates the referral laboratory for East Africa and has a 40-bed research ward.

Kenya Telephone and Telegraph has discontinued its "collect call" facility. Use of international long-distance calling cards is very limited in Kenya. Kenya's biggest city, Nairobi , with the baddest of reputations, is sidestepped by many visitors, but, in fairness, has an interesting urban appeal with its cafes and nightlife. Kenya is the world's third largest exporter of tea, which, together with coffee and horticultural products, contributed about 53% of total merchandise exports in 2002. Agriculture makes up 19% of GDP, industry 18% and services 62.6%.

Kenya's monetary unit is the internally controlled Kenyan Shilling which currently is exchanging for about 67 to every US. Kenya does not recognise dual nationality. This may limit the ability of the Australian Government to provide consular assistance to Australian/Kenyan dual nationals who are arrested or detained. Kenya is where the original safari experience began: today Kenya still remains one of the most popular destinations for safaris in the world. Not only famous for its 'Out of Africa' scenic beauty, diverse cultures and abundant wildlife, Kenya also boasts superb footprint-free beaches and warm tropical waters, thus ensuring a complete Kenya safari vacation experience!

Kenya lies across the equator in east-central Africa, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. It is twice the size of Nevada. Kenya's proximity to the Arabian Peninsula invited colonization, and Arab and Persian settlements sprouted along the coast by the eighth century. During the first millennium AD, Nilotic and Bantu peoples moved into the region, and the latter now comprises three-quarters of Kenya's population. Kenya is famous for many handicrafts, which are often the signature of a particular tribe or region. Look for Kisii stone (soap stone) carvings, Maasai jewelry, Mkonde wood carvings, Lamu chairs and batiks.

Kenya is situated right along the equator, on the eastern coast of the African continent. Its coastal region is on the southeast, and to the east lies Somalia. Kenya faces numerous development challenges, including poverty, HIV/AIDS, and governance. Currently life expectancy is 47.5 years, and 62.3 percent of the population live on less than two dollars a day. Kenya (5,200 m), Mt Elgon (4,322m) and the Aberdare Ranger (rising to over 3,963 m). The plateau is bisected from north to south by the Rift Valley, part of the great geological fracture that can be traced from Syria through the Red Sea and East Africa to Mozambique.


Government, but should be taken into account when planning travel.

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