For this week's Travel Tuesday we will visit Kenya. Kenya is a country known for a variety of physical beauty, and it's the home to many different cultures. Our own President Barack Obama can trace his lineage back to Kenya. One of the biggest tourist draws to Kenya is the wildlife and possibility for safaris. It is also known for many skilled runners with some of the fastest times on record.

There are many things travelers and curious folk can learn about Kenya by reading through the country profile in Global Road Warrior. Listed below are 5 more quick facts to get you started.

  • Language: "The official languages of Kenya are Swahili and English. They are both used as lingue franche (common languages) in a country with dozens of African and world languages. Kenya is home to numerous Bantu languages, of which the more widely spoken are Kikuyu, Kibet, Ekegusil, and Kimîîru. Less spoken Bantu languages incude Oluluhyia, Kipokomo, Kigiryama, and Kiembu. Several Nilo–Saharan languages continue to be used, including Dholuo, Kalenjin, Maasai, and Turkana."
  • Climate: "Kenya is an east African country that straddles the equator. The country has a diverse climate, with a marine climate on its Indian Ocean coastal plain, a tropical savanna climate in the south and west, and a steppes climate throughout much of the rest of the country. There are mountain ranges and isolated peaks in the interior. The country has two rainy and two dry seasons."
  • Greetings: "As in most African cultures, hearty and extended greetings are seen as obligatory and expected prior to all conversations, no matter how brief or inconsequential. Properly greeting someone communicates respect and personal concern, an extension of Kenyan warmth and affection. Greetings typically cover the general health and well-being of the person, his or her family, and any mutual acquaintances."
  • Holiday: Kenyatta Day: Yearly, every October 20. This is a "day commemorating the economic and political contributions of Kenya's first president, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. During Kenyatta Day, Kenyans reflect on their rich history and pay tribute to President Kenyatta and the Kenyan freedom movement. The holiday provides locals with an opportunity to spend quality time with families and loved ones. In school, teachers discuss the life of President Kenyatta and explain the importance of the day to students."
  • Religion: "Christianity is the predominant religion of Kenya. Protestants, the largest group, represent 45 percent of the population, Roman Catholics 33 percent, Islam approximately 10 percent, and Hindus and Sikhs each make up 1 percent of the population. Kenyans practice traditional indigenous religions alongside the major religions, but estimates of the number of followers of indigenous religions vary widely."

    Language Learners: English and Swahili are available through both Mango Languages and Pronunciator.

    Music Lovers: Visit our Freegal music service to explore more music options from Kenyan music artists.

    Recipe Corner: For an example Kenyan recipe, try Githeri.

    This high-protein stew consumed by a vast majority of the Kikuyu (the largest ethnic group of Kenya) is made of maize and beans, but may also include potatoes, greens, or meat.
    Recipe Serving: Serves 6
    Ingredients

    1 lb (450 g) whole and dried maize kernel
    1 lb (450 g) dried legumes (kidney beans or any other variety)
    Instructions
  • Wash and soak the maize and beans for a few hours.
  • Put them into a pan of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 2 hours until they are tender and almost dry and season with salt and fat.
  • Serve hot as main dish or as an accompaniment to other dishes.
  • Variations:
    Cowpeas, peas, groundnuts, pigeon peas, or any other legume may also be used.