Karibu! Welcome to Kenya!
The xpeditions continue over the Indian Ocean to East Africa.
It was only a ‘short’ flight (5 hours) I had to take from Abu Dhabi to Nairobi.
After breakfast and a short briefing in the Safari Park Hotel we departed on a long journey to the Masai Mara with our jeep and a group of 5.
Our driver welcomes us, teaches us a bit of swahili as we go along and continually educating us about the history and cultures of the place. We just had our first stopover at the Rift Valley which was rich in the early history of human evolution about 2000 BC when tribal migration was happening with Ethiopian pastoral nomads being the first migrants.
About a thousand years later the Eastern Cushites settled in the central region of Kenya. Around 600 AD the Arabs started settling in the coastal towns and set up trade with the Arab world, Persia and India trading golf, ivory and slaves. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to explore Kenya when Vasco Da Gama made a stopover on his way to India. Their colonisation presence begins from 1505. They stayed in East Africa for 200 years. They built well established trading posts and exported gold, ivory and slaves to North America and the East Indies.
In 1698 Oman reconquered the region and the Sultan of Oman worked on regaining the economic and political supremacy. The island of Zanzibar soon became a lucrative trading zone. Even up to this day thoudands of Omanis live in Zanzibar and some older generation of Omanis still speak swahili living in Oman.
In Kenya the history as a colony starts with a german protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar. Then in 1920 it was succeeded by the British so then Kenya became the colony of the UK. Colonial urbanisation was linked to the railway line in Kenya. All the major urban centres are located along the railway line and the coastal economic attractions moved inland as well caused by the colonisation.
They are upgrading the new railway line now and Kenya is getting the high speed trains in by 2017 for quicker trade.
While noticing the number of women in the workforce, seemingly outweighing the men, the driver confirms that and he adds that masai men live like king. The women do everything, women build the huts, look after the cows and raise the kids. ( just like the kings of the jungle – the lions. )
I was doing further reaearch on feminism in Kenya and trying to read on the bumpy roads to distract my mind from the back pain. The driver says Masai Mara is a paradise but you have to go through hell to get to paradise. Especially this time of the year when the animals are migrating through here from the Serengeti.
See you tomorrow from ‘Masai Mara Paradise’ 🙂