The 8 Wonders of Kenya

Posted: March 10, 2015 in Africa, Kenya
Tags: , ,

MAGICAL KENYA – always a good idea.

Kenya is endowed with richness in attractions and destinations from the traditional beach and wildlife destinations to the unexplored frontiers of desert safaris and adventure tourism. If planning to visit Kenya, the following will be a memorable addition to your itinerary.

1. Kituluni Hill-The Anti-Gravity Hill
Kituluni hill is found in Machakos County. According to local residents, the strange happenings were discovered by a white settler who parked his vehicle by chance on that section of the road. He parked his car at the site with the gears free to go downstream to get water for his car engine. Upon returning he was stunned to find that the vehicle had moved about 50 metres up.

Halfway round the hill, regardless of the speed at which the car might be moving, it is always jerked forward and suddenly moves faster without any noticeable change on the speedometer.

Kituluni hill occupies an area of about a square kilometre, and if you want to prove that the hill is indeed as strange as it is said to be, you can carry out a few experiments. If you switch off the car and park it at the side of the road, it immediately begins to move up the hill. Some sources have estimated this speed to be about 5kph.

It has been known to do this for a distance of up to a kilometre. Although the Kituluni spot lies on a very steep part of the hill, experiments carried out with water produce the same results. Water can be seen flowing up the hill, instead of down. This place is so amazing that a former Tourism and Wildlife Minister, Morris Dzoro described the hill as the eighth wonder of the world. Click the below link to see it for yourself!

2. Maasai Mara-Wildebeest migration
Maasai mara is the premier tourist destination in Kenya. It has been named as the 8th wonder of the natural world due to its uniqueness and the preservation it provides to so many species living in harmony. The Annual Wildebeest Migration from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya is one of the greatest natural spectacles in the world, the annual movement of massive herds of wildebeest continues year-round in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve.

During June – July, the wildebeest encounter their first major challenge in their quest – the Grumeti River. When the river is dry it is reduced to a series of pools and the herds easily pick their way between the crocodiles and hippos in their depths. In wet years, the wildebeest are forced to plunge headfirst into waters inhabited by some of Africa’s largest crocodiles.

Come July – September, the herds head north towards the lush plains of the northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara. Therefore the next stage of spectacular river crossings takes place at the Mara River any time between July and October. Hundreds of thousands of wildebeest may congregate on the banks of the river, and gaze dreamily at the green grass on the other side, anticipating their move.

Over the vast open plains of the Serengeti and deep rolling hills of the Masai Mara, the largest herd of animals on the planet move in a never-ending natural pattern in order to find food for survival. This exceptional natural phenomenon is renowned as Africa’s greatest wildlife spectacle. The thundering hooves of the herds and the enormous clouds of fine red dust they leave in their trail have become an icon of the East African Safari.

Did I also mention that Kenya has the World’s only wildlife capital? Nairobi National Park is a unique ecosystem by being the only protected area in the world close to a capital city. The park is located only 7 km from Nairobi city centre.

A giraffe with Nairobi City in the background

A giraffe with Nairobi City in the background

3. Great Rift Valley
This breathtaking natural scenery combines with some of Africa’s most memorable wildlife. The Great Rift Valley is a highlight of any trip to Kenya. A huge geological fault-line, the Great Rift Valley stretches round one-sixth of the Earth’s circumference. Stretching from the Lebanon to Mozambique, Africa’s Great Rift Valley is a 6,000-mile crack in the earth’s crust, and much of it is to be found in Kenya, where it has literally cut the country in two.

Along its lengths are volcanoes, most now dormant. The Great Rift Valley contains some of the world’s largest, deepest and oldest lakes, mountains and plains.

4. Mt. Kenya
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, Mount Kenya is Africa’s second-highest snow-capped mountain and quite possibly the most beautiful peak in the Great Rift Valley. Standing at 5199m, its summit is the hard plug of a huge ancient volcano that was active five million years ago. The magnificently mountain is famous for being the only spit in the World where snow is found along the Equator, the sun’s path.

5. Diani Beach
Consistently ranked among the top beaches in world by the Travellers’ Choice Awards, Diani Beach is a tropical paradise on the coast of the Kenyan safari land. It lies on the quiet shores of the Indian Ocean just south of Mombasa in beautiful Kenya. The pearly-white sands blend into the turquoise warm waters of the Indian Ocean creating a perfect backdrop of tranquillity for a truly memorable African Holiday. In 2015, TripAdvisor ranked Diani Beach 22nd best beach in the world and 3rd best in Africa.

6. Fort Jesus
Fort Jésus, Mombasa
Known as Mombasa’s most popular tourist fascination, Fort Jesus is probably the country’s best preserved piece of history having withstood the test of time, wind and water. The Fort, built by the Portuguese in 1591 to the designs of Giovanni Battista Cairati by order of King Philip 1 of Portugal, is one of the oldest, most outstanding, and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction. It was built in the shape of a man (viewed from the air), and was given the name of Jesus. Fort Jesus was built by the Portuguese to maintain their dominance & protect themselves from Anglo Arab invasion. The Fort Jesus was later taken over by the Arabs after the Portuguese had left.

7. Turkana Boy
Kenya is without a doubt the Cradle of Mankind. It has the largest number of fossil human remains appr. 1000 individuals than any other country in the world. Kenya has the oldest human remains going back to 7 million year old from Turgen Hills, Baringo (oldest in Ethiopia = 4.5 million years ; S.Africa ca 3 million years, Tanzania = 2 million years. By 1944, over 200 hominid and animal fossils were found, more than any collection the world had ever produced in 60 years.

Turkana boy, the most complete early skeleton ever found, was discovered in 1984 by Kamoya Kimeu, a member of a team led by Richard Leakey (a world renowned Paleontologist), at Nariokotome near Lake Turkana in Kenya. Turkana Boy, now called, Nariokotome Boy, is believed to be between 1.5 and 1.6 million years old.

The Lake Turkana eco-system is unique and is amongst six world heritage sites that Kenya boasts of. It is believed that this is where life began as we know it, therefore proving that Kenya truly is the Cradle of Mankind.

Before we leave Turkana, it would only be fair to mention an astronomical observertory christened “Dancing Stones of Namoratunga” (also known as Namoratunga II, and the Kalokol Pillar Site), 20km west of Lake Turkana close the road between Lodwar and Kalokol. It was the ruins of an African Stonehenge, with huge pillars of basalt like the stumps of petrified trees lying at right angles in the ground. Discovered by American scientists Lynch and Robbins of Michigan State, they dated it to 300 years before Christ and was a remarkably accurate calendar used by the locals.
8. The Crying Stone of Ilesi
For anyone at the foot of this phenomenon, the most striking feature is that it resembles a gowned figure, perpetually in tears flowing from ‘head to toe’ — an image spiced-up by myth and folkfore. For the Government, it is simply another tourist attraction within the Western Kenya tourism circuit. Geologically the rock is a large boulder of acidic plutonic rock, 8 meters tall, made up of quartz, alkali feldspars and mica. There is a small groove in the middle from which water flows out from. the water is believed to be from a moss growing inside the rock that soaks up water during the wet season which allows it to flow long periods of time. However, the stone is held dear and is of great cultural and spiritual importance to the Luhya community and the Isukha sub-tribe in particular. The Isukha live around the rock’s formation.

This post wouldn’t be complete, however, without mentioning a thing or two about the wonderful Kenyan people. There’s a popular saying in Kenya, that on the eighth day, God created Kenyans. The Kenyan people are wonderfully friendly & charming. While many tourists visit Kenya to experience our famous wildlife or beaches, for many more the local culture makes their stay special. Exit polls among departing guests at airports show one common compliment — an overwhelming vote of thanks for the warmth and welcoming spirit of the Kenyan people.
Forty-two ethnic groups living harmoniously with their diverse cultural practices offer tourists a unique experience. Right from traditional dances, pastoral life, and bull fighting to polygamous practices, festivals and celebrations, Kenyan cultural life is rich, offers academic, and study tourists a fascinating destination.

So the next time you wish to savour Africa’s delights, why not make a pilgrimage trip to the Cradle of Mankind, Kenya.

Hakuna matata!

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