A Samburu girl

Cultural Tours in Kenya

Discover Traditions and Cultural Diversity

Kenya has 42 tribes and several races. It is a melting pot of cultures, united by one national language- Swahili. Cultural tours in Kenya explore the lifestyle, traditions, festivals and beliefs of these communities. Though some communities have embraced civilization, aspects of their culture and traditions are evident in their social activities and practices.

For authentic cultural tours, visit the Maasai, Samburu and the Turkana and other nomadic communities.   Visit the Maasai community living around Maasai Mara, Amboseli among other parks and reserves to interact with members of this community. They are hospitable and they value visitors.

The Samburu live around Samburu National Reserve and Buffalo Springs National Reserve among other attractions in Samburu County.

The Bantu communities, which mainly inhabit the central and eastern parts of the country, combine traditional lifestyles with modern so some aspects of their heritage are extinct. The coastal tribes are conservative, their traditions and practices are visible in their dressing, social relations etc.  Explore these cultures when you tour the coastal towns such as Lamu Island and Mombasa Old Town.

Cultural Attractions in Kenya

Kaya Shrines

Kaya is a Mijikenda word that means homestead. Kaya Forests are sacred grounds where the Mijikenda, a group of nine communities living at the coast of Kenya, conducts prayers and other religious activities.

 There are 11 sacred forests covering about 200km. These forests house the Kaya shrines, which also serve as burial grounds for the community.

Bomas of Kenya

This attraction is located in Nairobi.  Visitors learn about the 42 tribes through songs, traditional crafts, dances and a tour of miniature villages. Boma is a Swahili word that means a hut.  The arena hosts regular acrobatic shows and traditional dances every day of the week.

 Maasai Market

Maasai Market is the name given to open air markets that sell traditional crafts, fabrics, beadwork and other items from different communities in Kenya. There are several such markets across the country.  In Nairobi, there is the main market held every weekend at the High Court parking lot, and other markets held on alternate days in different malls in the city.

Cultural Festivals in Kenya

Lake Turkana Cultural Festival

This annual festival brings together key players in the tourism industry, visitors and locals for a cultural show of the wealth of the northern part of the country. It takes places in Loiyangalani.

Lamu Festival

A show of culture, traditions and religion takes place in this festival.  Activities include dhow races, henna art, Swahili weddings, donkey races and dance extravaganzas.

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Profile photo of Leah Wangondu
on Jan 08, 2015

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