Cultural practices of Kenya

Cultural nuances in Kenya

Although the official languages are Swahili and English, Kenya is a multilingual country. There are 62 languages spoken throughout which mainly consist of tribal African languages as well as a minority of Middle-Eastern and Asian languages spoken by descendants of foreign settlers (i.e. Arabic, Hindi, etc). The African languages come from three different language families - Bantu languages (spoken in the center and southeast), Nilotic languages (in the west), and Cushitic languages (in the northeast).

The Kenyan people are regarded as welcoming and friendly to tourists, credit: AFAR Media

Kenya is not a homogeneous country ethnicity wise. The make-up of Kenyans is primarily that of 13 ethnic groups with an additional 27 smaller groups. The majority of Kenyans belong to ‘Bantu’ tribes such as the Kikuyu, Luhya and Kamba. There are also the ‘Nilotic’ tribes such as the Luo, Kalenjin, Maasai and Turkana. The ‘Hamitic’ people include the Turkana, Rendille and Samburu. Around 13% of the population are of non-African descent, i.e. Indian, Arab and European.

The Maasai's unique way of life and colourful dress code which has stood the test of time, credit: Pulselive.co.ke

Kenyans are group-orientated rather than individualistic. “Harambee,” (coming from the Bantu word meaning “to pull together”) defines the people’s approach to others in life. The concept is essentially about mutual assistance, mutual effort, mutual responsibility and community self-reliance.


Popular Kenya Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Gorilla trekking and the Great Migration Combined (11 days)

Unforgettable experience in the jungles of Rwanda to track the last Mountain gorillas on earth and view the awesome Great Migration river crossings...

 | Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Best of Africa Safari (16 days)

Experience the best of Africa, from the Okavango Delta – one of Africa's Seven Natural Wonders – to the endangered mountain gorillas and East Africa's Great Migration...

The Uganda Hills | The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

The Complete East Africa Experience (13 days)

Enjoy East Africa's most celebrated highlights, from a snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, to sailing above the Serengeti in a hot-air balloon and meeting mountain gorillas...

 | Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

Migration Safari in Kenya and Tanzania (8 days)

See the beauty of nature's greatest wildlife spectacle in two countries...

 | Kenya Bush and Beach Family Safari Itinerary (12 days)

Kenya Bush and Beach Family Safari Itinerary (12 days)

It's easy to see why so many visitors flock to Kenya from around the world to experience a truly unique African adventure in one of the world’s most pristine safari destinations....

Asilia Africa | Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings  (10 days)

Spectacular July to September Wildebeest River Crossings (10 days)

Experience one of Africa's greatest spectacles – smell the dust and hear the noise of thousands of animals crossing the Mara River in an epic struggle for survival...

Giraffes | Special Five Safari in Kenya’s Samburu (8 days)

Special Five Safari in Kenya's Samburu (8 days)

Even if you've seen the Big Five and the Great Migration, you'll appreciate the different beauty of animals like reticulated giraffe, Grevy's zebra, gerenuk and bongo...

Lion cubs | Southern Kenya Sojourn (10 days)

Southern Kenya Sojourn (10 days)

Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara are southern Kenya's superstars, the best places for your safari...

 | Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Masai Mara Safari Adventure (6 days)

Explore the jewel in Kenya's crown; the wildlife-rich Masai Mara National Reserve...

 | Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Wilderness safari in Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe (10 days)

Why not visit more than one exciting African destination? See the Great Migration, Victoria Falls and wildlife-rich Hwange National Park...

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