Kenya lends itself admirably to the Special Interest Market and offers unlimited opportunities for the specialist to practice his particular hobby or pursue his own field of study. At Liberty Africa Safaris we have the experience and the enthusiasm to enable us to plan a safari tailor-made to your passengers special requirements. Apart from the obvious special interests which immediately come to mind there are is whole range of other subjects which may be encompassed in a purpose-built safari, and we welcome requests for specially designed itineraries combining visits to the wildlife areas with a relevant counterpart program.
Kenya has a predominantly agricultural economy, with agriculture, horticulture, livestock, forestry and fishing accounting for a sizeable percentage of the Gross Domestic Product. Kenya’s most important cash crops are coffee and tea, most of which are grown in the cool fertile uplands north of Nairobi, on the slopes of Mount Kenya, and in western Kenya, where a daily rainfall makes Kericho the tea garden of East Africa.
Anthropology, Archaelogy & Paleontology:
Archaeologically, East Africa is of world-wide interest, being the discovery site for some extremely important excavations and findings, notably by the Leakey family, which have gone along way towards establishing East Africa as the birthplace of early man. The most recent area to attract paleonthropologists the world over is Lake Turkana in the north of Kenya, where Dr. Richard Leakey has made some truly spectacular finds in the field of research, with his discovery of the “1470 Man”. Although it is thought that this find is 2.6 million years old, there is still much controversy among the world’s authorities over its age, and because of this the skull has not been given a proper name. A day trip should be made from Nairobi to Olorgesaillie Site, also discovered by the late Dr. Louis and Mrs. Leakey, approximately twenty five miles from Nairobi. This site is unique for the very large number of hand axes and other tools which have been found. The coastline of Kenya has a recorded history of a thousand years or more, and along its shores has passed many foreign peoples, including the Chinese, Persians, Arabs and Portuguese. Relics of these overseas traders and invaders still remain, and at Fort Jesus in Mombasa there is a fascinating collection of coastal antiquities. Relics of Arab Sultanates dating from AD 900 may be seen at various points along the East African coast, in particular at Gedi and Manda Island, and the coastal fringe north of Lamu.
The Kenyan nights are usually beautifully clear and cloudless, there being little air pollution even in the major towns and cities. This has been described as an astronomer’s paradise, as it is one of the few countries in the world where it is possible to see many stars quite easily with the naked eye, including the Coal Sack and the Omega Nebula in the constellation of Centaurus. Being situated on the Equator, excellent views of both the northern and southern constellations.
Kenya has a large and ever-expanding livestock industry and much of the country is ideally suited to ranching, with fine herds of beef cattle (Boran, Sahiwal, Charolais, and Hereford) grazed in the Nakuru, Naivasha and Nanyuki areas. Fine dairy herds, mainly Jersey and Guernsey cattle, can be found in the Naivasha and Nakuru areas.
Geology and Gemology:
Kenya’s soils are rich in minerals and gems, the latter mainly of the semi-precious variety, and a safari combined with opportunities to meet local enthusiasts and visit areas of mineralogical interest can be an exciting experience. The volcanic eruptions that have taken place have created fascinating structures of earth variations. Half a day’s drive from Nairobi Lies Lake Magadi, situated on the floor of the Rift Valley. This lake is a mass of solid soda, a valuable product which is extensively mined, and to which a visit should be included in this type of itinerary. From Taita Hills bordering the South of Tsavo National Park, the lights of the Tsavorite Mine can be seen at night, and a visit to this mine can be combined with a night spent game viewing at the Salt Lick Lodge. Ruby and green garnets are common in the same area. In central Kenya, Embu produces a variety of semi-precious minerals, such as aquamarine, pink and red garnets, green tourmaline and amethyst. Beryl, rose quartz and fluorite are found in Baragoi, and even further north at Lake Turkana (Rudolf) one can obtain extremely good samples of calcite, blue agate, jasper, and melanite garnets.
Not many people may be aware that Kenya produces almost 80 per cent of the total world production of pyrethrum. Fruit (pineapples, pawpaws, bananas, citrus fruits, and mangoes), nut (cashews and macadamia), pulses, wheat, maize and sugar are all grown for home consumption and export. Any agricultural tour should include a visit to Nakuru-Kenya’s farming center, where interested visitors may, by prior arrangement, visit a Pyrethrum Factory, Tanning Factory, and farms on which dairy cattle, citrus fruits and wheat are grown. Visits to coffee and tea estates can easily be organized.
Perhaps the best known and most unusual medical concern in this area is the Flying Doctor Service, a charity organization which involves itself mainly with providing medical services, using light aircraft, to remote areas in the bush where either hospitals are non-existent, or the roads are too rough for transportation. Visiting doctors find a visit to the Flying Doctor headquarters a fascinating experience. Apart from this, much Government and private capital has been used for hospitals in Kenya, as a result of which the country is well served on this front. In Nairobi, there are medical schools, several good hospitals and a large number of African, Asian and European Doctors. Meetings can be arranged for every conceivable type of Doctor-plastic surgeons, eye, ear, nose and throat specialists, general practitioners, radiologists-to visit laboratories, hospitals and attend lectures on the comparisons of medical problems and services in Kenya, with their home countries.
As recently as 1976, a lava tunnel was discovered in the Chyulu Hills, situated between the Tsavo National Park and Amboseli National Park in Kenya. Further intensive research has proved this to be the longest lava tunnel in the world, 11 kilometers in length along the main Leviathan tube. This tunnel is immensely interesting to speleologists, and a great deal of time may be spent exploring the numerous undiscovered tubes in the Hills. Other areas worth visiting are the Mathaione tunnel cave near Hunter’s Lodge and Suswa, where many lava tunnel are still being discovered.
Trains and Railway:
It is fascinating to visit the Kenya Railway Workshops, stockyards and engine houses in Nairobi. Situated near to the Railway Station is a small, but intriguing, museum, which depicts the history of the Railway in East Africa.