Contrary to what people might think, Kenya is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa, full of natural beauty, fascinating attractions and exciting things to see and do. The beauty of this country is not to be missed. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about Africa in the west. Many of these assumptions about our beautiful Motherland are based on what people see on TV or the kind of history books they read. Information that is often backdated skewed towards the negative or even absolutely misrepresented at times.
We present 10 amusing misconceptions foreigners have about Kenya, which are not even true, Kenya is a beautiful and developed country:
1. Kenya is riddled with Lions roaming the streets
Photo Source: Alejandro Caceres on Flickr
This is a huge misconception. No, we do not have lions roaming about in the middle of the streets or taking selfies with the rest of us. We have lions and other exotic animals. Our country is an open land where wild life thrives. However, this does not mean that they live among people. We have National Parks and Game Reserves where our beautiful wildlife dwells and they are very beautiful.
2. Kenyans wear Leopard skins
Photo Source: Realtimefix Blog
First of all, leopards are some of our highly priced wild animals and killing them is extremely illegal. And for the leopard skin wearing locals, that just doesn’t happen. Yes, there are entertainers who use leopard-print costumes, but that is just for entertainment. We have clothes here and we love fashion. You should check out Kenya’s fashion scene, we have the same love and admiration for fashion just as Americans do. Some of the most highly valued designer clothing chains such as Zara, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and so many more have stores that displays their brands in Nairobi and other cities in the country.
3. Kenyans live on trees
Photo Source: Nairobinews.co.ke
No one lives on trees. Kenya has one of the most vibrant real estate industries in Africa, if not the world. But forget about high-rise apartment buildings and gated communities (which we also have plenty of), we’ve gone full circle. We even have gorgeous lodges and luxury camps for those looking to have the “authentic African experience”. We do even have killer hammocks and star-beds.
4. Kenyans do not have cell phones, service or data
Photo Source: Webmania.co
Kenya is riddled with all types of cell phones. We even have Apple’s priced iPhone here. In fact, CCK (Communications Commission of Kenya) places the number of mobile subscribers in the country at just under 30 million. (29.8 million as of this March). This is a country with just over 43 million people. As for data and cell service, Safaricom, Airtel and Orange, the leading cell carriers in the country have boosters all over the place. Of course, there are regions without service, but those just happen to be the remotest of places.
5. Kenya is ‘crime-ridden’
Do we have crime in this country? Well, sometimes but it happens everywhere. Most foreigners who have visited this country will tell you that Kenyans are a very friendly lot. Not gun-totting highway bandits.
6. Kenyans don’t have cars, they run everywhere
Photo Source: Tcktcktck.org
Kenyans just do not run to whatever place they need to be. We have public transportation, luxury vehicles, trains, boats, motorbikes, and we even have private planes.
7. Kenyans know each other
This is a country with well over 43 million citizens, not to mention immigrants and expatriates. We do not know everyone, but we are very friendly lot. We tend to say hello to most of the people we come across. That does not mean we know them. It just means that we are more sociable than some communities.
8. Kenya is a jungle that is as hot as hell
We embody the phrase ‘African Safari’ and that is because we have great expansive savannah riddled with exotic wild life, lush forests and mountains that simply defy reason. We also have four main cities and a myriad of towns. Additionally, we enjoy tropical weather but some parts of the country like Nanyuki get so cold that it even snows sometimes. So, yeah, Kenya has nice, ‘sun-tanny’ weather, but it is not a jungle that is as hot as hell.
9. Kenyans live in mud huts
There are some rural parts of the country that still have huts, but you wouldn’t want to miss that experience. We also have a major tourist attraction called the Bomas of Kenya, where we have recreated the indigenous huts of our people. some of our people live in high-rise apartment buildings, luxury villas and brick or block homes. The Maasai, our most priced “true to their culture” people still largely live in Manyattas…and we love them for it.
10. Kenyans eat only roots and wild herbs
The whole world could use some roots and wild herbs because they are healthy. However, Kenya has an eclectic range of food options to choose from. We always celebrate Kenya’s heritage with our classic recipe that will take you back to your mom’s kitchen when you visit our country. We have delicious foods such as Pilau, Ugali and vegetables, our favourite Nyama Choma and many others. We have a host of other themed restaurants that serve foods from all around the world. We even have Pizza, so you can’t starve when you visit.
If you haven’t visited Kenya, you probably should. New adventure awaits you here!
What are some of the most hilarious misconceptions you have heard about Kenya and Africa in general? Share your experience with us in the comments section below: