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Named after snow-capped Mount Kenya, the second-highest mountain in Africa, Kenya
is fringed by the silver-blue strand of the Indian Ocean, studded with flamingo-flecked
lakes, swathed in rolling savannah, and embraced by the last of the primordial rain forests.
Stunningly scenic, steeped in history, a sportsman’s paradise, and a lover’s idyll, for over a
century Kenya was a playground for royalty, millionaires, aristocrats, and eccentrics. Today,
thanks to its high-action pursuits, cultural treasures, wealth of wildlife, and glorious beach
life, it remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and the unrivaled
“safari capital of the world.”
As to its people, Kenya is a cultural microcosm comprising more than seventy ethnic groups.
Each has its own distinctive cultural identity, ranging from the red-cloaked hauteur of
the Maasai to the heady coastal cocktail of the Swahili people. All extend the warmth of
welcome that has proved to be Kenya’s most valuable asset to tourism.
Culture Smart! Kenya provides a cultural bridge that will carry you beyond the gloss of the
hotels and deep into the warp and weft of everyday life; beyond the game parks and into
the intricacies of community and wildlife coexistence; beyond the bounds of tourism and
into the freedom of cultural understanding and exchange. A true “insider’s take” gleaned
over years of living and working in the country, it delivers key insights into the forces,
ancient and modern, that have shaped Kenya – and practical guidance on how best to enter
into the modern Kenyan business and social environment.

Named after snow-capped Mount Kenya, the second-highest mountain in Africa, Kenya is fringed by the silver-blue strand of the Indian Ocean, studded with flamingo-flecked lakes, swathed in rolling savannah, and embraced by the last of the primordial rain forests. Stunningly scenic, steeped in history, a sportsman’s paradise, and a lover’s idyll, for over a century Kenya was a playground for royalty, millionaires, aristocrats, and eccentrics. Today, thanks to its high-action pursuits, cultural treasures, wealth of wildlife, and glorious beach life, it remains one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, and the unrivaled “safari capital of the world.”

As to its people, Kenya is a cultural microcosm comprising more than seventy ethnic groups. Each has its own distinctive cultural identity, ranging from the red-cloaked hauteur of the Maasai to the heady coastal cocktail of the Swahili people. All extend the warmth of welcome that has proved to be Kenya’s most valuable asset to tourism.

Culture Smart! Kenya provides a cultural bridge that will carry you beyond the gloss of the hotels and deep into the warp and weft of everyday life; beyond the game parks and into the intricacies of community and wildlife coexistence; beyond the bounds of tourism and into the freedom of cultural understanding and exchange. A true “insider’s take” gleaned over years of living and working in the country, it delivers key insights into the forces, ancient and modern, that have shaped Kenya – and practical guidance on how best to enter into the modern Kenyan business and social environment.

JANE BARSBY is an English journalist, writer, and PR consultant who has spent twenty-five years travelling in East Africa. Based in Nairobi, she has lived on one of the last colonial cattle ranches; she worked as a reviewer of Kenyan hotels, as a commercial exhibition organizer, and as a local travel writer. She has also written a book on the history of the Block family, the founders of the Kenyan hotel industry, and worked with the Kenya Wildlife Service to produce a series of guidebooks on the Kenyan national parks.


"Culture Smart has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." Sunday Times Travel

"... the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." Global Travel

"...full of fascinating-as well as common-sense-tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." Observer

"...as useful as they are entertaining." Easyjet Magazine

"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." New York Times