Tourism can be referred to as travelling for discovery or for pleasure to places that are of great interest. Tourists have an interest in people of the places they visit. They want to familiarize with their culture, their lifestyle and their practices. In Kenya, cultural tourism is practiced with an aim of understanding the origins of a people’s culture, their attachment to some practices, their norms and taboos as well as their outlook on the meaning of life. Cultural experiences provide tourists with an experience that they would otherwise not get elsewhere.
Cultural tourism in Kenya mostly targets the indigenous communities that are still holding on to their traditional way of life. Among the communities that are targeted by tourists are the Masai, Samburu and Turkana, who are known to be rich in traditional songs and dances, not forgetting that, they form the population of cattle herders and pastoralism. Their food culture is also another aspect that seems to promote cultural tourism in Kenya, bearing in mind that their most favorite drink is milk mixed with fresh animal blood.
So much about these groups of people; let’s not forget that Kenya has 42 different tribes and as such, 42 different cultures. Each of these has some cultural practices that would interest any tourist keen on cultural tourism. All these cultures are spread throughout the nation of Kenya. While the aforementioned communities of the Maasai and Samburu most occupy the Great Rift valley, others like the Swahili and Digo are to be found in the coastal region of the country. The cultural tourism around the area goes hand in hand with coastal tourism that is mainly an attraction due to the Indian Ocean, the coral reefs and the ferries. The coastal people have numerous festivals and ceremonies that are marked with traditional dances that are quite attractive to tourists.
To the west of the country are the Luo and Luhya communities. These are known to be the occupants of the Great Lake (Lake Victoria). Their culture is marked with fishing, and tourists enjoy engaging in the activity as well. Cultural tourism in Kenya has helped the Kenyan communities to hold on to their cultural practices. It gives much joy and pride when people travel from all over the world just to come and interact with the people of Kenya and to have a feel of what it is like to have some traditional practices to identify with. This culture gives a sense of identity and belonging to the whole Kenyan community.