Culture is a way of life of a people and Kenyans have a diverse cultural landscape plus they are highly rated for their hospitality. Like any country, there are certain things you should not do or say in Kenya in order to avoid a squabble with the locals, and knowing these norms will also make your stay a better one.
When visiting any country, it is essential to educate yourself on a few do’s and don’ts to assimilate easily with the locals. It makes moving around so easy and many people are pleased to know you took pains to know something about them or their culture.
You are sure to have a good time on your safari adventure or in a local café on the side of the street if you avoid doing these five things.
There are some daring Kenyans out there but most Kenyans are conservative so what will be regarded as high fashion in many cities will be deemed inappropriate on the streets of Nairobi and other major cities. Do not get it twisted as well and underdress for events either.
You are sure to get some disapproving stares from conservative people who think you may be dressed inappropriately.
4. Refusing hospitality
Kenyans are groomed to be hospitable from birth as it is ingrained in their culture. It is not uncommon for any visitor to be offered food and drinks wherever they go. It will be in bad taste to refuse to have a bite or a drink and many consider it rude. When you strike acquaintances, expect a random invitation to dinner or lunch at home or in restaurants and be sure not to turn it down.
3. Questioning people about their tribe
There are so many beautiful and unique tribes in Kenya and many people take pride in their tribe, even though they would prefer to define themselves as Kenyans first.
This stems from the fact that there are many stereotypes surrounding many tribes in Kenya. So, when people are asked what tribe they belong to, they immediately think you are placing them under a stereotypical umbrella even when your question is genuine, and your intentions are pure.
Try generalizing questions pertaining to tribes by asking broader questions like, how many different tribes are in Kenya.
2. Not paying attention to what you buy
Kenya is blessed with beautiful wildlife and safaris but sadly some of the animals there are endangered. So, buying hides from big cats, rhino horns and ivory from elephant tusks should be avoided as you might be arrested for dealing with corrupt individuals. These dealers know it is unlawful to sell these items in the open so beware if you are approached on the street with such items.
1. Taking pictures without consent
The probability of meeting a Maasai Moran walking in the streets is high, according to a report by Culture Trip, and they are beautifully adorned in their traditional red shuka or robes and accessories that they are hard to miss.
The initial reaction of every tourist is to snap photos, however, the polite thing to do is ask before you do. Usually, they are proud to parade the streets in their regalia but in order not to offend anyone, kindly ask before taking photos.