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Dec 12, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

It's Jamhuri Day in Kenya! Jamhuri is the Swahili word for republic and the day is when Kenyans celebrate their independence. Today, across the county, Kenyans celebrate with the Trooping of the Color ceremony at Central Stadium. Trooping of the Color is a British ceremony performed by the army where ensigns march their colors, or flags, among the ranks of the troops. After Kenya's president takes the national salute, a national band plays the national anthem as the Number 1 Guard takes his position to receive "the color".

This year, Kenya expects at least 30,000 Kenyans to fill the newly refurbished Nyayo Stadium for the 55th Jamhuri Day celebration.

Across the country, Kenyans celebrate with parades, music, dancing, food, and other festivities.

If you can't make it for Jamhuri Day, fret not -- there are many reasons to visit Kenya at any time of year. Let's take a closer look:

The Big 5

Don't know what the Big 5 are? All the more reason to plan your trip sooner rather than later!

In Africa, the Big 5 refers to the five biggest game animals on the continent: the lion, the leopard, the rhinoceros, the elephant, and the Cape buffalo.

In Kenya, you can see them all at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. In addition to the big five, you can learn about the annual migration of one and half million wildebeest and assorted zebra, antelope -- and predators. Watch and savor the beauty of life itself as you marvel at giraffe and hippo, cheetah, and warthogs.

At the Maasai Mara, you'll experience the joy of watching animals as you have never before.

The Coast

Kenya's coast boasts gorgeous white sand beaches. It also is home to the coastal city of Mombasa, where the majority of Kenya's Muslim population lives. The city's rich Arabic history makes for a fascinating place to visit.

Diani, Kenya's most popular beach, offers a beautiful stretch along the coast of the Indian ocean. Renowned for its coral reefs, underwater sandbars, and widespread palm trees, the beach is a haven for swimmers, surfers, and explorers alike!

The Mountains

At 5,199 meters, Mount Kenya occupies its own national park with some of the most beautiful flora and fauna around. Spanning three peaks, the views from even the lowest of its summit offer astounding glimpses of plains and savanna where elephant, black rhino, Cape buffalo, Colobus monkey, antelopes, and giant forest hogs roam.

In the west, among other mountains is the majestic Mt. Elgon. With soe of the best hiking trails in the country, Mount Elgon has its own cornucopia of wildlife -- and beautiful vistas to boot!

The Culture

With numerous ethnic and cultural groups and a healthy immigrant population, Kenya offers countless opportunities to learn different languages, religions, and cultural practices. Among the most fabled are the Maasai, the semi-nomads known for their hunting and survival skills.

The Food

Everything is here, from the bizarre, to the traditional, to the everyday. Nairobi boasts restaurants from every corner of the world. Try Ugali, the iron-rich Kenyan staple made of maize, millet, or sorghum. Sample one of Kenya's most popular dishes, nyama choma, which is roasted meat with kachumbari salad and ugali -- it's enjoyed best from a street vendor. Salivating yet? Book your ticket now!

Study in Kenya

Kenya's rich landscape, culture, history, food, and academic reputation make it one of the most desirable places in the world to study. Not only will you experience what it means to live on the African continent, you'll understand how the world works -- from vibrant city to stunning nature. 

The cost of studying in this magnificent country is relatively low -- and the education is among the best in the world.

Learn more about studying in Kenya.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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