Kenya has known the presence of humankind since the very earliest development of our species. There are sites that have documented remnants of pre-historic man through bones, tools and carbon dating verified through international anthropological associations. Moreover, the region has long been a migratory path, passed through by wave upon wave of peoples from all over Africa and, later, from the Middle East as well. By the 10th century or so, the region had developed its own lingua Franca, Swahili, which is a Bantu language heavily overlaid with Arabic. Among other familiar words, safari is Swahili, meaning simply travel.

With the arrival of the Portuguese at the end of the 15th century, the East African coastal region was for a time dominated by the Europeans. However, in 1729 the Portuguese were expelled, to be replaced by two Arab dynasties. Arab rule lasted until the end of the 18th century, when Kenya passed into the British sphere of influence. The country became independent in 1963. Although it has experienced its share of internal and external strife, Kenya has in recent years been moving toward a more stable, multi-party political system.