White Highlands

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The White Highlands is an area in the central uplands of Kenya, so-called because, during the period of British Colonialism, European or white immigrants settled there in considerable numbers. They were attracted to the good soils and growing conditions, as well as the cool climate.

The British East Africa colony, founded in 1905, encouraged British immigration. By the time the Kenya Colony came into being in 1920, about 10,000 British people had settled in the area. The colony granted settlers 999-year leases over about 25% of the good land in Kenya. The original indigenous occupants of the land were predominantly from the Kalenjin, Maasai and Kikuyu tribes. Later, members of the Kikuyu and other allied tribes, the Embu and Meru mounted a bloody campaign against the British control of central Kenya in an uprising known as the Mau Mau.

The Maasai tribe, who are pastoralists, found the amount of grazing land considerably reduced as the White Highlands expanded.

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