Kenya is a country rich in wildlife, culture, history, beauty and friendly, welcoming people.
Kenya is geographically diverse, from snow-capped mountain peaks to extensive forests to wide-open plains.
Key geographical attractions include the Great Rift Valley, which features extinct volcanoes and hot springs, and Kenya's coastline, complete with reefs and magnificent beaches. Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest mountain, is located along the border between Kenya and Tanzania. Breathtaking views of Kilimanjaro can be seen from Amboseli National Park. The second highest mountain -Mount Kenya - can be found at the country's center.
Location and Size
Kenya is located on the East coast of Africa.It lies on the equator and is bordered on the north by Sudan, Somalia and Ethopia; Uganda and Lake Victoria lie to the west; Tanzania and Mount Kilimanjaro are to the south while the Indian Ocean lies to the east.It si It’s 582,646 sq km2 and is the worlds 47th largest country.
Kenya enjoys a tropical climate experiencing moderate temperatures averaging about 220C throughout the year.It is hot and humid at the coast, temparate inland and dry at the north and northeast parts of the country.
There are two seasons: short rains (October to December) and long rains (March to June). it’s hottest period is from January to March.
Country Name: Republic of Kenya,
Location: Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
Area: 582,000 sq. Km,
Population: 39,002,772 (indigenous Kenyans, Europeans, Asians, Arabs)
Religions: Christian-Protestant (45%), Roman Catholic (33%), Islam(10%), Indigenous Religions(10%), other(2%)
Language: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages
Currency: Kenyan shillings (KES)
Government Type: Republic
Early Kenya history evidence shows that man's prehistoric ancestors roamed Kenyaas early as four million years ago.The modern history of Kenya, however, did not start until the Cushitic people of
Northern Africa moved into present day Kenya around 2000 BC. Thousands of years later, at around 200 AD, the Bantu arrived and settled along Kenya's coast. Later, between the 10th-14th centuries, the Nilotic people arrived and occupied the Great Rift Valley plains.
Arab traders began frequenting Kenya's coast during the first century AD. By 700 AD, Arab settlements had sprouted along the coastline, giving way to inter-marriages between the Arabs and the Bantu.
This formed the beginning of the Swahili culture and language found in Kenya today. Arab dominance ended in 1498, when the Portuguese arrived and settled along Kenya's coast.
It was during their stay that the Portuguese built the famous Fort Jesus in Mombasa in 1593. The Portuguese retained control of much of the coast until the late 1600s when the Imam of Oman defeated them and brought Kenya's coast under Islamic control.
The colonial history of Kenya starts with the Berlin Conference of 1885 when European nations divided Africa among themselves. In 1894, the British government declared the East African Protectorate over Kenya and Uganda and, in 1920, the protectorate became a colony.
On December 12, 1964, Kenya became a republic. Jomo Kenyatta was named Kenya's first president, with Jaramogi Oginga Odinga as his vice-president.
In 1992, parliament revoked the section of the Constitution that made Kenya a one-party state. In December of that year, Kenya held its first multi-party elections.
The people of Kenya are comprised of 42 ethnic groups or tribes, among them: Kikuyu 22%,Luhya 14%, Luo 13%, Kalenjin 12%, Kamba 11%, Kisii 6%, Meru 6%, other African 15%,non-African (Asian, European, and Arab) 1%.
Indigenous Kenyan people fall into three major linguistic groups: the Bantu, the Nilotes and the Cushites. Kenya's Bantu people live mainly in the coastal, central, and western regions of the country. They occupy less than 30 percent of Kenya's land base but form more than 70 percent of the population. The most notable among the Bantu are the Kikuyu, Luhya and Kamba tribes. Nilotes are traditionally pastoralists and fishermen.
They reside in Kenya's broad Rift-Valley region, around Lake Victoria. The Maasai, Turkana, Samburu, Luo and Kalenjin are arguably the most significant Nilotic tribes. Cushitic people live in the arid and semi-arid eastern and northeastern parts of Kenya.
Most are nomadic pastoralists who own large herds of camels, sheep, cattle and goats. Cushitic people maintain close ties with their kinsmen in the neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Somalia. In fact, the Somali are the largest Cushitic ethnic group in Kenya. Another Cushitic group is the Rendille.
The Asian community in Kenya is largely Indian, descendants of laborers brought to Kenya during the 19th century to construct the Kenya-Uganda railway. They live in very close-knit societies and are among the most successful business people in Kenya.
Kenyan Arabs reside along Kenya's Indian Ocean coastline. They descend from Yemeni, Omani, and Persian traders of the pre-colonial times. The Swahili people are an ethnic group that resulted from Arab-Bantu intermarriage.
The majority of Kenyan Europeans are of British origin, many of whom opted to become Kenyan citizens after the country's independence in 1963.