KENYA

Date of establishment: December 12, 1963

Brief history:

  • Colonization: The British began to penetrate what is now Kenya in the 19th century. In 1885, the area was formally incorporated into the British East African Company.
  • World War I: During World War I, the British Army occupied German East African territory, which included part of present-day Kenya.
  • World War II: During World War II, some Kenyans served in British military units.
  • Development of Political Movements: After the Second World War, political movements began to emerge in Kenya seeking independence. Jomo Kenyatta, later the first president of Kenya, played a significant role in this process.
  • Independence: Kenya gained independence from the United Kingdom on December 12, 1963. Jomo Kenyatta became the first president.
  • Political Changes: After independence, Kenya faced political and economic challenges. The 1970s saw several regime changes and political conflicts.
  • Democratization: The 1990s saw democratic reforms leading to a multi-plural political system.
  • 21st Century: The country faces challenges such as economic inequality, corruption, and security issues.

 

International abbreviation: KE

 

Currency: Kenyan shilling (KES)

The Kenyan shilling is divided into cents. The currency is issued by the Central Bank of Kenya. The Kenyan Shilling is a stable currency and is accepted for all transactions in the country.

 

Internet domain: .ke

 

Dialing code: +254

 

Time zone: +3 GMT

 

Geography:

Kenya has a very diverse relief and landscape. It includes lowlands, highlands, mountains, and savannah. The Great Rift Mountains, including Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa, are located in the center of the country.

On the western border lies the great Lake Victoria, which is the second largest freshwater lake in the world. In addition to Mount Kenya, there are other important mountain ranges such as the Aberdare Range, Elgeyo-Marakwet, and Mau. The country is known for its vast savannah and national parks. Some of the most famous are the Maasai Mara, Amboseli, and Tsavo national parks.

The Kenyan coast, which lies in the east of the country, has beautiful beaches and access to the Indian Ocean. An important tourist center is the city of Mombasa.

Besides the Nile, Kenyans have a number of other rivers such as the Tana, Athi, and Galana.

 

Highest peak: Mount Kenya 5 199 m (17 057 feet) above sea level.

Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain on the African continent after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This majestic mountain lies in the center of Kenya and is part of the eponymous national park. The mountain has a characteristic stratovolcano shape with a snow cap on top. Although the snow cap is gradually shrinking due to climate change, it is still one of the few places in Africa where glaciers can be seen under certain conditions.

 

Climate:

A tropical coastal climate dominates the east coast, especially around the city of Mombasa. It is characterized by high temperatures throughout the year and high humidity. This includes a wide range of temperatures and two distinct rainy seasons. The dry season, also known as the “elephant” season, lasts from December to March, while the rainy season lasts from April to November.

Mountains like Mount Kenya have a cooler and wetter climate. Temperatures drop with altitude and it can rain intermittently throughout the year. Areas in the north, especially around Turkana, have a semi-desert climate with low rainfall and high temperatures.

 

Fauna and flora:

Kenya is home to the “Big Five,” which are Africa’s most famous animal species, the elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo. These species are the main draw for safaris. The country has one of the largest cheetah populations in the world. The Kenyan savannah is full of herds of zebras. Some of Kenya’s lakes, such as Lake Nakuru and Bogoria, are home to thousands of pink flamingos.

Giraffes are often seen in national parks and game reserves. Rivers and lakes are home to Nile crocodiles and hippos.

Acacia trees are common on the Kenyan savannah. Kenya has several species of baobabs, which are characteristic trees with distinctive thick trunks.

On the coast you will find mangroves and palm groves that are important to the local ecosystems. Some species of orchids and roses are endemic.

 

Agriculture:

The main crops grown include maize, wheat, tea, coffee, sugarcane, cotton, tobacco, fruits (especially pineapples, mangoes, and bananas) and vegetables.

Livestock farming, including cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry, is a widespread agricultural sector. Thanks to its coastline, fishing is a very important industry in Kenya.

The country is known for growing flowers, especially roses, for export. The flowers are grown in greenhouses and exported to various countries, especially Europe.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Kenya has salt reserves, especially on the Indian Ocean coast. Limestone and kaolin are mined in some areas. Minor ore deposits including iron ore, manganese, and chromite exist, but their mining is limited. Oil and natural gas reserves have been discovered in the Tertiary Rift.

 

Industry:

The food industry is one of the most important industries in Kenya. It includes food processing, the production of beverages, dairy products, bakeries and meat processing.

The construction industry accounts for a significant share of the country’s economy. The growing demand for real estate and infrastructure is driving its development.

Kenya also has other sectors of industrial production, including cement production, the chemicals industry, and the textiles industry. The state has several hydroelectric and solar power plants, which contribute to the generation of electricity.

 

Services and other areas of the economy: tourism, banking, and transport

 

Natural and historical attractions: Thimlich Ohinga, Fort Jesus, the Masai Mara and Lake Turkana national parks and reserves, Mfangano and Rusinga islands, and the city of Mombasa.

Kenya is one of the most popular safari destinations in the world. National parks and game reserves such as Maasai Mara, Amboseli, Tsavo, and Samburu are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos, and many other species. People from all over the world come here to see this wildlife and experience the thrill of a safari.

It offers magnificent natural beauty, including mountains, lakes, beaches, and deserts. Mount Kenya, the second highest mountain in Africa, is a popular destination for climbers. Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast is famous for its white beaches and coral reefs.

The country has a rich cultural history and is home to various ethnic groups, including the Maasai, Kikuyu, Luo, and many others. Tourists can visit traditional villages, see dances and rituals, and taste local cuisine.

 

Waterparks in Kenya:

 

Form of government: republic

The president is the head of state and government and is elected by direct vote of the citizens for a five-year term of office.

Parliament consists of two chambers – the National Assembly and the Senate. The National Assembly has 290 members, while the Senate has 47 senators. Parliament is responsible for legislative functions and oversees the executive branch of government. Kenya’s judicial system is independent and includes the Supreme Court, courts of appeal, and lower courts.

The country is divided into 47 districts.

 

Capital city: Nairobi

It is located in the central part of the Kenyan highlands in the middle of Kenya. The city was originally established as a small railway station for the British Empire in 1899 during the construction of the Uganda Railway to connect the port of Mombasa on the Kenyan coast with Lake Victoria. Nairobi is an important political, economic, cultural, and transport center of Kenya and East Africa.

 

Area: 580 367 km2 (224 081 square miles)

 

Population: 55 900 000 (2022)

The population of Kenya is very diverse and consists of different ethnic groups, tribes, and nationalities. The Kikuyu are the largest tribe. The Luo are the second largest group. The Maasai are known for their traditional culture and live mainly in the southern part of Kenya. The official languages are Swahili and English, but more than 60 different languages and dialects are spoken in the country. Each ethnic group usually speaks its own language.

Kenya has a variety of religious traditions, including Christianity, Islam, traditional African religions, and others. Christianity is the most widespread, but Islam also has a large number of adherents.

The population of Kenya faces several social challenges such as poverty, inequality, lack of healthcare, and education.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 7

 

  1. Lake Turkana National Parks (1997) – Protected areas around Lake Turkana known for their unique fauna and flora.
  2. Mount Kenya National Park (1997) – A national park at the foot of Mount Kenya that includes diverse natural beauty and wildlife.
  3. Lamu (2001) – The historic coastal town of Lamu in Kenya, known for its traditional architecture and culture.
  4. Mijikenda Kaya Forests (2008) – The Mijikenda Kaya Forest Reserve, which is an important site for the preservation of traditional religious practices and biodiversity.
  5. Fort Jesus (2011) – The historic Fort Jesus in Mombasa, which has significant historical and cultural value.
  6. Kenya’s Great Rift Lake System (2011) – A complex of lakes in Kenya’s Great Rift Valley that includes Lake Turkana and other lakes of significant ecological importance.
  7. Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site (2018) – The Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site, which contains ancient stone structures, is important for studying the region’s past.

 

National parks: 21

 

  1. Mount Kenya National Park
  2. Amboseli National Park
  3. South Island National Park
  4. Saiwa Swamp National Park
  5. Sibiloi National Park
  6. Ruma National Park
  7. Ol Donyo Sabuk National Park
  8. Ndere Island National Park
  9. Mount Longonot National Park
  10. Mount Elgon National Park
  11. Meru National Park
  12. Marsabit National Park
  13. Kora National Park
  14. Chyulu Hills National Park
  15. Central Island National Park
  16. Tsavo West National Park
  17. Lake Nakuru National Park
  18. Tsavo East National Park
  19. Nairobi National Park
  20. Aberdareasc National Park
  21. Hells Gate National Park