Facts about Kenya:
Kenya is famed for its scenic landscapes and vast wildlife preserves. Its Indian Ocean coast provided historically important ports by which goods from Arabian and Asian traders have entered the continent for many centuries. Along that coast, which holds some of the finest beaches in Africa, are predominantly Muslim Swahili cities such as Mombasa, a historic centre that has contributed much to the musical and culinary heritage of the country. Inland are populous highlands famed for both their tea plantations, an economic staple during the British colonial era, and their variety of animal species, including lions, elephants, cheetahs, rhinoceroses, and hippopotamuses. Kenya’s western provinces, marked by lakes and rivers, are forested, while a small portion of the north is desert and semidesert. The country’s diverse wildlife and panoramic geography draw large numbers of European and North American visitors, and tourism is an important contributor to Kenya’s economy.
Bisected horizontally by the Equator and vertically by longitude 38° E, Kenya is bordered to the north by South Sudan and Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, to the south by Tanzania, and to the west by Lake Victoria and Uganda.
- Area: 582,650 sq km, (slightly more than twice the size of Nevada or similar in size to France).
- Population: 43,013,341 (2012 census)
- Government: Democracy, considered the most stable government in East Africa since gaining independence from Britain in 1963.
- 10.5% of the land consists of wildlife habitat in the form of national parks and game reserves
- Less than 1% is built up urban land with extremely high population densities and quite often very poor environmental living conditions
- Of the remaining land only 20% can support rainfed agriculture (more than 612.5 mm annually) but accommodates 75% of the population and 25% of the livestock
- The remaining land (80%) is arid and semi-arid or low potential land, largely devoted to pastoralism, with less than 612.5 mm of annual rainfall. Quite a number of game parks and reserves are found within these areas. The scarcity of water in these areas is a serious security concern as people and animals compete for access to it and very often conflicts arise