Kenya: People, Climate & Culture
Kenya: People, Climate & Culture
Located on the equator, Kenya is a land of contrasts. With the snowy peaks of Mount Kenya, the mountain forests, rainforests, deserts, arid or semi-arid savannas, mangroves, white sand beaches and coral reefs, Kenya offers a variety of breathtaking scenery. Elephants, lions, rhinos, zebras, hyenas, giraffes, antelopes, hippos are just some examples of the rich and dense wildlife which positions Kenya as one of Africa’s top Safari destinations. Let yourself be transported into this Eden, and take the opportunity to live in harmony with nature during your travels.
Kenya is located in Eastern Africa along the equator. Its neighboring countries are South Sudan and Ethiopia to the North, Somalia to the East, Tanzania to the South and Uganda to the West. Kenya meets the Indian Ocean to the East with nearly 300 miles of pristine beaches. Its highest point is Mount Kenya at 17,057 ft, the second highest mountain in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro, while his longest river is the Tana River which flows for over 400 miles. Nairobi, the capital and largest city has a population of 2,874,691.
Kenya has such diverse geography, that, temperatures, rainfall and humidity vary widely. The country can be divided into four main regions: the arid north, the savanna lands in the south, the central highlands and the lowlands along the coast and the Lake Victoria region.
The coastal areas are hot and humid, but pleasant due to some much welcome sea breezes. Average temperatures vary little year round and range from 71°F to 90°F. The central highlands and rift valley enjoy a pleasant temperate climate, with average lows in the upper 50s and highs in the middle 70s. The Lake Victoria lowlands are hot and humid, with temperatures reaching 92°F. The semi arid north experiences the most extreme variations in temperatures. During the day temperatures can get above 100°F and can drop to 60s during the night.
Typically Kenya experiences two rainy seasons: March to May tends to bring longer heaver rains and October to December is known for short light rains.
Kenya is made up of more than 70 tribal groups. There are also small but influential populations of Asian, Arab and European origins. More than 90% of the African population falls within the broad categories of Bantu speakers. The main Bantu speakers are Kikuyu, Luhya, Kamba, Gusii, Mijikenda, Embu and Meru. Nilotic speakers are Maasai, Samburu, Pokot, Turkana, Luo and Kalenjin. Along the coast, the interaction of Arabs, Persians and Bantu Africans has resulted in the Swahili people. The Swahili language is now widely spoken in Kenya and throughout Eastern and Central Africa.
Since independence in 1963, Kenya has long been an example in terms of political stability and democratic transition. However, the results of the presidential elections held in 2007, lead to unprecedented violence, bringing the country to the brink of civil war.
While corruption does not directly affect much of the population nor most tourists, it is still an ever-present driving force in the political realm.
With nearly 75% of the population working in the Agricultural Sector, it is clearly the force behind the Kenyan economy. These principal agricultural products are tea and cut flowers which represent 15% of the country’s exports. Today, Kenya is the leading supplier of roses of the European Union.
Tourism, after experiencing a major boom in the 1970s which positioned Kenya as one of the leading tourism countries in Africa, is now the second largest source of revenue for the country.
As the most industrialized country of East Africa, Kenya's economy has real potential, based on efficient agriculture, and a large well educated middle class population. However, even with the highest per capita GDP in the region, minimum wage is still below $75 per month.
Religion is an important part of Kenyans daily lives. The population is about 45% Protestant, 33% Catholic, 10% Muslim, and 10% follow traditional tribal beliefs.
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GPS Coordinates:S -1.292066
Area : 224 962 sq miles
Population: 40 512 682 people
Under 15 years old: 42%
Annual Growth Rate: 2.6%
Population Density: 158 /mile²
Urban Population: 22,2%
Life Expectancy:(♂) 58.9 years
(♀) 60.0 years
Literacy Rate: 87%
GDP per capita: 1 700 USD
Officcial Language: English
HDI : 0.509/1
HDI(World Ranking):143 of 187