Kenya is located on the East Coast of Africa bordering the Indian Ocean to the east, Sudan and Ethiopia to the north, Somalia to the north east; Uganda to the west, and Tanzania to the south. It covers an area of 582,646 sq km ranks number 47 in the world in terms of size.
Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya is also the seat of government as well as the financial and service hub of East Africa. Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) which is the largest and busiest airport in East and Central Africa. It serves as a transit hub for many travellers making connections to the rest of Africa, Europe and middle and far East regions. The airport also serves as a major cargo center for both inbound and outbound goods. The other cities are Mombasa, the main port on the Indian Ocean and Kisumu City on the shores of Lake Victoria. Other major towns are Nakuru, Eldoret and Thika,
Kenya enjoys a tropical climate with temperatures averaging about 22°C throughout the year. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate in the central and western region and dry in the north and north eastern parts of the country. It’s hottest period is from January to March and the coldest month is July with temperatures going as low as 10°C in the higher altitudes. It has two main rainy seasons: short rains (October-December) and long rains (March-June).
Kenya has diverse physical features, which are divided into: Low Lying Arid and Semi-arid Lands, Coastal Belt, Plateau, Highlands and the Lake Basin around Lake Victoria. The Great Rift Valley which extends for 8,700 km on the surface of the earth from the Dead Sea in Jordan to Beira in Mozambique runs through Kenya. Mt. Kenya ,the second highest snow-capped mountain in Africa with an height of 5,199m above sea level is located in the central region of Kenya.
Population and Language
Kenya has an estimated population of 48 million people approximately 6 million of whom live in the major cities and towns. There are 42 ethnic groups with diverse languages and cultures. The major ethnic groups are the Kikuyu, the Kalenjin, the Luhya , the Kamba, the Maasai, the Meru, the Giriama, the Taita, the Somali and the Borana. There is also a good number of Indians, Arabs and European who live mainly in various urban areas.
The national language is Swahili and the official language is English. Swahili is spoken by a majority of Kenyans and is also spoken in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Generally, anybody who has basic education in Kenya speaks some English as it is the language of instruction in schools.
The Kenya Shilling (KES) is the official currency of Kenya. It is sub-divided into 100 cents. The highest denomination is 1,000 KES. Foreign currency is readily exchangeable in our banks, bureaux de change or authorised hotels. Traveller’s cheques are widely acceptable, as are credit cards in most established hotels, travel agencies, safari companies and restaurants.
Tourism and Wildlife
Kenya has many tourist attractions ranging from the sandy beaches at the coast, diverse flora and fauna, game parks, cultural heritage, scenic landscapes just to name but a few. The Nairobi National Park is within the boundaries of the City of Nairobi. Also close by is the popular Giraffe Centre where visitors can watch and even feed the giraffes. Other attractions include the National museum, Amboseli National Park, Lake Nakuru, Hells gate, Tsavo East and West National park to mention but a few. The country’s notable tourist attraction is the annual Wildebeest Migration at the Maasai Mara. It is a sight to behold and has been dubbed the 7th Wonder of the World.
Kenya is known internationally in the world of athletics. It has the best athletes in middle and long distance races such as marathon, steeplechase, 1500 m and 800 m. Since the 1960’s Kenya has produced World class Athletes, World record holders and Olympic medals more than any other country. The National Rugby Sevens team competes in the World Rugby Seven series, Rugby World Cup Sevens and the Commonwealth Games. The Kenya Volleyball team also has dominated the African continent since the 90’s winning the Women African Volleyball Championship a record nine (9) times. Kenya hosted the IAAF World U18 Championship in 2019 and is set to host the IAAF World U20 Championships in Nairobi, from 17 to 22 August, 2021, one week after the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Golfers will be delighted to discover some of the finest golf courses in Africa. For the travelling Golfer teeing off in one of Kenya’s many world class golf courses makes for a perfect break from a safari. Kenya is a perfect choice. Our golf courses offer international golfing standards and some of the world’s finest design and landscaping. In November 2020, Kenya was named the Best Golf destination in Africa by the World Golf Awards. Kenya recently hosted the European Tour Tournament in March 2021.
For the motor sport thrill seekers the legendary East African Classic Rally is a rally you won’t want to miss. The safari classic rekindles the spirit of the original Safari Rally. The nine-day rally covers upto 5,000 kilometers through Kenya traversing Kenya and Tanzania putting East Africa on the motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world ‘s toughest rally. It is organized in compliance with the prescriptions for Long Distance rally regulations for the FIA and the Supplementary Regulations and Appendices.
From athletics, golfing, to the world’s most road Safari Rally, there are also new and unusual sporting spectacles born from our exotic culture heritage. Get to participate in our annual donkey and dhows race in Lamu, camel race in Maralal town or the traditional Bullfights in Kakamega.
We take sport seriously and have world class sporting facilities to prove it!.
Kenya’s warmth extends beyond its temperatures as its people are well known for welcoming tourists. It’s easy to find locals who are happy to point you in the right direction or take you there themselves. Almost any diet can be accommodated and meals are often accompanied by infectious smiles and a refreshing burst of flavour. In Kenya, you wake up to a warm sun, spend the day alongside magnificent animals and end the day memorably with dinner under a blanket of African stars. No other country on earth can offer the visitor as much to see and do. Within the borders of a single country, you will find savannahs rich with big game, timeless cultures unchanged by the modern world with endless opportunities for adventure, discovery, relaxation and much more than you would ever expect.
Kenya has a culture born of countless sources. This region has been crossed by the paths of a long and complex history. From the prehistoric records of early man to the present day, Kenya has been a land of unending change, contrasts and diversity. The early tribal states saw cycles of migration and shifting power, with Kenya as a meeting place for peoples from the plain lands of the south, the forests of the West and the deserts of the North.
The sea brought influences from the outside world, and the passage of the spice trade created the unique coastal culture, where lines between Africa and Arabia blurred. The open coast brought European influences into this world of change and began a turbulent struggle for control whose exotic history lingers today.
The first explorers discovered a land of great peril and greater beauty, and their great adventures created the most unique colony in the British Empire. This was a meeting place of cultures, where adventurers and soldiers of fortune mingled with a complex tribal society, and the arrival of labourers and merchants from India brought new and pervasive influences. The colonial legacy lives on in the traditions of the great safari, and the pursuit of adventure and freedom. Kenya has drawn on all of these influences to develop its own unique culture.
This is the nation’s greatest strength- the ability to blend the best of many worlds into a strong, singular identity. Today, Kenya welcomes the world to its shores and continues to evolve a modern culture that is born of endless variety, and yet purely, Proudly Kenyan!