|Republic of KenyaJamhuri
ya Kenya (Swahili)
|Form of government
||EAT (UTC + 3)
|Telephone area code
The Republic of Kenya is located in East Africa and
extends on both sides of the equator. With an area of
582,646 km², the country is slightly larger than
France. Kenya borders Sudan and Ethiopia in the north,
Somalia in the northeast, the Indian Ocean in the
southeast, Tanzania in the south, Lake Victoria in the
southwest and Uganda in the west .
The coastal plain on the Indian Ocean is narrow in
the southern section and widens to the north up to 250
km. The coast itself is divided by numerous bays, reefs
and offshore islands. To the west, the country initially
rises to about 1,000 m, a slightly undulating plateau
covers almost the entire north and east of Kenya.
Individual mountain ranges tower over the plateau. The
central part of Kenya is occupied by the Kenya
highlands, which are at an altitude of 1,500 to 3,000 m
above sea level. Across the central highlands, the East
African Rift (Rift Valley) runs from north to south,
from Lake Turkana (formerly: Rudolfsee) in the north of
the country to other lakes (Baringo, Bogaria, Nakuro,
Elemeteita, Naivasha - and Magadisee) as far as
Tanzania. The width of the trench varies from 70 to 300
km, as are the altitudes.
To the west of the trench, the central highlands of
Kenya continue (with isolated mountains up to 4,300 m
high) until the country in the far west falls to the
basin of Lake Victoria (in which Kenya, Tanzania and
Uganda also have a share). The northwest and north of
Kenya is occupied by Tafelland.
Kenya's capital, Nairobi , is located east of the
East African Rift on the Athi Plain at an altitude of
The climate of Kenya is determined by the proximity
of the equator. In the lower areas in the southern part
(coastal plain, Victoria valley) there is a hot and
humid climate with consistently high temperatures all
year round (on average 26 กใ C). The climate is tempered
at higher altitudes, with average values around 17 กใ
C. There are two rainy seasons that last from October to
December and from April to June. 700 mm to a maximum of
1,800 mm can be reached on the coast and in the
highlands, sometimes more on the slopes of the
mountains. The driest area in Kenya is Tafelland in the
Flora and fauna
The largest part of the country is characterized by
savannas and extensive grasslands. Rainforests can be
found on the rainy slopes of the mountains, which at a
height of approx. 2,000 m merge into cloud forests with
a high proportion of bamboo. Deforestation and
slash-and-burn have severely decimated the forest, and
the government is trying to counter the erosion of the
soil through afforestation programs. Desert steppes can
be found in the low-precipitation north of Kenya.
Mangroves, palm trees and hardwood forests grow in the
hot, humid coastal area.
Kenya's wildlife is very rich in species and has
large game populations. Around 8% of the country's total
area has been declared a protected area, including the
Amboseli, Lake Nakurus and Tsavo National Parks. The
Maasai Mara game reserve in the southwest of the country
is one of the most animal-rich areas on the entire
African continent. For example, lions, cheetahs,
elephants, zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, gazelles,
giraffes, buffaloes, rhinos and baboons live in Kenya.
In addition to various flamingo species, the diverse
bird life also includes pelicans, herons, ostriches,
eagles and vultures.
Around 33.83 million people live in Kenya, about a
quarter of them in cities. The largest city in the
country is the capital Nairobi with about 2.14 million
residents. Other cities are Mombasa (665,000 residents),
Kisumu (323,000) and Nakuru (219,000).
Around 40 different ethnic groups live in Kenya, more
than half of them belong to the Bantu-speaking peoples
such as the Kikuyu, who make up around 22% of the total
population, the Luhya (14%) and the Kamba (11%). The
Nilo tribes include the Luo (13%) and the Paranilotic
language group the Kalenjin (12%). The Maasai in the
south of the country make up one to two percent of the
population. Non-African groups (Asians, Arabs,
Europeans) form minorities.
According to COUNTRYAAH, 73% of the population of Kenya are followers of
Christianity, mostly Catholics. An estimated 19% of
Kenyans practice natural religions, 8% are followers of
Islam. The official languages are Swahili and English,
which serves as the commercial and communication
language. In addition, around 30 other languages are
Population growth is 2.5% per year, although the HIV
infection rate (approximately 8% of the adult
population) and infant mortality (6.1%) are high. Due to
the numerous AIDS diseases, the completely inadequate
health care and the great poverty (over half of Kenyans
live below the poverty line), life expectancy is only 48
years. School attendance is compulsory for children
between the ages of seven and 15. The literacy rate is
Kenya is a presidential republic based on the
constitution of 2010. The head of state is the president
(Uhuru Kenyatta, since April 2013). Both the government
and the armed forces are subordinate to it. The
President is directly elected for a term of five years
(one-time re-election possible).
The legislature lies with the National Assembly and
the Senate. The National Assembly has 349 MPs, 290 of
whom are directly elected by the people for a term of
five years and 59 are appointed by the President. The
Senate has 67 members, 47 of whom are also elected every
five years and 20 are appointed.
The Kenyan state is divided into 47 districts.
Kenya is the most powerful economy in East Africa,
but more than half of the population lives below the
poverty line. The crisis that followed the December 2007
elections has only temporarily dampened Kenya's economic
Services are now the most important sector, with a
55% share of gross domestic product (GDP). Tourism is an
important source of foreign currency for Kenya with
around one and a half million holidaymakers every year.
Agriculture generates over a quarter of gross
domestic product (GDP). Almost eight percent of Kenya's
available agricultural land. Almost three quarters of
the workforce is employed in this area. The most
important crops are tea and coffee, which are grown in
large companies for export, as well as cotton, sugar
cane and vegetables (beans, peas). For own use, cereals,
beans, sweet potatoes, cassava and bananas are grown in
small businesses. Dairy farming is particularly
important in cattle breeding. Fishing in the fish-rich
inland waters serves the self-sufficiency of the
The industry (17% of GDP) has been growing
continuously since the beginning of the 1990s and
focuses on the processing of domestic raw materials,
mainly producing textiles, paper and tobacco products,
cement, chemical products, machines and vehicles. Kenya
has resources of soda ash, iron ore and gold. The main
customers are Uganda, Great Britain, Tanzania, the USA
and the Netherlands.
Kenya mainly imports machinery, crude oil, iron,
steel and pharmaceutical products, the main trading
partners for imports are India, China, the United Arab
Emirates, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
Kenya's road network covers around 65,000 km, of
which around 7,800 km are paved. There are around 3,000
km of rail available, the most important connection
being the line between Mombasa and Nairobi. There are
international airports in both cities.
The currency is the Kenyan shilling (= 100 cents).