You’ve heard about the fascinating East African country known as Kenya, but how much do you know about it? It’s no doubt that Kenya is famous for its significant presence of wildlife and safari destinations, but there are plenty of cultural sites and stunning beaches as well. Read on to discover some of the most interesting facts about Kenya.
Where is Kenya Located?
Kenya is an East African country located on the equator. It borders Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, Sudan and Ethiopia to the North, and Somalia to the East. Kenya also borders the Indian Ocean along its south-eastern shore.
What is the Capital City of Kenya?
Nairobi is the capital city of Kenya. It is located in the country’s central region and has a population of around 4 million people. Other cities in Kenya include Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nakuru.
Does Kenya Have a Coastline?
Kenya has 536 km of coastline with incredible beaches, turquoise waters and fine white sand. Some of the most spectacular beaches along the Kenyan coast include Diani, Watamu, and Malindi.
Which Language Do Kenyans Speak?
There are 43 different ethnic groups in Kenya and over 66 different languages spoken in the country. Both Swahili and English are the country’s official languages. Most Kenyans can read, speak, and write fluent English.
What is the Most Popular Food in Kenya?
Kenya’s staple food is Ugali, which is prepared using maize flour and boiling water. An estimated 78% of Kenyan homesteads eat Ugali on a daily basis. Ugali can be served with fish, green vegetables, beef stew, roast beef, milk, or chicken stew. Other common dishes include rice, pilau, githeri, mukimo, and more. Nyama Choma (roasted meat) is the pride of Kenyan food.
What is Kenya’s Currency?
The shilling (KSH) is Kenya’s currency. Depending on exchange rates, 1 USD is approximately ksh 100-111. One Euro is approximately ksh 120-130 while 1 British Pound is approximately ksh 140-155.
Cash and Mpesa payments are accepted almost everywhere in the country, while most established companies accept credit/debit card payments. Mpesa is a revolutionary mobile money technology that allows you to instantly send money, buy airtime, withdraw cash from an agent, pay bills, and buy goods from your mobile phone.
Is Kenya Expensive?
Kenya is largely inexpensive, although the average price of commodities is higher than its neighbors. Food is cheap. You can dine at a fine restaurant for as low as $5 and around $25 in high-end city restaurants. The cost of accommodation depends on the location. Some vacation homes in Nairobi cost around USD 50 per night, while some high-end hotels inside wildlife destinations can go as high as USD 300 a night.
How is Kenya’s Climate?
Kenya has only two climatic seasons: dry season and rainy season. The dry season is hot and dusty, while the rainy season is wet and very green and lush, with cooler temperatures.
The climate varies between regions, with some experiencing a dry season from November to March while others, between August and October. The country experiences cooler weather between June and August, with day temperatures ranging from 10 to 23°C.
What is Kenya’s Wildlife?
Kenya has a beautiful and varied collection of flora and fauna. There are thousands of species, including the big five animals: Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Buffalo, and Leopard. The world’s two surviving Northern White Rhinos, Najin and Fatu, are found in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy near Nanyuki.
Kenya has over 50 national parks with plenty of wildlife species. The Maasai Mara is home to one of the world’s largest African lion populations, with the Tsavo National Park being home to the notorious maneless African lion- See Man-Eaters of Tsavo and large herds of elephants. The Samburu National Park is famous for the unusual friendship between a lioness and a baby antelope and rare zebra and giraffe species.
Other wildlife species include African buffaloes, cheetahs, leopards, rhino, crocodiles, hippos, jackals, hyenas, antelopes, gazelle, giraffes, monkeys, baboons, vultures, ostrich, and more.
What is Kenya Famous For?
Kenya’s wildebeest migration is known as The Great Migration and some even argue it should be considered the 8th wonder of the world. During this migration, an approximated million wildebeest and zebras move across the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya between July and October.
Kenya has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
- Lamu Old Town (2001)
- Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests (2008)
- Fort Jesus, Mombasa (2011)
- Lake Turkana National Parks (1997)
- Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley (2011)
- Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest (1997
- Thimlich Ohinga Archaeological Site
Kenya is considered the cradle of humankind. Archaeological research suggests that early human beings existed in the country over 7 million years ago. Kenya has numerous archaeological sites where evidence of early human existence can be found. These include the Olduvai Gorge, Tugen Hills, Hyrax Hill, and Olorgesailie River, among others.
Does the Rift Valley Pass Through Kenya?
Most of the world’s Great Rift Valley is found in Kenya. The Rift Valley, a large sunken escarpment resulting from the crack of the earth’s crust, contains some of the world’s best plains, mountains, and lakes. The major lakes include Lake Turkana, Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru, Lake Elementaita, Lake Naivasha, Lake Magadi, and more. Other spectacular geographical elements include the Hell’s Gate Gorge, Olkaria hot springs, and more.
What is Unique About Nairobi?
Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi, is the only city in the world with a Game Park and is often referred to as “The World’s only Wildlife Capital.” The Nairobi National Park is located just outside the city center and is home to hundreds of animal and bird species.