Kenya is one of the countries in Africa with the best prospects for future development. It has exceptional natural beauty, wonderful climate, political stability and experience in the meeting of foreign tourists. The environment is very clean and offers an unique opportunity to break away from the everyday stress and dynamics. The life in Kenya runs in very slow motion. Kenya is known for its vast variety of wild animals and that is probably the most attractive destination for safari in the world.
Geography. Kenya is located in the eastern parts of Africa, on the coast of the Indian Ocean. The equator passes through the middle of the country and divides it into two almost equal parts.
Kenya is bordered to the north by Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia, the southeast by the Indian Ocean, to the south and southwest by Tanzania, to the west by Uganda and to the northwest by Sudan. Kenya has an area of 582,650 sq.km.
Relief. The majority of Kenya has a plateau or mountainous terrain. The relief is flat only in the eastern and coastal parts of the country. The highest peak in the country is Mount Kenya, which rises to 5,199 meters above the sea level.
The peak is usually covered with snow all year around and it sharply contrasts to the sunny and hot savannahs that surround the mountain.
Climate. Although the equator crosses Kenya, as a result of several factors such as altitude, movement of air masses during the year, etc., it has a classic subequatorial climate.
In the city of Mombasa, which is located on the coast of the Indian Ocean, in the southern parts of Kenya, the daily temperatures range from 28 to over 33°C.
The hottest month in the year is March and the coldest is August. The difference between the coldest and most warm month is not more than 5°C. The night temperatures vary between 20 to 24-25°C.
The climate is humid all year round, but the rainfall varies strongly. The driest month is February, when accounting for an average of 10 – 15 mm.
In the next months, however, the rainfall rapidly increases and in May it can reaches and even exceeds 300 mm! In the second half of the year the precipitation is relatively stable and unchanged about 700 mm per month.
In other parts of the coast line of the country the climate is almost the same as it is in Mombasa, but with some minor differences in the features. Inland the climatic conditions vary depending on the altitude.
In the capital Nairobi for example, which is located in the central parts of Kenya at around 1700 meters altitude the temperatures range from 21°C in August to 26°C in February.
The night temperatures are from 10 to 15°C. The weather is easy bearable and there is no heat that is otherwise typical for the tropics. The temperatures in Nairobi are similar with these in Mexico City.
Similar to Nairobi, the capital of Mexico is also located at high altitudes, but it is not close to the equator, but to the tropic of cancer. In Nairobi there are two slightly wetter periods during the year.
One of them is in April and May with 200 mm rainfall and the other is in November and December, when the rainfall is less than 130 mm. July, August and September are the driest months with precipitation around 10 – 20 mm.
Nature. The nature of Kenya is its greatest wealth. The unbelievable beauty of this country makes it one of the most visited in Africa.
The nature of this country is one immense mosaic of savannahs and rare (sometimes dense) subequatorial forests. The southern half of the country is quite fertile and is covered with much more vegetation.
For the most part of Kenya we can say that they have classical African landscape – dry and golden savannahs. Here and there you can see some lonely acacia trees and a great variety of animals.
The savannah of Kenya is considered to be one of the places in the world with the greatest diversity of large mammals. Antelope wildebeest moving in flocks sometimes numbering hundreds of thousands.
You can see also many prides of lions, lonely leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, jackals, elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, dozens species of antelopes, giraffes, zebras and what not.
On the west side has an outlet to the Lake Victoria, which is the largest in Africa. In the northern part of the country there is another major freshwater basin – the Lake Turkana. It has a length of almost 240 km.
Generally, it is located in Kenya and only the northern-most parts of it is on the territory of Ethiopia. The coastline of Kenya is very attractive for the development of marine tourism.
This applies particularly to the south of the country. Kenya has one of the most beautiful and attractive beaches on the African continent. The sand is very fine and bright and has a colour of ivory.
The coastal waters are protected by coral reefs. Therefore, the water around the coast is almost always clear and transparent. At low tide in some places the coral reef come out of the water.
Around the attractive beaches grow hundreds of tropical trees and other exotic plant species. Huge coconut palms cast a shade on the beach.
Population and settlements. Kenya has a population of about 39.5 million people and it continues to expand rapidly.
In Kenya dominated by medium-sized cities and no excessive concentration of population in the cities as it is in Europe, America, Canada, Australia and others. The largest city in the country is the capital Nairobi.
Other major cities are Mombasa, Nakuru, Kisumu and so on. Kenya has two official languages – English and Swahili. In Kenya profess very different religions, but the Christianity and Islam prevail.
In this respect, the country may be divided into two regions – predominantly Islamic coastal part and interior – mostly Christian part of the country. For Kenya we can say that the internal differences do not separate, but just on the contrary – unite the country.
– Nairobi. With a population of around 2.9 million people, Nairobi is the largest city and capital of Kenya. The central part of Nairobi is a modern and orderly business center with very good infrastructure.
The city with its skyscrapers is a city of European or American type. Despite of the high and modern buildings do not missing and the exotic vegetation.
To the west and northwest of the city center has some very beautiful and nice neighbourhoods with large and luxurious villas with swimming pools, hotels and excellent infrastructure.
The majority of the capital, however, is occupied by poor neighbourhoods, some of them quite primitive.
– Mombasa. Mombasa is the second largest city in Kenya. The population is approximately 800,000 people. This is the largest port and a major tourist center in the country.
Mombasa could not boast so modern architecture such as Nairobi, but there are many beautiful and modern neighbourhoods bordering with the ghettos and poverty.
– Kisumu. With a population of nearly 400,000 inhabitants, Kisumu is the third largest city in Kenya. It is situated in the western part of the country on the eastern shores of the Lake Victoria and about an hour from the border with Uganda. The city is situated at more than 1100 meters altitude.
– Nakuru. Nakuru is the fourth largest city in Kenya. It is located in the central parts of Kenya about 130 km northwest of Nairobi. Has a population of about 300,000 inhabitants.
The town is famous for its beautiful surroundings and picturesque scenery, and the homonimous Lake Nakuru, around which live a great variety of animal species such as, giraffes, lions, rhinoceroses, pink flamingos and many others.
Economy. Kenya is a developing country. Its economy is rapidly growing, but still lags far behind the developed economies in the world.
Kenya is among the most promising countries on the continent, but comes face to face with many problems. The population of cities such as Nairobi and Mombasa have very different standard of living.
While a part of the population lives in luxury, another part even has no access to education. But these are problems that this country will gradually succeed.
Kenya’s infrastructure is very good compared to the most countries on the continent. Here, unlike the countries of north Africa, the deserts are not a problem to the transport.
The official currency of the country is Kenyan Shilling. The main economic sectors are agriculture and tourism.
The output of the agriculture is intended for personal use and a very small part is exported abroad. Pigs, poultry (for meat and eggs) and cattle (for meat and milk) are the widest spread farm animals that the locals keep.
Here are grown coconuts, pineapples, sugar cane. In the mountainous and plateau areas are grown tea and coffee. On the high places, where the topography allows, the locals keep cereals (mainly wheat and maize).
Thanks to the outlet of the Indian Ocean the fishing flourished here. Over the years, Kenya has developed its tourism and already have plenty of experience and tradition of the welcoming of foreign tourists.
Kenya knows how to attract and to please to the crowds of Europeans, Americans and Asians, who arrive here each year. Around and south of Mombasa you can find a great hotel complexes, which are very different from those in the Mediterranean.
The buildings are not high, but rather large and with eccentric forms. Swimming pools are huge and everything is submerged in a dense tropical vegetation. Tourism will play an increasingly important role in the development of Kenya’s economy.
When to visit Kenya? The weather in Kenya is great throughout the year. Only April and May are very rainy and this could affect your plans to relax outdoors and amidst the nature. Otherwise, the temperatures should not bother you.