Kenya is a country in East Africa with a plethora of amazing places to see and explore. As an avid traveler of Kenyan origin, I’m passionate about showcasing the country in its complete glory. In this travel guide, I share some of the most interesting facts about Kenya. Perhaps you will be inspired to visit too!
Interesting Facts About Kenya: Introduction
Africa is a breathtaking continent of many countries, including The Republic of Kenya, which is located in eastern Africa. Notably, it is the most populous country in the region.
Facts About Kenya: Geography and Population
Kenya has a total area of 580,367 square kilometers (224,081 square miles) and has a population of over 41 million people. The capital, Nairobi, is located in the central part of the country. Nairobi is also the largest city in Kenya.
Kenya is bordered by the following African countries: Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north, and Somalia to the northeast. The Indian Ocean lies to the east of Kenya.
Facts About Kenya: Main Kenyan Cities
Some of Kenya’s major cities include Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and Nakuru. Note that this is not an exhaustive list. Each city has its unique characteristics, attractions, and offerings.
As previously stated. Nairobi, Kenya’s largest city, is also the capital city of Kenya. It is a metropolitan city that is always on the go and continues to evolve as far as innovation and infrastructure are concerned.
Mombasa is located in southeastern Kenya. It is a coastal city that is known for its beautiful beaches and coral reefs.
Kisumu is located on the shores of Lake Victoria, Africa’s largest lake, which is a popular spot for fishing and boating.
Nakuru is famous for its flamingos, which can be seen in large numbers at the nearby Lake Nakuru National Park.
Facts About Kenya: Languages Spoken
Swahili and English are the two official languages in Kenya. Additionally, there are over 60 languages spoken by Kenya’s various indigenous ethnic groups.
The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan shilling (KES). Find Kenyan shilling exchange rates here.
Tip: Specific to travel, note that most hotels and restaurants in Kenya accept credit cards for payment.
Driving in Kenya
In Kenya, driving is on the left side of the road. Additionally, if you are from the US, you will notice a stark difference in where the driver’s seat is located— it is on the right side in Kenya!
Note that the legal driving age is 18 years old and above.
The legal drinking age in Kenya is 18 years old and above.
Electricity voltage in Kenya is 220 volts AC, 50 Hz, and the power plugs and sockets are type G. To that end, as a traveler to the country, adapters are necessary. Find recommended travel adapters here.
Kenya uses the Metric System. Therefore, kilograms instead of pounds, kilometers instead of miles, etc.).
Interesting Facts About Kenya: Notable History and Anthropology
Kenya is home to some of the earliest human ancestors, including the famous “Lucy” fossil.
The anthropology of Kenya is rich and complex, with a long history of cultural and political change.
Kenya is also home to various cultures and ethnic groups, each with its unique traditions and customs.
Facts About Kenya: Tourism and Notable Sights
Kenya has a rich cultural heritage and a diverse landscape that includes forests, mountains, deserts, savannas, and more. It is a popular tourist destination with many attractions, including safaris, mountains, beaches, etc.
On the topic of notable attractions, check out our comprehensive Giraffe Manor Travel Guide here.
The following are some of the best places to visit in Kenya:
- The Kenyan Coast, including Lamu Island and Mombasa.
- The country’s Great Rift Valley lakes include Lake Naivasha, Lake Elementaita, and Lake Bogoria; the largest lake in Africa —Lake Victoria; and the phenomenal desert lake— Lake Turkana.
- The national reserves and game parks include Amboseli National Park, Maasai Mara National Reserve, and Samburu National Reserve.
- The country’s highlands, mountains, and hills, such as Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon, and the Mau Escarpment.
- The deserts of northern Kenya, including Samburu.
- Nairobi, the capital city, is also a notable destination. It is the only African (and elsewhere) city with a national park!
Additional Fun Kenya Facts:
- Lake Victoria Basin is the largest lake in Kenya and all of Africa.
- Mount Kenya is Kenya’s tallest mountain and the highest point in Kenya. Additionally, it is the second-highest mountain in Africa.
- The country’s Lamu Old Town is a notable UNESCO world heritage site.
Facts About Kenya: The People
The people of Kenya come from different ethnicities. In addition to the two official languages of Swahili and English, they speak various languages, including Luo, Kikuyu, Luhya, Kamba, and more.
Like their fellow East Africans, Kenyan people are also warm and welcoming, and they enjoy a rich cultural heritage.
Specific to notable accomplishments, Kenya is known for phenomenal long-distance runners, many of whom have won Olympic medals and broken world records. Some long-distance runners include Eliud Kipchoge and Bridgid Kosgei.
The first African woman to win a Nobel peace prize —Professor Wangari Maathai, was also a Kenyan.
Interesting Facts About Kenya: Wildlife
Kenya is known for its diverse and spectacular wildlife throughout the country. Some of the most interesting wild animals found in Kenya are the African elephant, rhinoceroses, wildebeest, lions, leopards, and cheetahs.
Fun Fact: The Kenya Big Five are the lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, as well as the African buffalo.
Facts About Kenya: Kenyan Safari
The annual great migration is considered one of the natural wonders of the world. It is an event not to be missed! Over 1.5 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebras and antelope migrate from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
Tip: The Wildebeest Migration is certainly a bucket list adventure!
Kenya is undoubtedly Africa’s most popular safari destination. There are many excellent lodges and camps to experience an epic Kenya safari, making it easy for visitors to experience this amazing country’s wildlife.
Kenya wildlife safaris in the eastern Rift Valley offer a unique opportunity to see some of Africa’s most popular animals up close. Visitors can expect to see big cats, such as lions and leopards, as well as a variety of antelope, zebra, and giraffes. Additionally, bird watchers will enjoy spotting unique species.
Facts About Kenya: The Weather
The concept of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter seasons does not apply to Kenya. However, there is a distinct rainy season as well as a dry season.
Facts About Kenya: Exports
Kenya is known for producing some of the best tea and coffee beans in the world. To that end, tea and coffee are the two largest exports from Kenya.
Kenya is also a major world producer and exporter of soda ash, which is used to manufacture glass, detergents, and other products. Some additional Kenyan exports include fresh flowers such as roses and pyrethrum flowers.
Kenya Facts: Final Thoughts
From cityscapes to scenic beaches to jagged terrains and an abundance of natural wonders, Kenya is undeniably a fascinating African country with tons to offer. It is a popular tourist destination, especially so if you are seeking to experience the rich culture and stunning natural beauty.
Whether you are planning a first-time visit to Kenya or you are a returnee, I hope the aforementioned Kenya facts have been both informational and inspirational. Happy travels!
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