Kenya is located in East Africa and has land borders with Uganda in the west, Tanzania in the south, South Sudan, Somalia and Ethiopia in the north and the Indian ocean in the east. The official languages are English and Swahili. It lies across the Equator and is home to some of the best white sand beaches in the world. Kenya has a land surface of 580,370 square kilometres which allows it to have numerous parks sealed off for conservation and agricultural land for the people.
Kenyan climate by location, from mostly cool every day, to always warm/hot. At the coast, it is generally tropical with rainfall and temperatures being higher throughout the year. The coastal cities, Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi, therefore have the air changing from cool to hot, almost every day. However further inside Kenya, the climate becomes more arid. An arid climate is nearly devoid of rainfall, and temperature swings widely according to the general time of the day/night.
Elevation is the major factor in temperature levels, at night, heavy clothes or blankets are needed, in the highlands, when the temperature drops to about 10–12 °C every night. On the high mountains, such as Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon shared with Uganda, the weather is generally cold throughout the year.
Although Kenya is centered at the Equator, it shares seasons mostly with the southern hemisphere except for the arid north and the tropical coastal area. The warmest summer months are December–March and the coolest winter months are June–August with slight variations of 4 °C, but there are differences in temperature varying with different locations within the country.
Kenya People & Culture
Kenya has approximately 43 million people with Nairobi as its capital, which has a population of 2.7m. The country has at least 40 different ethnic African groups (including the Kikuyu, Luhya, Kalenjin, Luo, Kamba, Somali, Kisii, Meru & Embu, Mijikenda, Turkana and Maasai) who speak a variety of mother tongues.
The different languages in Kenya fall into three categories – Bantu (Niger-Congo) languages, the Nilo-Saharan group of languages spoken among another third of the population and the Cushitic language, an Afro-Asian tongue spoken in the north. Added to this mixture, Kenya is also home to large populations of Europeans, Arabs, Indians and Pakistanis, many of whom came to the country in the 19th century.
Many Kenyan communities have also adopted westernized or Islamic forms of dress, with their original tribal clothes, jewellery, body ornamentation and weaponry kept for special occasions or celebrations. Communities in the arid and inaccessible north has held unto their traditional culture and way of life compared to the rest.
The main tourist attractions are safaris through its 19 national parks and game reserves. Other attractions include the renowned scenery of the Great Rift Valley, golf courses, tea and coffee plantations, views of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the white sand beaches along the Indian ocean especially in Mombasa, Malindi and Lamu with a variety of water sports and aquatic wildlife.
Eco-tourism, conference tourism, cultural and community tourism especially the famous Maasai people, and sports tourism build the rich tourism experience in Kenya. This is evidenced with tourism in Kenya being the second leading source of foreign exchange after agriculture.