Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator. With the Indian Ocean to its south-east, it is bordered by Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya has a land area of 580,000 km2 and a population of a little over 40 million residents. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa’s highest mountain peaks. Its capital and largest city is Nairobi.
Kenya has a warm and humid climate along its coastline on the Indian Ocean, which changes to wildlife-rich savannah grasslands moving inland towards the capital. Nairobi has a cool climate that gets colder approaching Mount Kenya, which has three permanently snow-capped peaks. The warm and humid tropical climate reappears further inland towards Lake Victoria, before giving way to temperate forested and hilly areas in the western region. The North Eastern regions along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia are arid and semi-arid areas with near-desert landscapes. Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh-water lake (after Lake Superior in the US and Canada) and the world’s largest tropical lake, is situated to the southwest and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania.
Kenya is famous for its safaris and diverse wildlife reserves and national parks such as the East and West Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park. It has several world heritage sites (Lamu) and world renowned beaches such as Kilifi where the international yachting competitions are held each year. The “Big Five” animals of Africa can be found in Kenya and in the Maasai Mara in particular: the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant. A significant population of other wild animals, reptiles and birds can be found in the national parks and game reserves in the country. The annual animal migration – especially migration of the wildebeest – occurs between June and September with millions of animals taking part.
Kenya is the setting for one of the Natural Wonders of the World – the great wildebeest migration. 11.5 million of these ungulates migrate a distance of 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in neighbouring Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya, in a constant clockwise fashion, searching for food and water supplies.
The capital, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. Agriculture is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and more recently fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is a major economic driver. Kenya is a member of the East African Community.
1st January – New Year
Good Friday and Easter Monday
1st May – Labour Day
1st June – Madaraka Day
20th October – Mashujaa Day
12th December – Jamhuri Day
25th December – Christmas Day
26th Boxing Day
Idd-ul-Ftr (End of Ramadhan)
When the dates above fall on a Sunday then Monday is a public holiday.