30 Interesting Facts About Kenya

  1. Kenya is a country in East Africa bordering the Indian Ocean to the east. It shares land borders with several countries in other directions. 
  2. Kenya has diverse geography. It includes snow-clad mountains, forests, deserts, coastal areas, plateaus, etc.
  3. Kenya has the highest number of national parks in Africa. These 23 national parks conserve marine and wildlife. (Source)
  4. There are 64 lakes in Kenya. These are the second-highest number of lakes in Africa, after 69 in Uganda.
  5. Kenya is a multiethnic country where no ethnicity establishes a clear majority. The largest ethnic groups are Kikuyu, Luhya, and Kalenjin.
  6. Kenya is the 3rd largest producer and 2nd largest exporter of tea in the world. It is the only African country among the top 10 tea-producing and exporting countries. (Source(Source) 
  7. Kenya is one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of cut flowers. It is the second-largest export and one of the largest sources of employment in the country. Around 33% of roses in the EU arrive from Kenya. (Source)
  8. Maasai Mara in southwest Kenya is one of the best safari destinations in Africa. This national game reserve covers an area of more than 1,500 sq km. and contains nearly 100 species of mammals and more than 500 species of birds.
    Mara River in Maasai Mara
    Masai Mara has one of the world's largest and longest animal migrations

  9. The annual migration of several land animals from Serengeti in Tanzania to Maasai Mara in Kenya is one of the largest and longest in the world. More than two million wildebeest, gazelle, zebras, and other animals migrate during June and December. (Source)
  10. The Mazrui family from Oman captured the Swahili coast of today’s Kenya during the 17th Century.
  11. The British took control of Kenya and adjacent parts of East Africa in the last decade of the 19th Century. They established the Kenya Colony in 1920.  
  12. In 1898, two male lions killed and ate up to 135 people in Tsavo during the construction of a railroad bridge. They are known as man-eaters of Tsavo. A British military officer later killed these lions. (Source)
  13. The Mau Mau Uprising, or Kenya Emergency, was a long bloody war between the British and the Kenyan rebels. This war lasted eight years (1952-60) and ended with a British victory and thousands of deaths on both sides. It played a vital role in the liberation of Kenya from the British in 1963.
  14. Somalis in the North Eastern province of Kenya voted to join Somalia in a referendum in 1962. However, the Shifta War started in 1963 when Kenya rejected this referendum. The war ended in 1967 after a ceasefire between Kenya and Somalia.
  15. Kenya is named after Mt. Kenya, the highest mountain in the country and the 2nd highest in Africa after Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).
  16. The Great Rift Valley in Kenya is part of the East African Rift System (EARS). It was discovered in 1920 and houses several volcanoes and lakes.
  17. In 1964, Kenya signed a defense pact with its northern neighbor Ethiopia. This pact aimed to prevent Somalia from gaining Somali-majority areas of Kenya. It is still in effect.
  18. The Somali minority suffered two massacres at the hands of the Kenyan regime during the 1980s. The Garissa Massacre in 1980 and the Wagalla massacre in 1984 resulted in the deaths of 3,000 and 5,000 Somalis.
  19. Kenya has faced several terrorist attacks in the last few decades. Insurgency group Al-Shabaab was behind many recent attacks due to Kenyan involvement in the Somali conflict.
  20. Swahili and English are the two official languages in Kenya. The majority of the population speaks Bantu languages.
  21. Kenya is a Christian-majority country with more than 80% followers of Christianity, particularly Protestants. Islam is the second-largest religion, with 11% adherents.
  22. Lake Turkana in Kenya is the largest desert lake and the 4th largest salt lake in the world. The lake has an average depth of 30.2 m and a surface area of 6,405 km2. (Source)
    Satellite image of Lake Turkana in Kenya
    Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake and contains ancient human fossils

  23. Lake Turkana has provided evidence of ancient humans. Archaeologists discovered a 1.9 million-year-old fossil of Homo habilis here in 1972. Later, an almost complete skeleton of a Homo erectus was unearthed in 1985. It is known as “Turkana Boy” and is 1.9 million years old. In 1995, a 4.2 million-year-old fossil of an Australopithecus anamensis was discovered in the same lake. (Source)
  24. Kenya established Africa’s largest wind power plant in 2019. This wind farm has 365 turbines and is located in northern Kenya on the shores of Lake Turkana. The country fulfills 70% of its electricity through hydropower, geothermal, and other renewable resources. (Source)
  25. Kenya is the 3rd largest geothermal energy generator in the world after the USA and Indonesia. It produced nearly 10,000 gigawatt-hours of geothermal energy in 2020. (Source)
  26. Kenya has one of the best performances in the Olympic Games for athletics. The country has won 33 of the total 34 gold medals in athletics. (Source)
  27. Wangari Maathai from Kenya was the first African woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize. She was the first female professor in Kenya, and East and Central Africa to complete a doctorate. (Source)
  28. There are 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kenya. These include four cultural and three natural sites. (Source)
  29. Kenya is among a few countries that provide a free college education for domestic and international students. (Source)
  30. Umoja is a village in Kenya where only women are allowed to live. It was founded in 1990 and shelters dozens of women and their children. (Source)

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