50 Fascinating Facts about Kenya

Kenya is a country that is located in East Africa. The country is home to 43.5 million people, while its capital city of Nairobi is home to 3.1 million people. Nairobi is also the largest city in the country. Kenya has a hot climate due to its location. It lies directly on the equator, and is surrounded by Uganda to the south, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia to the north. The country’s official languages are Swahili and English. It does not have an official religion, though; Christianity is highly prevalent throughout the country. Kenya uses the Kenyan shilling for their currency. Their flag is comprised of three colors, black, red with white edges, and green. In the middle of the horizontal flag is a red, white and black Maasai shield. The Maasai shield is a traditional symbol in Kenya that is used to symbolize the defense of the country.

Kenya Facts

1
Kenya’s total nominal GDP is $41.117 billion, while its per capita GDP is $976.
2
Kenya’s economy is a described as a liberal market without government control. The only thing that the government does control about the economy is certain commodity prices.
3
Telecommunication is the largest sector in Kenya’s economy. It comprises 62% of Kenya’s total GDP. Agriculture is next, which comprises 22% of the GDP.
4
Agriculture also employs over 75% of Kenya’s citizens.
5
Kenya’s government is a Devoted Republic. They have an elected President and a Parliament. The country gained its independence from the United Kingdom in 1963, and declared themselves a Republic in 1964.
6
Kenya’s main exports include herbs and tea. They also produce a substantial amount of oil, but most of it is used within their country, or exported to some of the neighboring countries.
7
The country’s main imports include machinery, vehicles, plastics and transport equipment.
8
The two official languages of Kenya are English and Swahili, but there are dozens of indigenous languages spoke throughout the country.
9
Lions, leopards, elephants and buffalo can all be found running free in Kenya. Due to this, many tourists who visit the country go on safaris.
10
The country is named after Mt. Kenya, which is the highest point in the country and is 17,057 feet high.
11
Over half of the country’s population live in poverty.
12
Kenya is widely known around the world for its distance runners. The country frequently has runners win Olympic medals for middle and distance running.
13
Kenya is comparable in size to Texas.
14
Tourism is a huge generator of income for Kenya. People come to the country to see the nature, and go on safaris.
15
Kenyan’s drink all of their beverages at room temperature. Many Kenyans don’t own refrigerators, so they keep their food products and drinks at room temperature.
16
Kenyan men can have more than one wife if they want.
17
Scientists have estimated that the Great Rift Valley found in Kenya was formed over 20 million years ago when the Earth’s crust began to split.
18
A new constitution was founded in 2010, which split the power of the country into 47 counties.
19
Dowries are still traditional in Kenya. The groom’s parents must pay a dowry to the bride’s family otherwise their son will not be able to wed his bride. Dowries start at 10 cows.
20
Kenya doesn’t have a middle class. Their citizens are either very rich or living below the poverty line.
21
Coffee is a huge export in Kenya, but it is not consumed in the country. Kenyans believe that all of the coffee they produce should be sold outside of their country, so they drink tea or beer.
22
Most Kenyans sleep under a mosquito tent in order to keep from getting bit. Many diseases can be transferred by mosquito bites, so sleeping under a net is also a safety precaution.
23
Kenya was ruled by the British for almost 100 years. They gained their independence in 1963.
24
The country has two distinct seasons, a rainy and a dry season.
25
There are over 40 ethnic groups that reside in Kenya.
26
It is free for children to attend school in Kenya, but many children do not go, as they are too busy helping their families work the land, fetch water, and other necessary tasks.
27
Kenyans use songs, poems, and stories to pass down their culture from generation to generation.
28
Scientists believe that Kenya may have been the birthplace of human beings. Bones of early ancestors were found in the Turkana Basin.
29
Nairobi is near the equator, but because it is at a higher elevation, cooler air is in the area.
30
A Kenyan environmentalist won the Nobel Prize in 2004 and was the first African female to win the prize.
31
Over 80% of Kenyans are Christians.
32
The currency of Kenya is the shilling. One shilling is about equal to one U.S. dollar.
33
The Fourteen Falls in Thika is one of the longest and steepest waterfalls in Africa.
34
Kenya has a rapidly growing population because of its high birth rate and a falling mortality rate.
35
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have flocked to Kenya from neighboring countries to escape violence.
36
Some of Kenya's forests contain some of the rarest snake and butterfly species in the world.
37
In Kenya, a child is generally raised by the community as a whole -- not just the mom and dad. Kenyans value community and family above all else.
38
Ugali is a Kenyan food staple. It is made with flour and is typically served with stew.
39
Dancing, storytelling, and bullfighting are popular activities that Kenyans partake in for entertainment.
40
Kenya is home to approximately 70 different tribes.
41
Coffee and tourism are the biggest industries in Kenya.
42
Even though coffee is a popular export that contributes to the economy, most Kenyans prefer to drink tea instead.
43
The "Big Five" animals can all be found in Kenya. These animals are rhinos, leopards, lions, buffalo, and elephants.
44
There is no government-run public transportation system in this country.
45
About 99% of Kenya's population is made up of black Africans.
46
Giant crocodiles once roamed Kenya's lands. Fossils from about 200 million years ago were discovered in this country.
47
Kenyans drive on the left side of the road.
48
Most of Kenya's electricity is hydroelectricity.
49
The literacy rate in Kenya is about 78%.
50
The last time a volcano erupted in Kenya was in 1922.

Kenya is a beautiful country that is home to over 40 ethnic communities. Its people are very relaxed, and often can be found working in the fields or in some sector of agriculture. The country’s climate ranges from tropical on the coast to very hot and arid in its interior. Each year, thousands of people visit Kenya to see the wonderful wildlife and nature that the country has to offer. It is a great place to visit and to see wildlife.

Sources