Kenya

Driving Directions Kenya

KENYA is a country of moderate size on the eastern side of the African continent. The Indian Ocean is to the southeast, with Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, Sudan to the northwest, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the east. The equator almost bisects the country in two and provides a dividing line between the deserts in the north and the savannah of the south.

Mountains run north to south through central Kenya and divided by the steep-sided Great Rift Valley. The highest peak is Mount Kenya at 5,200 meters or 17,000 feet.

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Several tree species found in the distinct climatic regions, including palm, mangrove, teak, and sandalwood on the coast, acacia, and others in the lowlands, bamboo in the rainforest, and lobelias in the mountainous alpine areas.

A vast range of animals more than matches the variety in plant life. Aided by the existence of several national parks, Kenya has many of the big game species, such as elephants, rhinoceros, lion, giraffe, and zebra, as well as a large number and variety of birds and reptiles.

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The coastal lowlands have a hot, humid climate, but in the mountains, it is colder and rainfall more massive. In the east, it is very arid. The southwestern region well watered with vast areas of fertile soil, and it accounts for the bulk of the population and almost all of its economic production.

Nearly three-quarters of the population live in rural areas. Still, the capital, Nairobi, in the southwest of the country, has a population of well over one million and is a center for industry and commerce and also for tourists coming to visit the country’s game parks, including the Nairobi National Park.

Agriculture is an essential part of the economy, and a wide variety of crops are grown for domestic consumption, including wheat, maize, and cassava. Tea, coffee, sisal, sugar cane, and cotton are grown for export.

Oil refining at Mombasa is the country’s largest single-industry, but other mineral resources, including deposits of silver, lead, and gold, are few or undeveloped. Kenya’s many game reserves are a significant attraction for visitors, and tourism is an essential source of foreign revenue.

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