Facts about Kenya
Kenya is one of the most popular destinations in the
world as no other country on earth can offer the visitor
as much to see and do. Kenya is famous for its amazing
landscape (scenic beauty), savanna rich with magnificent
wildlife (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard
etc), diverse cultures unchanged by the modern world,
pristine beaches and coral reef, equatorial forests and
mighty snowcapped mountains, an exotic history and
fascinating modern culture, and endless opportunities
for adventure, discovery, relaxation and so much more
than you ever expected.
When to come:
The main tourist seasons are December-January and
July-August responding to the international vacation
The Great migration of wildebeest and Zebra usually
reaches Kenya's Maasai Mara during July-August.
October-January is the best time for a beach holiday.
The rainy seasons are usually in April-May and November.
Kenya occupies a total area of 582,650 sq.km and
straddles the Equator. Of this area, the lakes occupy a
total area of 16,600 sq. km.
Bordering countries: Kenya shares common borders with 5
(five) nations namely; Tanzania to the south, Uganda to
the west, Sudan and Ethiopia to the north and Somali to
Kenya's current population is 34,707,812 million
(Government of Kenya 2006)
Agriculture employs over 80% of the entire working
population, contributes 29% to GDP and accounts for 50%
of export earnings. Tourism is among the largest single
export earner. The industrial sector contributes about
16% to the GDP.
There are 3 cities in Kenya namely Nairobi,
Mombasa and Kisumu with Nairobi as the capital city.
English is the official language while Kiswahili is the
National language and is widely spoken.
Time: Kenya has a single time zone -
which is GMT/UTC +3 all the year round with an almost
constant 12 hours of daylight. Sun rises at 6.30 am and
sets at 6.45 pm daily.
Kenya is a multiparty democracy.
The Coast is always hot with an average daytime
tempratures of 27-31 degrees centigrade whilst the
daytime tempratures in Nairobi is 21-26 degrees
centigrade. July to August marks the Kenya winter.
January to February is dry. March to May is wet. June to
September is dry. October to December is dry.
The Kenya Shilling (Ksh).
Four daily English language newspapers, one daily
Kiswahili newspaper, seven local television stations and
19 local and two foreign radio stations.
Christianity is the dorminant religion. There is also a
large Muslim and Hindu communities.
Kenya's total conservation area is 44,359 sq. km of the
total area. The main parks are Aberdares, Amboseli, Lake
Nakuru, Meru, Mt. Elgon, Mt. Kenya, Nairobi, Tsavo East
and West, Hell's Gate etc.
There are two major marine parks namely Mombasa and
Malindi. There are over 80 major animal species ranging
from the big five down to the tiny antelopes. There are
also over 1,500 species of birds in Kenya. Some of these
are found in the 60 important bird areas in the country.
Kenya has over 400 historical sites ranging from
prehistoric fossils and petrified forests, to 14th
century slave trading settlements, Islamic ruins and
16th century Portuguese forts.
Major products include cement, chemicals, household
utensils, light machinery, motor vehicles, paper and
paper products, and textiles. Food processing is a major
Power voltage supply ranges from 220 - 240 volts with
the most commonly used plugs being 3 pin/square.
There are several hospitals in Kenya. There are also
many Doctors who are highly qualified and specialized in
different areas. The main hospitals are the Kenyatta
National Hospital, Nairobi, Aga Khan, Mater Hospital
There are several banks (local and international) in
major towns. They operate from Monday to Friday between
9am to 3pm. However, a few banks operate late hours. The
banks also operate on the first and last Saturday of
every month from 9am to 11am.
Foreign Exchange Bureaus:
There are several forex bureaus in major towns where you
can purchase/sell major foreign exchange.
Agriculture is the main stay of Kenya's economy,
providing livelihood to approximately 75 per cent of the
rural population. It accounts for one-third of the Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), generating about 60 per cent of
the total foreign exchange earnings. In addition,
agriculture provides direct employment to over 274,000
people. The sector has strong forward and backward
linkages with the manufacturing sector providing most of
the basic raw material inputs to local agro-industries.
The major agricultural activities in Kenya are crop
production, horticulture, dairy and livestock farming.
As a result of the varied ecological zones, a wide range
of crops are cultivated and livestock reared.
Traditionally, the major foreign exchange earners have
been tea, coffee and horticulture. Other products
exported from Kenya are sisal, cut flowers, cashew nuts,
pyrethrum, fruits and vegetables, beef and dairy cattle.
The livestock industry comprises mainly of dairy, meat
production and hides and skins from cows, sheep, goats
and poultry. It accounts for about 7 per cent of Gross
Domestic Product. The sector is also dominated by small
The horticultural sector is one of the fastest growing
sectors. The main export products are cut-flowers,
French beans, pineapples, mushrooms, asparagus, mangoes,
avocados, passion fruits, melons etc.
A number of tour operators offer agricultural tours,
according visitors the opportunity to visit production
areas, see the activities at all the stages of
production as well as sample the final product. For more
information, please contact those of our Members who
offer such tours.
Kenya has over 42 different tribes with distinct
languages and several dialects. Each ethnic group has a
diverse and contrasting way of life such that as you
travel within Kenya, you will find different and
fascinating cultures such as the Maasai to the South,
the Swahili along the Coast, the Samburu to the North
and many others.
For those with a strong interest in cultural tourism, it
is possible to arrange village or home-stays in many
parts of Kenya.