30 Interesting Facts About Kenya

You may have heard recently in the news about how six lions wandered out of the Nairobi National Park in Kenya and walked around residential areas for quite a long time, apparently in search of some new scenery.

Despite perhaps terrifying a few people who came across them, no harm was done to humans or cats, and they were finally tracked down back in the park, where they had apparently walked back by themselves, and that was the end of that. Below are 30 interesting facts about Kenya that are worth mentioning.

Interesting facts about tourism in Kenya

1. Starting with the tourist attractions, which, perhaps, have put the country into the international limelight, one cannot fail to acknowledge the beauty and uniqueness of Kenya’s game parks and reserves. These parks and reserves cover thousands of acres of lands, allowing the game animals to freely roam.

2. Some of the most frequently visited parks include the Nairobi National Park, Tsavo Game Reserve, Maasai Mara Game Reserve and Amboseli National Park, among others.

3. Any person coming on safari will enjoy a view of animals that cannot be found in other places: lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, gazelles, wildebeests, leopards and cheetahs, among others.

4. Another characteristic thing about Kenya is its fantastic sights. Anybody visiting Kenya will surely notice some unique scenes and places. Among them are places like the Fourteen Falls in Thika, which is ranked among the longest and steepest falls in East Africa.

Interesting facts about Kenya: Fourteen-Falls Thika
Interesting Facts About Kenya: Fourteen-Falls Thika. Image source

5. There are also some scenes that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. As one travels to Machakos city, there is a certain step portion of the highway that seems to defy gravity: things normally go upward instead of downward. This place has remained a mystery, and even Sir Isaac Newton himself would be shocked to find that his theory can, after all, be rebutted.

6. Another mysterious scene is the Crying Stone in Kakamega. As one approaches this town from Kisumu city, there is a unique, tall stone, around seven feet, that produces a streak of water that makes it appear like it is crying. The droplets of water, which local scientists have failed to understand, normally appear like tears.

the crying stone in kenya
Interesting Facts About Kenya: The crying stone in Kakamega, Kenya.

7. And then there are the coastal towns of Mombasa, Malindi and Kilifi, which harbor some of the most interesting views in the world. Mombasa is an old town first developed by the Portuguese during the 19th century. Perhaps the oldest and most unique building is the famous Fort Jesus, a sanctuary used by the Portuguese for protection during siege.

8. Mombasa is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, making it one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The city is normally frequented by many visitors, not just because of its beauty but also for business opportunities.

9. Kenya is also covered by forests, making it one of the greenest countries in the world. Some of the largest rain forests include the Mau, Burnt Forest and Kakamega Forest.

10. Some of the forests, especially Kakamega, have some of the rarest breeds of butterflies and snakes that cannot be found in many other places.

11. A good portion of land in Kenya is covered by a mass of water. Apart from the Indian Ocean at the coast, Kenya has several lakes, both freshwater and salty. Some of these lakes include Lake Victoria, Lake Nakuru, Lake Naivasha and Lake Bogoria, among others. The country also has many rivers, making it possible for visitors to travel by boat instead of cars.

12. Apart form the game reserves and parks, other tourist attractions include mountains and unique terrain. Some of these mountains include Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya and Mt. Elgon. When it comes to unique terrain, the country boasts Hell’s Gate and the Aberdares ranges.

Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya
Interesting facts about Kenya: Mt. Kilimanjaro. Image source

Facts about Kenyan people; their culture, tradition and social life 

13. Social life in Kenya also accounts for one of the most interesting facts. Unlike most other places in the world, where people are normally unconcerned about others, social life in this country is tied to companionship, hospitality, kindness and a willingness to help. This is, perhaps, what makes visitors want to come back again and again.

14. The kind nature of the Kenyan people might be attributed to the setting and structures of families and communities. In Kenya, a child is brought up by the community and the society at large, and not just the family members alone. This makes it easy for people to develop feelings of concern and helpfulness towards others, strangers or not.

15. The culture of the Kenyan people is also unique. Although a fast-developing country, Kenyans are conservative and reserved about their culture. However, that does not mean that they are not diversified.

16. The Kenyan people can compromise some of their daily routines and beliefs just to accommodate people from other cultural backgrounds. However, visitors must also acknowledge and respect the locals’ way of life for good coexistence.

17. When it comes to maintaining time, Kenyans are not that bad, but five- or even ten-minute delays are to be expected. Any visitor scheduled to meet a Kenyan should know that delaying for a few minutes is never considered being late: it is normal!

18. Greetings in Kenya are a fabric of their social and cultural life. Whenever people meet, irrespective of whether they are acquaintances, they must greet each other, either through a raised hand, thumbs up or even the use of the most common words, “Habari yako.”

Facts about food and fashion

19. When it comes to food, the staple meal in Kenya is a delicacy known as “ugali.” This is a meal made from flour; it can be maize, sorghum or even millet. The delicacy is normally accompanied by stew and is enjoyed by many visitors, including President Obama in his recent visit.

20. Another interesting fact about Kenya is its people’s fashion. Although it is very common to find Kenyans wearing Western clothes, their own way of dressing is distinct. When visiting this country, one cannot fail to notice a red/pink/maroon piece of clothing commonly referred to as “Maasai Shuka” around people’s shoulders/waists/necks.

21. Inasmuch as there is no uniform footwear among the Kenyan people, there is no doubt that Sahara Boots and sandals, for both men and women, are the most commonly worn shoes around the country.

Facts about Kenyan economy, trade and sports

22. The main economic activity in Kenya is farming. The country is among the top exporters of coffee, tea, flowers, and pyrethrum. Due to their quality, Kenyan coffee and tea is normally grabbed the moment it reaches the international market.

23. Mining is also another common economic activity carried out in Kenya. Kenya is a land full of resources and just recently, the government discovered the existence of oil.

24. Other economic activities include fishing and trade. Kenya has many rivers and lakes, making it easy for fishermen to have big catches. Trade activities include selling clothes and basic commodities.

25. Entertainment is a crucial aspect of Kenyans’ lives. The most common forms of local entertainment include traditional dancing, storytelling and bullfighting.

26. However, that does not mean that other forms of entertainment are lacking. On weekends, most Kenyan youths throng city clubs to watch various sports, including football, basketball, rugby and other athletics endeavors.

27. It should not be forgotten that Kenya is the home of long distance running. Movie producers often include a joke or two about Kenyans and their terrific record in long-distance races in films depicting runners.

On August 9, 2012 at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, David Rudisha led from start to finish to win gold in what was called “The Greatest 800 Meter Race Ever.” In doing so, he became the first and, so far, only runner to break the 1:41 barrier for the 800 m race. (Wikipedia)

Interesting facts about Kenya: David_Rudisha_Memorial_Van_Damme_2010
David Rudisha, 2012 Gold medalist at Summer Olympics. Image source

28. Kenya is a politically stable country that has never experienced a major civil unrest. Headed by the President and his Deputy, the country has well-defined structures that make it ideal for foreigners to carry out businesses.

29. Kenya promulgated its new constitution in 2010, thereby introducing a bicameral house composed of a senate and parliament. The country also has a system of governance enabled through its 47 counties.

30. The most unique thing about Kenyan politics is that parties are never meant to last. Political parties are often formed just to fulfill the ambitions of politicians, and once the elections are over, the parties are dissolved.

kenya map
Map of Kenya

Kenya facts

Capital CityNairobi
1°16′S 36°48′E
Largest CityNairobi
1°16′S 36°48′E
Total area580,367 sq km
Population45,925,301 (2015 est.)
Official LanguageEnglish, Swahili
BordersSomalia, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan.
CurrencyKenyan shilling (KES)
ReligionChristianity, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhs, Parsees, Bahais
Life expectancy63.77 Years (2012)
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
Climatevaries from tropical along coast to arid in interior
Terrainlow plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west
Natural resourceslimestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
Agricultural land48.1%
Birth rate26.4 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate6.89 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio1 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
Independence12 December 1963 (from the UK)
National symbollion; national colors: black, red, green, white
National anthem"Ee Mungu Nguvu Yetu" (Oh God of All Creation)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$3,200 (2015 est.)
Industriessmall-scale consumer goods (plastic, furniture, batteries, textiles, clothing, soap, cigarettes, flour), agricultural products, horticulture, oil refining; aluminum, steel, lead; cement, commercial ship repair, tourism
Exports$5.679 billion (2015 est.)
tea, horticultural products, coffee, petroleum products, fish, cement

Imports$16.2 billion (2015 est.)
machinery and transportation equipment, petroleum products, motor vehicles, iron and steel, resins and plastics
Time ZoneEAT (UTC+3)
Internet country code.ke
Internet users20.952 million
percent of population: 45.6% (July 2015 est.)
Calling Code+254
Drives on theLeft

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