Kenya Overview

By | September 30, 2021

Kenya, officially Swahili Jamhuri ya Kenya, English Republic of Kenya [r ɪ p ʌ bl ɪ k ɔ f kenjə, too – ki ː njə], German Republic of Kenya, country in East Africa with (2018) 51.4 million Residents; The capital is Nairobi.


Kenya borders South Sudan and Ethiopia to the north, Somalia and the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the south and Uganda to the west. The country, located on both sides of the equator, stretches 750 km from the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria, the northeastern tip of which belongs to Kenya.

The coastal plain is narrow in the south (35 km), with good natural harbors; to the north it increases up to 200 km. Inland, the land gradually rises to the gently undulating hull surface of East Africa, which is traversed in the west by the north-south oriented East African Rift (Rift Valley). In the irregularly wide (up to 80 km) trench with different bottom depths there are lakes without drainage, in the north the Turkana Sea (375 m above sea level) and the Naivasha lake (1,888 m above sea level; highest lake of the trench), in the extreme south lies the Magadisee (579 m above sea level).

The trench is accompanied by mostly young volcanic thresholds ( Aberdare Range, Mau Escarpment, Cherangani Hills), some of which rise up to over 3,000 m above sea level, as well as flat, undulating, high plateaus interspersed with island mountains. Occasional volcanic masses and cones rise above it ( Mount Kenya, 5,199 m above sea level; Mount Elgon, 4,321 m above sea level).


The oldest prehistory of Kenya is best known for the research carried out by LSB Leakey and GL Isaac. Numerous locations are famous for having returned the remains of very ancient hominids: Baringo (9 million years), Lukeino (6 million years) Lothagam (approx. 5 million years). Archaic industries have been found in particular in the Koobi Fora region east of Lake Turkana: Olduvaian in the KBS site (oldest levels dated to about 1.8 million years); Olduvian evolved from the Karari levels, dated to ca. 1.5-1.4 million years. Industries attributed to this phase are also known in Chesowanja, in central Kenya, from where robust Australopithecus remains dated to ca. 1.4 million years. Levels of different phases of the Acheulean are known in the important site of Olorgesaile, ca. 50 km southwest of Nairobi, and in Isenya. An Acheulean, associated with human remains attributed to an archaic representative of Homo sapiens, comes from the Kanjera site. Middle Stone Age and Late Stone Age industries are found, among others, around Isenya and Lukenya Hill, near Nairobi. Complexes of the Upper Paleolithic type, known as the Eburrian, are known at Gamble’s Cave, in the central area of ​​the Rift and at Nderit Drift, south of Lake Nakuru. Fishermen’s camps dating from 9000 to 5000 BC. C. were found in Ileret, Lothagam and Lowasera, on the eastern shore of Lake Turkana.


Eldoret, industrial and commercial city in western Kenya, on the Uganda railway, 2,090 m above sea level, (2019) 475,700 residents.

Capital of the Uashin Gishu plateau (over 2,300 m above sea level, one of the most important agricultural centers in the country); catholic bishopric; University (founded 1984), Athletics Center; Food, textile, construction machinery industry, fertilizer factory; In the area wheat, corn, pyrethrum cultivation and intensive dairy and meat farming, international airport.


Nakuru, district capital in Kenya, 1,860 m above sea level, in the East African Rift and on the Uganda Railway, (2019) 570 700 residents.

Catholic and Anglican bishopric, colleges and colleges; Center of a large farm area (maize, wheat, sisal) with processing industry (industrial park), fertilizer factory. To the north of the city is the Menengai (volcanic) crater (diameter 10 km), to the south, at 1,760 m above sea level, is the Nakuru lake, 40 km 2, with no outflow, very brackish (soda lake), threatened with desiccation; up to 1 million flamingos and 400 other bird species, impalas, gazelles, baboons, monkeys, Columbus monkeys, leopards and others. (National Park). Visit for the best of Kenya.


Mombasa, second largest city in Kenya, capital of the coastal province and most important port in East Africa, on the Indian Ocean, (2019) 1.2 million residents.

Seat of a Catholic archbishop and an Anglican bishop; polytechnic college, library, museum. Mombasa is the second most important industrial city in the country with a petroleum refinery (product pipeline to Nairobi), cement factory, steel rolling mill with wire drawing, aluminum rolling mill, car assembly, food, tobacco, paper, metal and chemical industry and a focus of tourism (beaches, numerous hotels – and bungalow complexes). Most of the foreign trade in Kenya, Uganda, northern Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda is handled via the port of Mombasa (Kenya’s only overseas port, the end point of the Uganda railway); international Airport.

The Arab old town (almost completely Islamic) lies on an island surrounded by inlets; 16th century mosques; Indian trading houses. The Fort Jesus citadel, built by the Portuguese in 1593–95 as the main bastion on the East African coast and reinforced and redesigned several times, is now a museum (UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2011). The Shiva temple is being expanded to become the largest Hindu center outside of Asia.

The city emerged in the 11th century as an Arab-Persian settlement (originally Manisia ), was burned down by the Portuguese in 1505; Conquered by Arabs from Oman towards the end of the 17th century, Mombasa had to submit to the Sultan of Zanzibar in 1837. From 1886 under British influence, Mombasa belonged to the Protectorate of East Africa from 1895 (from 1920 crown colony of Kenya, 1922–63 part of British East Africa).

Kenya Overview