Lifestyle Travel

10 Facts about Kenya; discover fun and interesting facts

Written by Wamiq Ali

Kenya is a country in Eastern Africa. Its capital is Nairobi which is pretty famous for UN conventions and meetings. The official name of country is Republic of Kenya. Mt. Kenya is the tallest mountain in the country; therefore, the name Republic of Kenya. Kenya has Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as its neighbouring countries. Interestingly, after Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya is the second tallest mountain in Africa. Below are the ten interesting and fun facts about Kenya.

1. Kenya was once a British Colony

Like most African countries, Kenya was once a British colony. She earned her freedom in 1963. Just like other British colonies in the world, Kenya also carries some remains of her colonisers. The culture and day to day activity of Kenyans has been influenced by the British norms in a way or the other. The Berlin Conference in 1885 started the colonisation of Africa, almost every European power want to take a share of its own in the continent.

2. Kenya has a strong Tribal culture with diversity

There are 42 ethnic tries in Kenya. In Africa, a diverse section of ethnic tribes means, a different set of languages spoken by each one of them. The latest 2019 Census shows that Kenya has a population of 47million, there are 98 males for every 100 females. It doesn’t specifically divides the country into its ethnic diversity.

The Kikuyu tribe, according to different sources, make up the largest portion of the Kenyan population. Kikuyu along with Meru, Embu, Luhya and Kamba are a part of the Bantu Ethnic group. The Nilote and Cushite ethnic group come second and third in terms of their numbers on Kenya. Tribes use songs, stories and poems to pass on their beliefs, history and customs.

Masai Tribe in Kenya, belonging to Nilote Ethnic Group

3. Geography of Kenya is an intermix of many features

Kenya has an amazing geographical diversity. Savannah of Kenya is pretty famous and in movies as well as TV shows, it’s often featured for value addition. The coastal side of Kenya in the east meets the Indian Ocean with a length of 536km. It has mountains and plateaus. Kenya shares some of its portion into the Great Rift Valley (a tear in Earth’s crust which extends from Lebanon to Mozambique). The largest lake in Kenya is Lake Turkana, while the longest river is Tana river.

4. Kenya’s economy is agriculture dependent

According to the World Bank’s trade data of 2017, the largest export partner of Kenya is Pakistan. Further, Kenya’s export amount to $6bn with a nominal country GDP of $87bn, as of 2018. World Bank economy report on Kenya shows that 26% of Kenya’s GDP accounts for agriculture activity. Industrial sector contribution to the GDP is pretty little, it’s merely 9.3%; therefore, it’s safe to assume Kenya as an agricultural economy.

Major exports of Kenya are Vegetables and Food products, 49% of the exports makes up the former, while 8.53% is the latter’s contribution into $6bn valued export.

5. Kenya has a republican government headed by a President

The government in Kenya derives its voting bank and the resultant power from 47 counties. Each county has its own semi-autonomous government. The federal government is headed by the president who is elected by the direct popular vote. As first mentioned by the enlightenment scholars, John Locke and Montesquieu, the world today in most parts enjoys three pillars of government, the legislature, judiciary and executive. As Kenya was once a colony of Britishers, subsequently in 1963 it also adopted the same system. It has a bicameral parliament. There is no prime minister in the Kenyan model of government.

The flag of Republic of Kenya

6. Lamu Island of Kenya is Car Free

The place supports a bustling population of around 2,000-3,000 working donkeys which are used for the transportation purpose. Lamu is one of the central tourist destinations in Kenya. In East Africa, it serves as the best preserved Swahili settlement. Swahili belongs to the Bantu Ethnic group. No cars or vehicles are allowed on Lamu.

Lamu island in all of its glory, it’s a major tourist attraction in Kenya

7. Kenya’s Kalenjin tribe is dubbed as ‘the running tribe’ for producing best racers

When it comes to long races, Kenya has produced some good resilient sportsmen. As a matter of comparison, NPR reports that 17 Americans made a run under 2:10 in the marathon, on the contrary 32 Kalenjin did so in 2011. The contrast is striking. The tribe is remarkably known for producing the spawning the world record breaking runners. Some researchers claim that socio-economic conditions and high-starch diet is a contributing factor to such a resilience, while others are trying to look into genetic factors.

Kalenjin runner, Wilson Kipsang won Berlin Marathon on Sept. 29 in 2hr 3min and 23sec

8. Kenya got voted as World’s leading safari destination in 2015

World Travel Awards voted Kenya as the world’s leading safari destination in 2015. Not to mention, Tsavo is one of the largest national park in Kenya. Further, it hosts the biggest land animals like rhinos, elephants and buffalos. Kenya hosts various Safari tourism spots which can be accessed by international tourists. Several guided tours offer a natural flavour of the nature through tour-making in safari jeeps along with portable-rest-spots managed through tents.

9. Nyama Choma is a popular dish in Kenya

Facts about Kenya would be incomplete if its most popular dish is not described, which is Nyama Choma. It’s a Kenyan grilled meat and its recipe is readily available on the internet. Nyama choma means barbecued meat in Swahili language. They use meat of goat or beef and often it’s paired with local beer or side dishes such as ugali.

Nyama Choma getting prepared as meat is being grilled

10. Kenya shares the world’s second largest Lake

Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest lake is shared by Kenya along with Tanzania and Uganda. The lake was named after Queen Victoria. It plays a pretty important role in sustaining the lives of the people who live around its shores. However, the growing pollution is causing harmful effects to the health of the lake. The water level of the lake is reported to be dropping with each passing year.

About the author

Wamiq Ali

Programmer, Blogger and an Entrepreneur trying to make this web a better place by making others learn for free.

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