20 Interesting Facts About Kenya

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Kenya has a total size of 48 million square kilometers, making it the world’s 48th biggest country. It is also the 29th most populated country in the world, with a population of more than  48 million people. Nairobi is Kenya’s capital and largest city, whereas Mombasa is the country’s oldest city and first capital.

The country is home to the continent’s second tallest peak in Africa, the Maasai Mara, and its spectacular yearly wildebeest migration. Kenyans make up a majority of the world’s sports champions, having consistently produced champions with medals over the years.

Kenya has an outrageously beautiful coastal line that includes Mombasa and Lamu. All these make up a simple fraction of the amazing facts that the country boasts of. Here are more interesting facts you should know about Kenya!

 

  • The 44th president of the United States is part Kenyan

Kenya is the ancestral homeland of the 44th president of the United States of America, Barack Obama. He was born to a British mother and a Kenyan father, who was at the time a Kenyan senior government economist.

 

  • Kenya Defense Forces are ranked as the 46th strongest standing army in the world and the 6th in Africa

Kenyan Special forces (KDF) is progressively becoming one of the most formidable forces in Africa. Kenya’s military forces are also known as the Kenya Defense Forces (KDF). The Kenya Army, Kenya Navy, and Kenya Air Force make up this force. Article 241 of Kenya’s 2010 Constitution established the current KDF and specified its composition; it is controlled by the KDF Act of 2012.

 

  • Kenya was a majorly involved country in the attempted preservation of the almost extinct White Rhinoceros

In 2009, four rhinos were moved from the Dvur Kralove Zoo to Kenya hoping that the natural environment there would help them breed, but the plan yielded no new births. Though a lot of the efforts have proven fruitless, Scientists from all over the world are working hard to avoid the extinction of the species.

 

  • Kenya has 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are locations of outstanding physical or cultural value that have been designated as such by the United Nations.

Tourists are invited from all over the world to explore these major places that showcase Kenya’s stunning beauty, culture, and natural diversity’s universal importance.

  • Lake Turkana National Parks
  • Mount Kenya National Park
  • Lamu Old Town
  • Miji Kenda Kaya Forests
  • Fort Jesus Museum
  • Lake System in the Rift Valley
  • Lake Bogoria

 

  • Kenya’s Lamu Island is A Site to behold

Lamu Island, off Kenya’s coast, has a lot of history, ranging from the intricate slave trades to having a World Heritage Site. Did you know that there are no automobiles on the island? Residents and tourists alike must use conventional means to travel. Locals use donkeys for land transportation and dhows for sea transit.

 

  • The only country in the world to have a National Park within the capital city

Nairobi National Park is Nairobi’s sole national park in the city of Nairobi, Kenya. The park is the oldest national park in Kenya and was created in 1946. It is located 4 miles to the south of the center of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

 

  • Kenya has more than 68 recognized languages

Kenyans speak a total of 68 different languages. This diversity reflects the country’s varied population, which comprises the majority of Africa’s ethnoracial and linguistic groupings. The official native language in Kenya is currently Swahili.

 

  • Kenyans are highly religious people

Kenya is a predominately religious country, with 70% Christian, 25% indigenous faiths, and only 5% Muslims.

The vast majority of Africans are Christians or Muslims. Africans frequently blend the practice of their traditional beliefs with Abrahamic religions. Abrahamic religions are found throughout Africa.

 

  • England Royal Elizabeth became Queen while in Kenya

When Princess Elizabeth learned that her father, King George VI, had died, she was staying at the ‘The Treetops Hotel’ in Kenya with her husband. She had to return to England to be coroneted, although she officially became Queen of England while in Kenya.

 

  • Kenya is the world’s leading safari destination

Kenya was named the World’s Leading Safari Destination in 2017 by the World Travel Awards, winning the award three years in a row.

Africa possesses such large Safaris that contain thousands of different species of animals. Kenya currently stands among the top three leading safaris in the world.

The country is a magnificent destination to observe the big five (Cape buffalo, Elephants, Leopards, African lion, Rhinoceros). These animals are well protected in parks and national game reserves.

A safari is an amazing opportunity to meet nature and wildlife in Africa. From searching out the big five on a safari in Africa to immersing yourself in the wildlife experience, the thrilling feeling as you connect with nature is something you have to experience.

 

  • Home to the Maasai Mara Nature Reserve

The Maasai Mara nature reserve is one of the most popular Nature reserves in the world due to its involvement with the Serengeti migration.

African bush elephants, lions, leopards, and cheetah inhabit the Maasai Mara, one of the world’s most famous and significant animal conservation and wilderness regions. This nature reserve hosts the Great Migration involving more than 2 million animals, making her one of Africa’s Seven Natural Wonders, as well as one of the World’s Ten Wonders.

 

  • It has the second-highest mountain in Africa

Kenya is home to the second-highest mountain In Africa, Mount Kenya. Mount Kenya is currently the highest mountain in Kenya, falling behind the tallest mountain in Africa, the mountain Kilimanjaro.

Point Lenana and Batian (17,057 ft and 17,021, respectively) are the mountain’s highest peaks (16,355 ft). Mount Kenya is located in the former Kenyan Eastern and Central Provinces. Meru, Embu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, and Tharaka Nithi counties have been created from this area.

 

Do you know that a lot of Hollywood big-shot movies scenes were shot in Africa? Some of these movies became international hits. Kenya has a lot of intriguing spots for a variety of movie scenes, from a populated city to the broad plains filled with wildlife.

Popular movies shot in Kenya include: ‘Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life’, ‘Nowhere in Africa’, ‘The Constant Gardener, ‘Sense 8’, ‘Rise and Fall of Idi Amin’.

 

  • Sight-spot for thousands of pink flamingos

Lake Nakuru in Kenya is popular due to a large number of Pink flamingos. These birds are popularly known due to their distinct pink color and the ability to stand on one leg for a long period.

Apart from the thousands of pink flamingos that are known to regularly visit the lake, you can find other species of birds and animals such as waterbucks, impalas, and hippopotamuses.

 

  • A long list of tasty meals

Kenya food is something to die for!

Their delicacies range from culture to culture, with each one presenting a unique dish that appeals to anyone willing to try it! A variety of options present for meat lovers and vegetarians is enough to have your pick and favorites.

Popular meals include:

  • Irio (Mashed Peas and Potato Mix)
  • Ugali (Cornmeal Staple)
  • Kenyan Pilau (Spiced Rice)
  • Nyama Choma (Roasted Meat)

 

  • The country has a lot of endemic animals and plants

Kenya has over 25,000 species of animals, some of which are endemic (can only be found in Kenya and no other place.) These include a variety of Reptiles, Birds, Snakes, Primates, and amphibians.

Animals like Malindi Centipede-eater, Mbeere Gracile Blind Snake, Mount Nyiro Bearded Chameleon, and Clarke’s Weaver are among species of animals that are believed to be endemic to Kenya.

 

  • Maasai Tribe in Kenya has one of the Most Unique Marriage Ceremonies

Marriage traditions and ceremonies vary from one ethnic tribe and tradition to another. While some similarities can be observed from different cultures across countries, one that stands out is the Maasai Tribe in Kenya.

The story of the introduction to the marriage ceremony is jaw-dropping. The Brides in the Maasai tribe shave their head and lamb fat and oil are applied to their scalp. It gets interesting!

Sometimes, the bride isn’t introduced to the groom until he comes to take her to his place after paying her dowry to the family.

After the marriage ceremony, the bride leaves with her spouse and it is said that she should not, under any circumstances, look back or she will turn to stone. Also, none of the bride’s main family is allowed to attend the main marriage ceremony as she is believed to have no more affiliations with them again. She is to be remembered through the gifts and dowry(which is mostly livestock) paid by the spouse.

 

  •  Hunting is illegal in Kenya

Fortunately, Hunting is illegal in Kenya as it is a criminal act to hunt and kill any protected animal in the country. It is believed that elephant hunting was made illegal in Kenya in 1973 and all animal hunting without a permit in 1977.

However, this still hasn’t deterred illegal poachers as they still hunt animals to sell parts that are considered valuable in the market.

By the late 1970s, the elephant population was estimated at around 275,000, dropping to 20,000 in 1989 between 1970 and 1977, Kenya lost more than half of its elephants. This was a major insight that drove the country to tighten its laws to better protect its wildlife.

 

  • Basic Education is Completely Free

In the national educational system, there are three levels: obligatory elementary education for eight years, secondary school for four years, and post-secondary training for four years. Free elementary and secondary education is provided by the Government of the country.

 

  • Kenyan Independence day is on December 12th

In the period 1920-1963, Kenya was a colony of the United Kingdom. Bunge is the nation’s national parliament and its legal system has been in place since the country’s independence. Jamhuri Day – or Independence Day – is celebrated every year on the 12th of December with parades, dancing, political speeches, and feasts.

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