About Kenya
 
 
Location and Geography: Kenya is located in East Africa and borders Somalia to the NE, Ethiopia to the north, Sudan to the NW, Uganda to the west, Tanzania to the south, and the Indian Ocean to the east.  The country straddles the equator, covering a total of 224,961 sq. miles (roughly twice the size of the state of Nevada).  Kenya has wide white-sand beaches on the coast.  Inland plains cover three quarters of the country; they are mostly bush, covered in underbrush.  In the west are the highlands where the altitude rises from the 3,000 to 10,000 feet.  Nairobi, Kenya's largest city and capital, is located in the central highlands.  The highest point, Mt. Kenya is at 17, 058 ft.  Kenya shares Lake Victoria, the largest lake in Africa and the main source of the Nile River with Tanzania and Uganda.  Another significant feature of Kenyan geography is the Great Rift Valley, the wide steep canyon that cuts through the highlands.

 
         
President: Uhuru Kenyatta
Population: (2013) 41,800,000
Growth Rate: 2.58%
Birth Rate: 35.1/1000
Infant Mortality: 53.5/1000
Life Expectancy: 58.8 yrs.
 
Capital City: Nairobi 3,064,800
Other Large City: Mombasa, 712,600
Monetary Unit: Kenya Shilling
Government: The Republic of Kenya is
a multi party democracy with a National Assembly.  The constitution declares the president as both head of state and the head of government.

 
There are more than forty ethnic groups in the country.  the largest of these is the Kikuyu, representing 22% of the population.  14% is Luhya, 13% is Luo, 12% is Kalenjin, 11% Kamba, 6% Kisii, and 6% Meru.  Others including the Somalis and the Turkana in the north and Kalenjin in the Great Rift Valley, comprise approximately 15% of the population.  These ethnic categories are further broken down into subgroups.  1% of the population is non-African, mostly of Indian and European descent.  Kenyans are a friendly and hospitable people, regardless of ethnic affiliation.  Greetings are an important part of social and business interaction.  Kenyans also place great importance on family.  Kenyan families are often large and usually include the extended family.  Kenyans honor collective responsibilities and traditional values, which include treating their elderly with respect and reverence.
                                                                                                         
       
 
Kenya culture is a fascinating way of life that blends the traditions of thousands of years of African social evolution with the modern influences into the 21st century.  The multifaceted culture is expressed in different forms, ranging from its people, its language, food, music and dance, art, artifacts, theater and literature to its ethnic values and ethical norms.  Combined with other traditions these forms of expression and lifestyle form an identity that is uniquely Kenyan.  Kenya's different ethnic groups craft manually, using readily available local materials, lending another fascinating aspect of Kenyan culture.  Beautifully carved wood sculptures showing exquisite detail and craftsmanship are produced in large quantities and sold to tourists both locally and abroad.  Other popular artifacts include colorful jewelry, gold and silver jewelry, musical instruments, soapstone sculptures, tribal masks, figurines, paintings, prints, batik cloths, kangas and the beautiful traditional Kikoys (African sarongs).

              
 
Traditional music and dance is an integral part of Kenyan's social and religious lives, and forms an important part of Kenya culture.  In Kenya, harmonious beats and rhythm are central parts of dance, which is traditionally backed by drums and guitar instruments.  One of the styles of music is benga, a traditional contemporary dance for the 1960's.  Taarab music, another typical Kenyan entertainment, is inspired by Arab and Indian immigrants and is popular along the coast of Kenya.  The Kenya National Theater is a performing art center for cultural music, dance, and plays written by Kenyan authors.  Kenya has a strong oral tradition and is conveyed through stories passed down from generation to generation, often in the form of song.
 
Kenya is one of the world's greatest safari destinations.  Kenya is known for its remarkable diversity of landscapes, wildlife and cultures.  From sweeping savannahs to tropical beaches & coral reefs, dense equatorial forests to the mighty snow capped Mt. Kenya, Kenya is a land of wonder and beauty.  Kenya is home of Africa's "Big Five", the Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino and Water Buffalo, and it is one of the best places in the entire continent to see these five magnificent species in their natural environment. 
 
          
 
~ Kenya does have its Challenges ~    
Kenya has many challenges to overcome.  The government is still trying to provide adequate services to the rural communities and corruption in the private and public sector remains rampant.  Unemployment is a constant challenge, as well as crime, disease and poverty.  However, as Kenya continues to make a place for itself on the world stage, its abundant agricultural and natural resources, educated manpower, diverse yet cohesive population and vision for the future will see it emerge as a leader among African nations.
 
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