Portal:Geography of Kenya

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The Kenyan Geography Portal
This is a sister portal of the Kenya Portal


A United Nations map of Kenya

The geography of Kenya is diverse, varying amongst Kenya's 47 Counties. Kenya has a coastline on the Indian Ocean, which contains swamps of East African mangroves. Inland are broad plains and numerous hills.

Central and Western Kenya is characterised by the Kenyan Rift Valley and central province home to the highest mountain, Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon on the border between Kenya and Uganda. The Kakamega Forest in western Kenya is a relic of an East African rainforest. Much bigger is Mau Forest, the largest forest complex in East Africa.

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Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya, and the second-highest in Africa (after Mount Kilimanjaro). The highest peaks of the mountain are Batian (5,199 m - 17,058 ft), Nelion (5,188 m - 17,022 ft) and Lenana (4,985 m - 16,355 ft). Mount Kenya is located in central Kenya, just south of the equator, around 150 km (95 miles) north-northeast of Nairobi. The area around the mountain is protected in the Mount Kenya National Park, which is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Park is around 620 km² (240 square miles), and receives up to 15,000 visitors every year.

Selected Fauna

Big stag water buck on Lake Naivasha (5232671178).jpg
Waterbuck are found in scrub and savanna areas near water, where they eat grasses. Despite their name, waterbuck do not spend much time in the water, but will take refuge there to escape predators. They are diurnal. Females gather in herds of between two and 600 individuals. Males keep territories of around 300 acres (1.2 km²) during their prime. They usually lose their territories before the age of 10.

The waterbuck occurs in two main groups, which formerly have been treated as separate species, but they interbreed where their ranges come into contact. The first group is the defassa waterbuck with a white rump patch. It is found west of the Gregory Rift, ranging from Ethiopia (immediately north of Kenya) west to Senegal and south to Zambia. The second is the ellipsen waterbuck, which has a white, ellipse-shaped ring on the rump that extends above the tail. It is found in southeast Africa, ranging from southern Somalia (immediately east of Kenya) to KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa).

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Selected Region/Location

Ilemi triangle map.PNG
The Ilemi Triangle is an area of disputed land in East Africa. Arbitrarily defined, it measures between 10,320 and 14,000 square kilometers (3,985 and 5,405 sq mi). Named after Anuak chief Ilemi Akwon, the territory is claimed by South Sudan and Kenya and borders Ethiopia. Despite use and raids by tribes within Ethiopia, the Ethiopian government has never made an official claim on any of the Ilemi and in fact agreed that the land was all Sudanese in 1902, 1907, and 1972 treaties.

Kenya now has de facto control of the area. The dispute arose from unclear wording of a 1914 treaty which attempted to allow for the movements of the Turkana people—nomadic herders who had traditionally grazed the area. The perceived economic marginality of the land as well as decades of Sudanese conflicts are two factors that have delayed the resolution of the dispute.

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Selected National Park/Reserve

Maasai Mara National Reserve
Amboseli National Park, formerly Maasai Amboseli Game Reserve, is in Kajiado County, Kenya. The park is 39,206 hectares (392 km2; 151 sq mi) in size at the core of an 8,000 square kilometres (3,100 sq mi) ecosystem that spreads across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The local people are mainly Maasai, but people from other parts of the country have settled there attracted by the successful tourist-driven economy and intensive agriculture along the system of swamps that makes this low-rainfall area (average 350 mm (14 in)) one of the best wildlife-viewing experiences in the world with 400 species of birds including water birds, pelicans, kingfishers, crakes, hammerkops and 47 types of raptor.

Selected Flora

Delonix baccal is a species of leguminous tree in the Fabaceae family. It is found in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia.



Did you know?

  • ... As of March 2013 Kenya is officially divided into 47 semi autonomous counties.
  • ... Lake Turkana, in Kenya is the largest desert lake in the World.
  • ... Nairobi, the capital city, is the only city in the world with a major National Park in it. Kenya also has all of the Big five game i.e.: lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo and rhino.
  • ... Kenya borders Africa’s largest lake by area, Lake Victoria. It is the largest tropical lake in the world. It is also the world's 2nd largest freshwater lake at a surface area of 68,800 square kilometres (26,600 sq mi).
  • ... Mt Kenya is the second tallest Mountain in Africa. It is 5,199 metres (17,057 ft) tall.
  • ... A third of the flowers in the European Union come from Kenya.


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