Background Information on Kenya



Kenya is located on the East Coast of Africa, and the equator runs through the middle of it. Kenya is considered a tropical area, and is hot and humid. There are sandy beaches, lagoons, rain forests, and swamps. The average temperature is 80 degrees all year long. Kenya receives about 40 inches of rainfall each year.

Most of inland Kenya (3/4) is covered in plains. It's very dry and the soil isn't very good for farming. The plain areas receive about ten to thirty inches of rainfall each year. There aren't any major cities here, but nomads roam the land tending their flocks.

There is a highland in the southwest that receives enough rainfall (40-50 in/year) and has enough good soil to support farming. The majority of the people live here. There are forests and grasslands, and Nairobi, the capital city is located in the highland area.

The wildlife in Kenya is very diverse. There are elephants, giraffes, lions, rhinoceroses, zebras, antelope, buffaloes, cheetahs, leopards, crocodiles, eagles, ostriches, and storks.

Most of the people in Kenya live in rural areas, but many people go to the cities every year. These people farm and raise livestock. Some people live as nomads: they travel the land with their herds to find land and water. The Nandi people live in Western Kenya and they keep cattle, sheep, and goats as their way of life.

The official language is English, the national language is Swahili, and the language that the Nandi tribe speaks is Kalenjin.

The official name of Kenya is Jamhuri ya Kenya, which means Republic of Kenya.

Most rural people live in small houses made of mud or bundles of branches. The cities have modern houses of stone and cement.

Most of the men in Kenya wear cotton shirts and pants or shorts, but some wear business suits. Most females wear cotton dresses or skirts and blouses. Some people that live in rural areas wear a cloth that that they wrap around their bodies, and the nomads are especially known for this.

Corn, or maize as it is called, is the basic food of Kenya.

For recreation, many people like to dance and go to movies. There are movie theaters in the cities, and there are movie mobiles to take movies to the people in the rural areas. Soccer is very popular, along with track and field.

Reference: World Book Encyclopedia J-K 1989.


Go Back to the Lesson Plan