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Friday 22nd September
Kenya Information - Page 1
Geography
The Republic of Kenya is in East Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Indian Ocean.

Nairobi is the capital city and Mombasa is the main port.

Much of Kenya is plateaux with highland areas. The Great Rift Valley runs the length of the country. Mount Kenya, an extinct volcano, is the second highest mountain in the continent. The main rivers are the Galana and Tana and lakes include Lake Turkana and Lake Victoria.

The Equator runs across Kenya. The climate is varied: tropical along the coast and arid in the interior.

Environment
National Parks and Reserves in Kenya are under the management of the Wildlife Service which aims to conserve and manage Kenya's wildlife and its habitat.

The National Parks of Lake Turkana were inscribed on the World Heritage list in 1997 and extended in 2001. Mount Kenya National Park/Natural Forest became a World Heritage site in 1997 and the Mijikenda Kaya Forests were listed in 2008. A number of sites are UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserves: Mount Kenya, Amboseli, Kiunga, Malindi-Watamu, Mount Elgon and Mount Kulal.

Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance are Lake Baringo, Lake Bogoria, Lake Elmenteita, Lake Naivasha and Lake Nakuru.

Kenya's protected areas are home to many birds and other wildlife. There are over one thousand species of birds including migrant waterfowl. Animals in the reserves are chimpanzees, crocodiles, elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, giraffes, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, wildebeest and zebras.

Architecture
A variety of architectural styles can be seen in Kenya ranging from timber-framed homes with mud walls to modern structures in Nairobi.

The old town of Mombasa has been inhabited by people from a variety of nations. African, Arabic and European influences can be seen in the town's architecture.

Lamu, on the World Heritage List, has examples of buildings from the Swahili culture.

The Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forests, inscribed as a World Heritage site in 2008, contain remains of fortified villages of the Mijikenda people. The villages, known as kayas, date back to the sixteenth century. Today these homes of the ancestors are looked after by the Councils of Elders.

Population
The population was estimated at 39,002,780 in 2009.

Languages
English and Kiswahili are official languages. Other African languages include Luo, Maa and Kikuyu.

Religion
A large percentagae of Kenyans are Christians; some people, mainly along the coast, are Muslims. Many of the population practise African religious beliefs.

Food
Kenyan cuisine consists of a variety of African and Indian recipes.

Ugali, a porridge made from maize or millet flour, is a traditional staple food. Groundnut soup, stews and kebabs are favourite meals. Chicken and fish are eaten. Other foods include beans, cassava, plantains, pumpkins, sweet potatoes and yams. The use of spices and coconut feature in Kenyan cuisine. Indian food such as pilau rice, samosas and chapatis are often eaten with meals.

Tropical fruits include bananas, mangoes, papayas and pineapples. Apples, peaches and grapes are also available.

Coffee is grown. Tea is preferred hot and sweet.

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