Kenya, officially the Republic of Kenya (in
Swahili: Jamhuri and Kenya, in English, Republic of Kenya), is an
East African country, which borders Ethiopia to the north, Somalia
to the east, Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west and South
Sudan to the northwest, with the Indian Ocean batheing its southeast
coast. Lake Victoria is located to the southwest and is shared with
Uganda and Tanzania. Its capital is Nairobi. The country extends
over 580 367 km² in area and its population is 39 million people
with people from many cultures and origins. The name of the country
is named after Mount Kenya, a traditional place in the country and
the second highest mountain in Africa. Kenya is also known for its
biodiversity in animals and a wide variety of ecosystems. Kenya has
47 districts, each with a semi-autonomous government with respect to
the central government of Nairobi. Geographically, Kenya is divided
into several areas with a very variable demography, with areas of
savannas, arid and semi-arid, and a large coast with the Indian
Ocean. The central regions and the west have forests and mountains,
while the northern regions are more arid.
As part of East
Africa, Kenya has been home to man since the Early Paleolithic. The
Bantu expansion reached the area in the first millennium before our
era, and the limits of the modern state include the steps of the
linguistic and cultural areas of the Nile-Saharan, Afro-Asian and
Bantu, so Kenya has been a multiethnic country from its origins. The
European and Arab presence in Mombasa goes back to the principles of
the Modern Age, but the exploration of the interior began in the
19th century. The British Empire established the East African
Protectorate in 1895, known as the Kenya Colony since 1920. The
Independent Republic of Kenya was established in 1963.
capital of Kenya, Nairobi, is a city of great commercial importance
in Africa. The economy of Kenya is also the largest gross domestic
product in the East and Central Africa. The country has been a
traditional producer of tea and coffee, and more recently has been
dedicated to the export of cut flowers to Europe. More and more
Kenya is devoting itself to the telecommunications industry. Kenya
is also a world power in sport, giving the best athletes as the
champion Paul Tergat and more recently David Rudisha.
Travel Destinations in Kenya
Amboseli National Park is situated 230 km (142 mi) South of Nairobi in Kajiado
District, Rift Valley Province in Kenya.
Arabuko Sokoke National Park
Arabuko Sokoke National Park is located 110 km
North of Mombasa in Kenya. This Kenyan national park covers an area of 6
Chyulu Hills National Park
were formed 1.4 million years ago due to volcanic activity. The last
eruption occurred in the middle of the 19th century.
Fort Jesus was constructed in 1593 on the orders of king of
Philip II of Spain also known as king Philip I of Portugal. It
is located on the strategic grounds and served in defence of the
ships stationed in the harbor.
National Park is located 100 km (60 mi) West of
Nairobi in Kenya. Hell's Gate National Park covers an area of 68.25 km².
Jumba la Mtwana is a located 15 km North of
Mobasa in Kenya. Jumba la Mtwana is a an archaeological site of
a fifteenth century slave trade port on the shore of an Indian
Kakamega Forest is a large expanse of untouched biosphere
located in a Western Province of Kenya. Kakamega Forest covers an area of 230 sq km.
Kimana Wildlife Sanctuary
Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature reserve located 30 km (19 mi) Southeast of Amboseli in Kenya.
Lake Baringo is a freshwater lake situated in a
Rift Valley in Kenya. Lake Baringo covers an area of 50 mi² (130 km²).
Lake Chala is situated 8 km north of Taveta on the border
between Kenya and Tanzania on the Eastern side of
Lake Magadi is situated in the
Kenyan Rift Valley in Kenya.
Lake Magadi covers
an area of 100 km². It is famous for a large population of pink
flamingos that nest here in great numbers.
The name of Lake Naivasha come from a local
Maasai language as "rough water". This name is given due to
sudden changes of weather that turn to violent storms.
National Park is a nature reserve situated 160
km (100 mi) North of Nairobi in Kenya. The name of the lake
literally means "Dust or Dusty Place".
Lamu Archipelago is a group of islands in the
Indian Ocean situated just off the coast of Kenya. It includes
Lamu, Manda, Pate, Kiwayu islands.
Mara River Crossing
Mara River is a river that flows through Kenya
and Tanzania. It is famous as a crossing site of antelopes,
zebras and many species of large game that migrate through the
Nairobi is the largest city Kenya as well as its
capital. Kenyan capital became famous in 1998. On August 7th it
became the site of a terrorist attack against American embassy that
took lives of 223 people.
Nairobi National Park
National Park is a nature reserve situate 7 km
(4 mi) South of Nairobi capital of Kenya. This protected
biosphere is the first national park and protects an area of 117
km2 (45 sq mi).
Escarpment is situated 140 km (87 mi) South of
Nairobi in Kenya. Escarpment is a term that describes geologic
formation of a long cliff that forms when two level plates move
pass one another.
Olorgesailie Prehistoric Site
Prehistoric Site is situated 65 km (40 mi)
South of Nairobi in Kenya. It is famous archaeological site of ancient human
settlements that date back to the Lower Palaeolithic Period (over 300,000
Ruins of Gedi
Ruins of Gedi is an archaeological site situated 1 km (1/2 mi) North of Watamu in Kenya. Gedi is a
medieval town was an important trade center along the ocean sea.
Shimba Hills National Reserve
National Reserve is a biosphere reserve situated 55 km (34 mi) South of Mombasa in Kenya. Shimba Hills National Reserve covers an area of 193 km2 (74.33 sq mi).
Shimoni Slave Caves
Caves are situated near Shimoni in South eastern Kenya on the border with
Tanzania. It was an important port city on the shore of the
Tsavo National Park
and Tsavo West National Parks are two protected areas situated 230 km (143 km) Southeast of Nairobi in Kenya.
The line that divides these two expanses of protected biosphere
is the road A109
History of Kenya
The territory of Kenya, according to many
scientists, is part of the region that has become the ancestral home
of humanity. There, on the east coast of Lake Rudolph, tools and the
remains of the ancestors of people who lived about 3 million years
ago in Lomekvi were discovered.
Much later, the territory of
Kenya was inhabited by people who were close in their features to
the current Ethiopian race. Also there lived tribes of the Khoisan
(now South African) racial type. Later, Negroid Bantu-speaking
tribes came from the West, the ancestors of modern Pokomo, Swahili
In the 7th-8th centuries, Swahili shopping
centers began to form on the Kenyan coast (Lamu, Manda, Pate,
Malindi, Mombasa, etc.). They engaged in intermediary trade between
the interior of Africa with India and Arabia. Iron, gold, ivory,
rhino and slave horn were exported from Africa, while metal weapons,
handicrafts, and fabrics were imported.
1498, ships of the Portuguese expedition sailed to Kenya under the
command of Vasco da Gama, who was looking for a sea route to India.
At the beginning of the XVI century, the Portuguese captured many
port cities on the coast of Kenya to use them as intermediate points
on the way to India.
However, in the middle of the 17th
century, the rulers of the Sultanate of Oman began to expel the
Portuguese from Kenya. By 1699, the Omani imam Sultan ibn Saif
finally took possession of Mombasa and expelled the Portuguese from
all over the coast. The rulers of Oman put in power their governors
from local residents, claiming to be of Arab origin.
By the beginning of the 19th century, the slave trade had
become the basis of the Kenyan economy. One of the main routes of
Arab slave traders in East Africa ran from Mombasa to the African
state of Wang.
At the beginning of the 19th century,
separatist tendencies arose in Mombasa - the Swahili dynasty of
Mazrui strove for independence from the Sultans of Zanzibar and to
establish its rule over the entire coast of East Africa.
1824, Mazrui adopted a British protectorate over Mombasa. However,
this did not help them. In 1828, the Sultan of Zanzibar sent a fleet
to Mombasa and defeated the troops of Mazrui. The war continued
until 1837, ending with the victory of the Sultan of Zanzibar. All
members of the Mazrui family were sent as slaves to Oman.
Since 1846, Christian missionaries appeared in Kenya, first on the
coast, and then in the central regions.
Since the 1870s, East
Africa has been the subject of rivalry between the European powers,
primarily Britain and Germany. In 1886, they entered into an
agreement on the division of East Africa, according to which the
territory of present Kenya entered the British sphere of influence.
In 1890, Britain and Germany concluded the so-called Helgoland
Treaty, according to which the British gave Germany the island of
Helgoland off its northern coast, recognized Germany’s rights to
Tanganyika (mainland of modern Tanzania), and in return received
rights to Kenya and Zanzibar.
Since 1890, the British began
to intensively develop fertile lands in the interior of Kenya,
establishing a “white” settlement colony. Already in the years
1897-1901, a railway and a communication line from Mombasa to Lake
Victoria were built. The English settlers created large plantation
farms, including for the production of export crops - tea, coffee,
sisal. The British created enterprises for the processing of
agricultural products, the production of consumer goods,
infrastructure and so on.
At the beginning of
the 20th century, British immigration to Kenya intensified. In 1902,
in the administrative center of the East African protectorate,
Nairobi, the British settlers created the first public organization
- the Association of Colonists. In 1906, two councils were formed
under the British governor - Executive and Legislative, which
included only whites.
In 1907, by order of the British
governor in Kenya, slavery, traditionally practiced in local African
tribes, was prohibited.
From the 20th century, Islam began to
spread on the coast of Kenya.
During the First World War, the
British authorities mobilized about 200 thousand Kenyans into the
army, mainly as carriers of military cargo, but several thousand
local (as part of the Royal Corps of African Riflemen) took direct
part in the hostilities against German troops in East Africa.
Since 1927, the elected Legislative Council included elected
representatives of Arabs and Asians (mainly from South Asia),
Kenyans won the first place in the Legislative Council only in 1944,
at the same time the Association of Kenya Africans was created
(since 1946 - the Union of Africans of Kenya, SAK), the first in the
country a mass political organization that led the liberation
struggle. The NAC program contained the following basic
requirements: transfer of political power to Africans, guarantee of
the rights of all racial minorities and the elimination of racial
discrimination, meeting the needs of Africans in the land, free
trade union activity, and the immediate conduct of elections.
In 1949, the East African Congress of Trade Unions
(WACP) was created, for the first time uniting Negro workers and
Indian workers. The strike movement intensified. In May 1950, a
general strike took place in Nairobi in response to the arrest of
In October 1952, a Mau Mau uprising broke out
in Kenya. In this regard, a state of emergency was introduced in the
country. Colonial authorities arrested 86 leaders of the NAC,
including the chairman of the NAC (since 1947), Jomo Kenyatu. On the
false charge of leading the Mau-Mau terrorist organization. Kenyata
and 5 other SAK leaders in April 1953 were sentenced to 7 years
each, in June SAK was banned. (In 1959, it turned out that the
police bribed witnesses to accuse and convict Kenyata and other
leaders of the NAC).
The Mau-Mau uprising was mainly attended
by the Kikuyu, Embu, and Meru tribes. According to some estimates,
the partisan army reached 30 or even 50 thousand soldiers. This army
was led by 32-year-old Dedan Vachiuri Kimati from the Kikuyu tribe,
who had experience in the British Army.
Mau Mau partisans,
armed with small arms, as well as spears, bows and knives, attacked
local police stations, killed Negroes who worked for the British,
robbed and burned the farms of English settlers.
according to official figures, by 1955 more than 11 thousand
Africans were killed, more than 60 thousand were in concentration
camps. Fleeing from punitive expeditions, the population fled to the
mountains and created partisan detachments. The main centers of
resistance were inaccessible forests in the mountains of Kenya and
In 1956, the Mau Mau partisans were defeated, most
of their commanders were killed or captured, including the
Commander-in-Chief Kimati, who was executed.
In the same
1956, Africans were granted limited suffrage.
On January 12,
1960, the colonial authorities, seeking to calm down, lifted the
state of emergency and allowed the creation of African political
parties. In March 1961, elections were held (on the basis of a
constitution that came into force in February 1961) to the
Legislative Council, which brought the majority to the Kenyan
National Union of Africans - CANU (23 seats) and the Democratic
Union of Kenya - KADU (16 seats). Although both parties were in
favor of granting independence, considerable disagreement arose
between them, primarily on issues of state structure of the country
after independence. KANU (enjoyed the support of the two largest
ethnic groups - Kikuyu and Luo) advocated a unitary state, and KADU
(expressed the interests of coastal peoples and the small
cattle-breeding population of the highlands) for the federal one.
After the election, KADU leaders, in violation of the agreement with
KANU on refusing to form a government until the release of Kenyata,
entered the new government.
In August 1961, under the
pressure of mass protests, Kenyata was released (since 1959, after
the end of the prison term, he was exiled in the north of the
country), and at the end of October he became chairman of KANU.
In February – April 1962, a conference was held in London that
considered the draft of a new constitution. During the conference
and subsequent negotiations, decisions were made to divide K. into 7
provinces with significant autonomy of provincial authorities.
In May 1963, elections to the National Assembly were held on the
basis of the new constitution, which brought victory to the KANU
party; the KADU party was defeated (in November 1964, its
self-dissolution was announced). On June 1, 1963, the country
received internal self-government. Jomo Kenyata became the first
prime minister in Kenya’s history.
At a conference held in
London in September-October 1963, at the insistence of the KANU
delegation, constitution was amended to expand the powers of the
central government. The Kenyan liberation struggle forced the
British government to agree to independence.