Kenya ( or ), officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator. With the Indian Ocean to its south-east, it is bordered by Tanzania to the south, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east. Kenya has a land area of 580,000 km2 and a population of a little over 43 million residents. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa's highest mountain peaks. Its capital and largest city is Nairobi.
Modern day Mount Kenya was originally referred to as "Mt. Kirinyaga" by the indigenous people. "Kirinyaga or Kerenyaga, meaning ‘mountain of whiteness’ because of its snow capped peak"; The name was subsequently changed to Mt. Kenya due to the inability of the British to pronounce "Kirinyaga" correctly.
Kenya has a warm and humid climate along its coastline on the Indian Ocean, which changes to wildlife-rich savannah grasslands moving inland towards the capital. Nairobi has a cool climate that gets colder approaching Mount Kenya, which has three permanently snow-capped peaks. The warm and humid tropical climate reappears further inland towards lake Victoria, before giving way to temperate forested and hilly areas in the western region. The North Eastern regions along the border with Somalia and Ethiopia are arid and semi-arid areas with near-desert landscapes. Lake Victoria, the world's second largest fresh-water lake (after Lake Superior in the US and Canada) and the world's largest tropical lake, is situated to the southwest and is shared with Uganda and Tanzania. Kenya is famous for its safaris and diverse wildlife reserves and national parks such as the East and West Tsavo National Park, the Maasai Mara, Nakuru National Park, and Aberdares National Park. It has several world heritage sites (Lamu) and world renowned beaches such as Kilifi where the international yachting competitions are held each year.
The African Great Lakes region, of which Kenya is a part, has seen human habitation since the Lower Paleolithic period. The Bantu expansion reached the area from West-Central Africa by the first millennium AD, and the borders of the modern state comprise the crossroads of the Niger-Congo, Nilo-Saharan and Afro-Asiatic ethno-linguistic areas of the continent, making Kenya a multi-cultural country. European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates to the Early Modern period, but European exploration of the interior began only in the 19th century. The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, known from 1920 as the Kenya Colony. The independent Republic of Kenya was founded in December 1963. Following a referendum in August 2010 and adoption of a new constitution that replaced the old one that was inherited from the British at independence, Kenya is now divided into 47 counties that are interdependent with the National government and conduct their mutual relations on the basis of consultation and cooperation. The counties are governed by elected governors and operate independent of the central government in Nairobi.
The capital, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. Agriculture is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and more recently fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is a major economic driver. Kenya is a member of the East African Community.
How places in Kenya are organized
All places in Kenya
Further information on historical place organization in Kenya