Welcome to Kenya

Kenya is a beautiful country, with stunning beaches and a large number of wildlife parks and reserves. Visitors also come to experience the unique cultures of Kenya's people. But we have problems to overcome. Poor Kenyans live in terrible conditions and natural habitats such as Lake Naivasha need better protection.

Women

A woman’s status varies by country and region across Africa. In many parts, women struggle against inequality in laws, education, pay and domestic responsibilities.

Women’s health is also at risk from traditional practices such as early marriage. But with better education, girls can make more informed choices, leading to the greater development of African nations.

Agriculture & Famine

A quarter of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is undernourished and famines can impact whole regions.

Land is available to grow more food locally, but investment is needed in  technologies such as irrigation for land to be used effectively. Farmers must also adapt to climate change if they are to feed the continent's rising population.

Local market and cafe

Everyday life in Kenya

Have you ever wondered what a typical market and café are like in the heart of Kenya?

Foods

Africa has some of the most distinctive cuisines and flavours in the world. Food varies widely, but there are commonalities across regions. Depending on what's grown locally, dishes are also influenced by the traders, immigrants and rulers who settled across the continent. Arab, Asian and European elements blend in with traditional African cooking.

Games & Sport

Africa is home to arguably the oldest-recorded games and sports. While some are only known through archaeology, modern-day games and sports such as Mancala/Mankala and Nubian wrestling are very much alive today.

Of course, new sports have come along to claim the attention of Africans. You may have heard of one - it's called football.

Development

‘People are the real wealth of a nation.’ This is the belief of the United Nations, whose Millenium Development Goals provide a framework for improving the lives of millions.

It helps when nations are peaceful, stable and growing economically. But where even the poorest countries focus on health, education and creating fairer societies, more Africans have the chance of a better life.

Health

Africa has a high number of communicable diseases, which place a huge burden on healthcare systems. The vast majority of malaria cases and HIV/AIDS-related deaths occur in Africa; these two diseases currently represent the greatest threats.

With low investment in healthcare and a severe shortage of medical staff, many countries struggle to meet the health needs of their people.

History

The first humans are thought to have lived in Africa and powerful African empires formed from the medieval age onwards.

However, today's African nations were shaped by the European powers who colonised this vast continent. Having gained their independence, many African countries are still coming to terms with the legacy left by their colonisers.

Poverty & Healthcare

Lack of medical professionals

Kenya has a severe shortage of trained medical staff, with just one doctor for every 10,000 people. Many professionals have left the country to find work abroad.

On safari

Tourists for the day

Victor and Joy act as tourists for the day, visiting the Nairobi National Safari park, Kenya’s first safari park. Tourists come from all over the world to see Kenya’s wildlife.

The Great Rift Valley

Natural beauty

The Great Rift Valley is a huge tourist attraction for visitors to Kenya, due to its spectacular scenery, wildlife, history and people. The region is home to the Maasai people, one of the most well-known nomadic groups in Africa.

Tourism & Communications

Holiday destination

Kenya is a popular tourist destination because of its rich wildlife and range of natural habitats. There are 48 national parks and reserves, as well as many sandy beaches and coral reefs along the coast.

People & Culture

Western Influence

Kenya has at least 40 different ethnic groups, who speak a number of mother-tongues. Swahili is therefore used by many as the language of communication, while English is Kenya’s official national language.

Welcome to Kenya

Hi, my name is Victor. Welcome to Kenya!

Kenya is a beautiful country and I am proud to be Kenyan. However, there is a lot of poverty here. Currently I’m doing a course in electrical engineering, so I can work to support my mother and sister. But it is my dream to become a reporter one day.

Young musician

Rising star

Follow Joy as she meets Brian Otieno, a talented musician in Kenya. Brian shares his dreams and tells us about the challenges he faces as a musician living in Kenya.

Economy & Industry

Leading the way

Kenya is the industrial nerve centre of East Africa and is leading the way in developing services such as mobile phone banking, which meet the needs of the continent's people.

Education & Jobs

Education a priority

Education is free in Kenya and over 90% of young people are able to read and write. But with high unemployment, finding a good job is a challenge and casual manual labour typically offers as little as three dollars a day.

Facts & Figures

A mainly rural population

Nearly four-fifths of Kenya’s 40.9 million people live in rural communities.

Food & Daily life

A big contrast

3.5 million Kenyans live in Nairobi and the capital is growing all the time. Two-thirds of its residents live in slums, where the houses have no electricity, running water or sanitation. As in many cities, there is a huge gap between the rich and poor.

Geography & Wildlife

Natural diversity

With its varied natural habitats, Kenya is home to over a hundred species of mammals and more than a 1,000 bird species, including over 75 birds of prey.

Life in the slum

Illness, crime and corruption

Two thirds of the people in Kenya’s capital city of Nairobi live in slums. Victor and Joy meet a grandmother who tells us about her life in one of these slum areas.

History & Politics

A new constitution

Recent political unrest in Kenya between different ethnic groups led to a new constitution in 2010. This devolves more power to 47 new counties.

Climate

Africa is a massive continent, with a range of climates. Some regions are hot and dry, like the Sahara, Kalahari and Namib deserts. Other parts are wet or covered in tropical rainforest. Conditions also vary by altitude, from the dry salt pans of the Danakil Depression (one of the lowest points on earth) to the snowcaps (at certain times) of the highest mountains. Weather-wise, Africa has it all!

Lake Naivasha

A double-edged sword

Lake Naivasha, one of Kenya's large freshwater lakes, is at risk from pollution and over-exploitation. Yet the flower industry responsible for this has brought jobs to the country.

Children's stories

'The aftermath' and 'Kenyans fight for their rights'

After just one day of filming lessons, some of the children at the SOS Children’s Village in Kenya made their own films.

The children wrote the scripts, filmed, edited and starred in their own features.

Climate & Agriculture

Put the kettle on

Agriculture accounts for around half of the country’s exports. Tea is still the main agricultural earner, but vegetables, coffee, fruit, cotton and flowers are also important.

Poverty

Across the rest of the world, absolute poverty has halved over recent decades, but in Africa it has barely fallen.

About two-fifths of the population of sub-Saharan Africa survive week by week on what someone in the UK earns from just one hour's work on the minimum wage.

Children

Around one in six children born in sub-Saharan Africa don't live to see their fifth birthday and life can be tough for those who do.

What are the common challenges facing African children and how do their lives compare with those of children in the UK?

Kenya Map

Explore Kenya

Kenya is a popular tourist destination because of its many national parks and game reserves. Discover a little more about some of these.

The map also has a few of Kenya's key towns and cities. As well as being a hub for business, the capital Nairobi, has one of the largest slums in Africa, Kibera.

Geography & Wildlife

With its varied geography and diverse habits, the African continent is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. Though famous for its 'big game' animals, Africa has huge numbers of fish, mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian and insect species, as well as many tree, plant and flower species.

Kenya topicsFacts & FiguresPoverty & HealthcareFood & Daily lifeLife in the slumPeople & CultureGeography & WildlifeClimate & AgricultureThe Great Rift ValleyOn safariWelcome to KenyaLake NaivashaEconomy & IndustryLocal market and cafeEducation & JobsChildren's storiesHistory & PoliticsYoung musicianKenya MapTourism & Communications