Geography of Kenya

Location:Eastern Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, between Somalia and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates:1 00 N, 38 00 E
Map references:Africa
Area:total: 582,650 sq km
land: 569,250 sq km
water: 13,400 sq km
Area - comparative:slightly more than twice the size of Nevada
Land boundaries:total: 3,477 km
border countries: Ethiopia 861 km, Somalia 682 km, Sudan 232 km, Tanzania 769 km, Uganda 933 km
Coastline:536 km
Maritime claims:territorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate:varies from tropical along coast to arid in interior
Terrain:low plains rise to central highlands bisected by Great Rift Valley; fertile plateau in west
Elevation extremes:lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m
highest point: Mount Kenya 5,199 m
Natural resources:limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, gypsum, wildlife, hydropower
Land use:arable land: 8.01%
permanent crops: 0.97%
other: 91.02% (2005)
Irrigated land:1,030 sq km (2003)
Natural hazards:recurring drought; flooding during rainy seasons
Environment - current issues:water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from increased use of pesticides and fertilizers; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; poaching
Environment - international agreements:party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:the Kenyan Highlands comprise one of the most successful agricultural production regions in Africa; glaciers are found on Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest peak; unique physiography supports abundant and varied wildlife of scientific and economic value

Kenya Quickstats

  • Population: 36,913,721
  • Area: 582,650 sq km
  • Density: 59 /km² (140th)
  • GDP (total): $48.33 billion (76th)
  • GDP (per capita): $1,445 (156th)
  • Literacy: 85.1%

Languages of Kenya

Useful to know

  • Currency: Kenyan shilling (KES)
  • Dial code: +254

International Trade

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