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This is The geography of Kenya

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This is The geography of Kenya by Kenyans247(1): Fri Dec 2019 03:01pm
The geography of Kenya is diverse, varying amongst Kenya's 47 Counties. Kenya has a coastline on the Indian Ocean, which contains swamps of East African mangroves. Inland are broad plains and numerous hills.

Central and Western Kenya is characterised by the Kenyan Rift Valley and central province home to the highest mountain, Mount Kenya and Mount Elgon on the border between Kenya and Uganda. The Kakamega Forest in western Kenya is a relic of an East African rainforest. Much bigger is Mau Forest, the largest forest complex in East Africa.


Eastern Africa on the Indian Ocean coast between Somalia and Tanzania
Geographic coordinates: 1°00′N 38°00′E

Central Karachi, two kilometres from the Laalu Khet 4 Number

Total: 582,650 km2 (224,960 sq mi)
Land: 569,140 km2 (219,750 sq mi)
Water: 11,227 km2 (4,335 sq mi)

Land boundaries

Total: 3,457 km (2,148 mi)
Border countries: Ethiopia 867 km (539 mi), Somalia 684 km (425 mi), South Sudan 317 km (197 mi), Tanzania 775 km (482 mi), Uganda 814 km (506 mi)[1]


536 km (333 mi) along the Indian Ocean.

Maritime claims

Territorial sea: 12 nmi (22.2 km; 13.8 mi)
Exclusive economic zone: 116,942 km2 (45,152 sq mi) and 200 nmi (370.4 km; 230.2 mi)
Continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation


Much of the western two-thirds of the country consists of the Pliocene–Pleistocene volcanics deposited on Precambrian basement rocks.[2] The southeast corner of the country is underlain by sediments of the Karoo System of Permian to Late Triassic age and a strip of Jurassic age sediments along the coast in the Mombasa area.[2] The Anza trough is a NW–SE trending Jurassic rift extending from the Indian Ocean coast to the Sudan northwest of Lake Turkana. The Anza Rift resulted from the break–up of Gondwana.[2][3]
Köppen climate classification map of Kenya

The climate of Kenya varies by location, from mostly cool every day, to always warm/hot.[4][5][6] The climate along the coast is tropical. This means rainfall and temperatures are higher throughout the year. At the coastal cities, Mombasa, Lamu and Malindi, the air changes from cool to hot, almost every day. (See chart below).[6]

The further inside Kenya, the more arid the climate becomes. An arid climate is nearly devoid of rainfall, and temperature swings widely according to the general time of the day/night. For many areas of Kenya, the daytime temperature rises about 12 °C (corresponding to a rise of about 22 °F), almost every day.[4][5][6]

Elevation is the major factor in temperature levels, with the higher areas, on average, as 11 °C (20 °F) cooler, day or night.[4][5][6] The many cities over a kilometre in elevation have temperature swings from roughly 10–26 °C (50–79 °F). Nairobi, at 1,798 m (5,899 ft), ranges from 9–27 °C (49–80 °F),[4] and Kitale, at 1,825 m (5,988 ft), ranges from 11–28 °C (51–82 °F).[5] At night, heavy clothes or blankets are needed, in the highlands, when the temperature drops to about 10–12 °C (50–54 °F) every night.

At lower altitudes, the increased temperature is like day and night, literally: like starting the morning at the highland daytime high, and then adding the heat of the day, again. Hence, the overnight low temperatures near sea level are nearly the same as the high temperatures of the elevated Kenyan highlands. However, locations along the Indian Ocean have more moderate temperatures, as a few degrees cooler in the daytime, such as at Mombasa (see chart below).

There are slight seasonal variations in temperature, of 4 °C or 7.2 °F,[4][5][6] cooler in the winter months. Although Kenya is centred at the equator, it shares the seasons of the southern hemisphere: with the warmest summer months in December–March and the coolest winter months in June–August, again with differences in temperature varying by location within the country.[4][5][6]

On the high mountains, such as Mount Kenya, Mount Elgon and Kilimanjaro, the weather can become bitterly cold for most of the year. Some snowfall occurs on the highest mountains.
Climate data for Mombasa (at Indian Ocean)[6]
NOAA Code Statistic Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Avg
0101 Temperature
Average F 81.7 82.6 82.9 81.7 79.2 76.6 75.2 75.2 76.5 78.3 80.4 81.3 79.3
0201 Temperature
High value F 91.8 92.7 92.7 90.5 87.6 84.9 83.7 83.8 85.5 86.9 88.9 91 88.3
0301 Temperature
Low value F 71.6 72.5 73.2 72.9 70.9 68.2 66.7 66.7 67.5 69.6 71.8 71.6 70.3
0615 Precipitation
in inches[6] 1.4 0.6 2.3 6.3 9.7 3.6 2.9 2.8 2.8 4.2 4.3 3.1 3.7
0101 Temperature
Average C 27.6 28.1 28.3 27.6 26.2 24.8 24.0 24.0 24.7 25.7 26.9 27.4 26.27
0201 Temperature
High value C 33.2 33.7 33.7 32.5 30.9 29.4 28.7 28.8 29.7 30.5 31.6 32.8 31.29
0301 Temperature
Low value C 22.0 22.5 22.9 22.7 21.6 20.1 19.3 19.3 19.7 20.9 22.1 22.0 21.26
0615 Precipitation
in mm[6] 33.9 14.0 55.6 154.3 246 88.3 71.8 68.2 67.2 103.4 104.7 75.8 89.39
1109 Humidity
Maximum % 76.0 76.0 78.0 82.0 85.0 84.0 86.0 85.0 82.0 81.0 80.0 78.0 81.08
1110 Humidity[6]
Minimum % 62.0 59.0 61.0 66.0 70.0 67.0 67.0 66.0 65.0 66.0 68.0 65.0 65.17
The topography of Kenya.

Kenya's terrain is composed of low plains that rise into central highlands that are, in turn, bisected by the Great Rift Valley. There is also a fertile plateau in the west of the country.
Elevation extremes

The lowest point on Kenya is at sea level on the Indian Ocean. The highest point on Kenya is 5,197 meters above sea level at Mount Kenya.

The three main rivers are the Galana and the Tana and The Nzoia River which is a 257-kilometre-long (160 mi) Kenyan river, rising from Mount Elgon. It flows south and then west, eventually flowing into Lake Victoria near the town of Port Victoria. However, the Ewaso Ng'iro is an important river, supplying water from Mt. Kenya to the eastern and north-eastern part of Kenya.
Natural resources

Natural resources that are found in Kenya include: limestone, soda ash, salt, gemstones, fluorspar, zinc, diatomite, oil, gas, gypsum, wildlife and hydropower.
Land use

9.8% of the land is arable; permanent crops occupy 0.9% of the land, permanent pasture occupy 37.4% of the land; forest occupies 6.1% of the land. Other uses make up the rest of Kenya's land. This is as of 2011.

1,032 km2 of Kenyan land was irrigated in 2003.
Total renewable water resources

30.7 km3 (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal

Total: 2.74 km3/yr (17%/4%/79%)
Per capita: 72.96 m3/yr (2003)


Thompson (4955 m), Batian (5199 m) and Nelion (5188 m) on Mt Kenya

The Great Rift Valley as it is visible near Eldoret, Kenya

Lake Turkana

The Fourteen Falls near Thika

Natural hazards

Natural hazards include recurring drought and flooding during the rainy seasons.

There is limited volcanic activity in the country. Barrier Volcano (elev. 1,032 m) last erupted in 1921. Several others have been historically active (see List of volcanoes in Kenya).
Environmental issues
Main article: Environmental issues in Kenya
Current issues

Current issues that threaten the environment at the moment include water pollution from urban and industrial wastes; degradation of water quality from the increased use of pesticides and fertilisers; deforestation; water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria; soil erosion; desertification; and poaching.
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 (MARPOL 73/78), Wetlands, Whaling.

Extreme points

This is a list of the extreme points of Kenya, the points that are further north, south, east or west than any other location.

Northernmost point – Kalukwakerith Mountain, Turkana County
Easternmost point – the tripoint with Ethiopia and Somalia, Mandera County
Southernmost point – the point where the border with Tanzania enters the Indian Ocean, Kwale County
Westernmost point – unnamed land west of Port Victoria, Busia County
Note: Kalukwakerith Mountain is in the disputed Ilemi Triangle region. If this area is excluded then Kenya does not have a northernmost point, the northern border being a straight line.

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