Kenya is incredibly amazing, and I don’t believe it is discussed nearly enough! All five of the Big 5 live in this varied nation in East Africa. As you travel across the country, the scenery radically changes, from the colorful escarpments of the Great Rift Valley to the expansive grasslands of Amboseli National Park and the enormous Indian Ocean stretching down the coastline.
Here are 9 fascinating facts about Kenya to add to your memory bank, whether you’ve been dying to visit the Masai Mara or you’re just obsessed with learning odd stuff.
1. 50 national parks and reserves exist in Kenya.
Do you realize that Kenya has a total of 50 national parks and reserves? That’s true, the Kenya Wildlife Service oversees and manages 22 national parks and 28 national reserves, ensuring that the local wildlife is safeguarded against hunters and poachers.
2. In Kenya, more than 60 languages are spoken.
Although though there are only two official languages in Kenya—English and Kiswahili, better known as Swahili—there are 68 more languages that are widely spoken there.
If you’re on Contiki’s Kenyan Highlights tour, say “Jambo” or “Habari” to the people you meet to say hello and ask how they are doing in Kiswahili.
3. The second-highest mountain in Africa is Mount Kenya.
A fascinating fact about Kenya is that Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, behind Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
4. The Lion is Kenya’s national animal.
The lion is Kenya’s national animal, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature now rates this species as vulnerable. The leopard, the elephant, the buffalo, and the rhinoceros are other majestic African species that make up the Big 5, together with the African lion.
5. Kenya produced the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.
Keep Wangari Muta Maathai’s name in mind; Kenya’s environmental, social, and political activist is this inspiring woman who got the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace.
6.The largest desert lake in the world is Lake Turkana.
Despite being the largest desert lake in the world, Lake Turkana is also the largest lake in Kenya. It is a part of the three Lake Turkana National Parks, Sibiloi National Park, Central Island National Park, and South Island National Park, and is situated in the northern portion of the Great Rift Valley.
7. Kenya is the top safari destination in the world.
Kenya, which has held this title for the past eight years, has been named the top safari destination in the world for 2022 by the World Travel Awards!
8.The world’s top distance runners are from Kenya.
In Kenya, there must be something in the water! The nation’s Kalenjin population, in particular, has produced a number of long-distance runners and world record-breaking competitors who are renowned for dominating marathon circuits worldwide.
9.There is no beginning or conclusion to the Great Wildebeest Migration.
One of the most fascinating facts about Kenya is that while many people believe the Great Migration only occurs once a year, in reality it is a year-round natural phenomena that legally has no beginning or end. One of the best places to see one of nature’s most spectacular displays is at Kenya’s Masai Mara Game Reserve, where wildebeest, zebra, and antelope migrate in a clockwise circle between Kenya and Tanzania.