Background and Geography

The Republic of Kenya lies across the equator on the eastern coast of the African continent and is situated at 0.4252° S, 36.7517° E with a coastline of 536 km.

Kenya is the world’s forty-seventh largest country (after Madagascar). It is comparable in size to France, and is somewhat smaller than the US state of Texas. Kenya has a total land area of 582,646 km2 with water covering 12,818 km2.

The country shares borders with Ethiopia in the North, Sudan in the Northwest, Uganda in the West, the Indian Ocean lies to the East and Tanzania in the South. The Rift Valley runs through the country north to south.

The altitude of Kenya ranges from 17m (Mombasa at the coast), 1,661m (Nairobi in central Kenya), 3,085m (Eldoret in the West) and 506m (Lodwar in the North). Kenya is an amazing country with tremendous topographical diversity, including glaciated mountains with snow-capped peaks, the Rift Valley with its scarps and volcanoes, ancient granitic hills, flat desert landscapes and coral reefs and islets.

Kenya generally receives a great deal of sunshine all the year round, and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. It is usually cool at night and early in the morning inland at higher elevations. In the low-lying districts, particularly along the coast, the climate is tropical, hot and humid. On the Plateau and in the highlands the climate is more temperate. Western Kenya and most parts of Nyanza experience heavy conventional rain and have two rain seasons, the long rains from April to June and the short rains from October to November. The hottest period is from February to March and the coldest in July to August.

The average annual temperature for the coastal town of Mombasa is 30.300 C maximum and 22.400 C minimum; the capital city, Nairobi 25.200 C maximum and 13.600 C minimum; Eldoret 23.600 C maximum and 9.500 C minimum, and the drier north plain lands, Lodwar 34.800C maximum and 23.700 C minimum.