In America, we have 50 states, but we are all part of the United States. If you visit different states, you might notice that the food, language and culture vary from place to place. Each state has its own unique flavor, yet when it comes to the important things, the country comes first. What would happen if each state wanted to be independent? What if people in different states argued with each other over religion or culture? America would become weak. We would not progress as a people.
Kenya Facts For Kids
- Located in East Africa.
- Capital: Nairobi.
- Official languages: English, Swahili.
- Currency: Kenyan shilling.
- Major landmark: Mount Kenya.
- Became independent: December 12, 1963.
- Known for the Great Rift Valley.
- Home to Maasai Mara Wildlife Reserve.
- Birthplace of long-distance runners.
- Borders the Indian Ocean.
Maasai Mara National Reserve
One of Kenya’s most captivating and educational destinations for children is the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Named after the Maasai, its traditional inhabitants, and the Mara River that bisects it, the reserve is globally acclaimed for its remarkable concentration of wildlife. Children will thrill at the sight of the ‘Big Five’ – lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and African buffalo that call this place home.
The Maasai Mara forms the backdrop for the Great Migration, an awe-inspiring sight of over two million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles traversing the Serengeti and Maasai Mara in pursuit of fresh pastures between July and October.
This annual event ranks among the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. The reserve also boasts an abundance of bird species, making it a haven for bird enthusiasts. By visiting the Maasai Mara, children can gain a deep and lasting appreciation for wildlife conservation.
Nairobi, the capital
Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, is a dynamic African metropolis, often dubbed as the ‘Green City in the Sun’ thanks to its verdant surrounding landscapes. It serves as the nation’s political and financial epicenter, while simultaneously functioning as a lively cultural nexus teeming with an energetic arts and music scene.
Uniquely, Nairobi houses a national park within its city boundaries, the Nairobi National Park, where children can marvel at the sight of lions, giraffes, and zebras. The Nairobi National Museum, another city highlight, provides children with an excellent opportunity to delve into Kenya’s rich historical tapestry and its diverse cultural heritage.
Moreover, the city is a linguistic melting pot, with English and Swahili, Kenya’s two official languages, predominantly spoken.
Great Rift Valley
Kenya houses the Great Rift Valley, a breathtaking geographical feature visible from space and spanning over 6,000 kilometers from Lebanon to Mozambique. This fascinating geographical wonder formed millions of years ago due to tectonic plate movement, captivates children’s imaginations.
The Great Rift Valley is not just a stunning Kenyan landscape, but also a unique natural tapestry adorned with volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, and flamingo-filled lakes. Beyond its natural beauty, it serves as a critical archaeological site, a treasure trove of ancient human fossils, offering invaluable insight into the early history of mankind.
Swahili language and culture
Kenya, a dynamic East African nation, is characterized by the prominent role of the Swahili language and culture in its society. Swahili, or Kiswahili as it’s also known, is one of the two official languages of the country, sharing this status with English, and it is widely spoken by the majority of Kenyans in schools, businesses, and everyday interactions.
The rich history and traditions of the Swahili culture significantly shape Kenya’s music, art, food, and festivals, offering a captivating blend of African, Arab, and European influences. This integration of cultures and languages makes Kenya an intriguing country for children to explore and learn about.
Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak and a captivating geographical feature, offers an exciting learning experience for kids with its towering height of 5,199 meters and a snow-capped peak that intriguingly sits near the equator.
Besides its picturesque beauty, Mount Kenya serves as an indispensable water source for over two million inhabitants. Its diverse wildlife, including elephants, buffalos, and a variety of monkey species, make it an enticing spot for nature lovers.
Additionally, its cultural significance is deeply rooted in the beliefs of the Kikuyu, Meru, and Embu communities who revere the mountain as the dwelling place of their traditional gods.
Kenyan wildlife and safaris
Kenya, a popular safari destination, boasts an incredibly diverse range of wildlife, hosting some of the world’s most iconic animals such as elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and rhinoceros. This African country captivates children’s interests with its rich biodiversity.
One of its most renowned wildlife conservation areas, the Maasai Mara Reserve, stages the annual wildebeest migration, deemed one of the world’s most breathtaking animal migrations. Kenyan safaris offer thrilling encounters with these animals in their natural environments, alongside informative insights into conservation efforts to safeguard these remarkable creatures.
Mombasa and the coast
Located on Kenya’s eastern shoreline, Mombasa stands as the nation’s oldest and second-largest city, celebrated for its stunning white sandy beaches, rich historical tapestry, and as the home to the majestic Fort Jesus.
This notable Portuguese fort, a relic of the 16th century, now graces the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mombasa forms a component of the wider Swahili Coast, a stretch along the Indian Ocean, recognized for its distinct fusion of African, Arab, and European cultures.
The coastal cityscape is often dotted with traditional dhows, the local fishing vessels. Mombasa boasts a diverse wildlife population, including monkeys and hippos, which can be observed in their natural surroundings at the nearby Shimba Hills National Reserve, a favored destination among tourists.
Kenya’s history and colonial past
Situated in East Africa, Kenya boasts a diverse and rich history extending back millions of years. Its contemporary identity, however, has been significantly molded by its colonial past. The late 19th century marked the onset of British colonization in Kenya, a period that persisted until 1963 when the country achieved independence.
The British colonial era brought about important changes, such as the introduction of modern education, the construction of railways, and the economic shift towards cash-crop farming. Despite these advancements, the period was characterized by resistance and struggle as Kenyans fought for their land and freedom.
In the present day, the enduring influence of British colonial rule is apparent in Kenya’s official language, English, and its political structure, which mirrors the British model.
Long-distance runners and athletes
Kenya, particularly the Rift Valley region, is globally recognized for producing outstanding long-distance runners and athletes due to its high altitude and hilly landscape that naturally cultivates endurance running.
This African nation has witnessed the rise of world-class marathon runners who have not only won multiple Olympic medals and set world records, but also brought immense pride to their homeland. The success of these athletes has sparked a wave of inspiration among the younger generation in Kenya, making athletics a key element of the country’s culture and identity.
Coffee and tea plantations
Kenya, a global powerhouse in coffee and tea production, is famed for its highland plantations that favor the growth of these key export crops. These plantations, which are of significant interest to kids, are nestled in climatically ideal regions to ensure the crops flourish.
The rigorous process of nurturing and handpicking the coffee and tea leaves guarantees top-tier quality. Beyond their economic contribution, these plantations are also major employment sources for Kenyan locals. Kids would find it fascinating to learn that the tea they savor and the coffee their parents relish potentially originate from the stunning Kenyan fields.
Many countries in the world still struggle with this problem. Different tribes or groups of people live within an area and they don’t get along. For many years, Kenya has struggled to overcome conflicts between different tribes. Individual tribes are often more important to people than the country as a whole. Great Britain ruled Kenya until 1963. After Kenya gained independence, the country enjoyed many years of prosperity under the direction of President Kenyatta. After he died, Kenya struggled to stay united. Recently, the country has become more peaceful and stable.
Kenya lies in eastern Africa, on the Indian Sea. Ethiopia and Somalia lie to the north; Tanzania is in the south. The country has miles of coastal plains, highlands and even mountains. The capital city, Nairobi, is cooler than other cities in the region because it sits in the highlands. Kenya is home to many animals, including lions, zebras, elephants, giraffes and rare birds.
Fun Facts about Kenya for Kids
- Over 48,600,000 people live in Kenya.
- Kenya has 224,081 square miles of land.
- Uhuru Kenyatta is the current president of Kenya (information updated May 2018).
- People in Kenya speak English, Kishwahili, and tribal languages.
- Most people in Kenya are a mixture of Protestant or Catholic religions, mixed with native beliefs.
- People in Kenya can expect to live 64 years.
- 85 percent of adults can read.
- At 5,199 m Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in Kenya. It is the 2nd highest mountain in the African continent.
- The longest river in Kenya is the Tana river. The Tana river is 800 km in length and flows only within Kenya. Kenya also has the river Nile flowing through the country and it is longer, but the Nile flows into other countries also were as the Tana river is purely within Kenya.
- About 75% of the Kenyan population work within the agriculture sector.
- Tourism is a big money spinner in Kenya with many tourists coming on Safari to see the wonderful wildlife.
- The currency in Kenya is the Kenyan Shilling.
- Progress: grow, move forward, improve
- Tribe: group of tightly connected people
- Prosperity: peace, wealth, growth
- Stable: calm, predictable
All About Kenya Video for Kids
Watch this awesome Kenya video for kids:
This video presentation is all about Kenya’s people, culture, tribes, Masai, maps, National Parks and its capital, Nairobi.
Question: Do children in Kenya go to school?
Answer: Children can go to school for free from age seven to 14. Only 50 percent of young children go to school. Very few go beyond the age of 14.
Map of Kenya
Here’s a map of the country of Kenya and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Kenya! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Kenya, as though you are actually there!