A spectacular East African country to tour or live in. Once known as British East Africa or East Africa Protectorate, the country has been known in many different names, the German explorer, Johann Ludwig Krapf once called it Kenia or Kegnia, this happened when Dr Krapf was travelling in a Kamba (Tribe in Kenya) caravan with native Chief Kivoi and spotted the mountain peak of the now called Mount Kenya, when he asked what it was called, Kivoi told him it was “Ki-Nyaa” or “Kiima-Kiinyaa”. However, after independence it was officially named Republic of Kenya, or simply as, Kenya.
The country has been a favourite destination for tourists and many popular and influential people including, Bill Gates, Jose Mourinho, Mark Zuckerberg, Melania Trump, Queen Elizabeth II and many more.
Today the country has been a leading commercial hub in the east and central Africa. Despite the obvious corruption issues, the country boasts with lots of achievements and natural blessings.
Below is a list of unique facts about Kenya. Enjoy!
1. Kenya shares the world’s second largest freshwater lake, Lake Victoria, with two countries, Tanzania and Uganda.
2. In 2015, Kenya was voted as the world’s leading travel destination by the World Travel Awards.
3. In Kenya people drive on the left-hand side of the road.
4. Kenya is home to the Crying Stone, a mysterious 7-feet tall stone located in Kakamega town. The stone produces water that sounds like it’s crying and the water droplets appear like tears.
5. Mount Kenya is the tallest mountain in Kenya.
6. Kenya is home to 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which include,
- Lamu Old town
- Fort Jesus
- Sacred Mijikenda Kaya Forest
- Kenya Lake System in the Great Rift Valley
- Lake Turkana National Park
- Thimlich Ohinga Cultural Landscape
- Mount Kenya National Park
7. Kenya is home to the first black African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the late Professor Wangari Maathai, she won the prize in 2004, for leading environmental preservation.
8. Kenya has the most lions in the world, most of which are found in the Maasai Mara.
9. Kenya is home to one of the most breathtaking natural event in the world, the wildebeest migration between Serengeti in Tanzania and Maasai Mara in Kenya. During this event over a million beasts cross from one region to the other in a constant clockwise fashion. This has been listed among the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
10. The Great Rift Valley is the largest and deepest fault on earth. It cuts across 11 countries in Africa.
11. Queen Elizabeth II became the Queen of United Kingdom while still in Kenya at the Treetops Hotel on 6th of February in 1952.
12. Kenya has two official languages, English and Swahili. English was brought by the British, whereas, Swahili is mixture of Arabic and native coastal tongue. In Arabic, the word “Sahil” means “Coast”. Now you know why the language is called Swahili.
13. Vasco da Gama Pillar is a landmark of Malindi town, it commemorates the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama who visited the town in 1498.
14. Kenya is the largest exporter of grade-A coffee, however, Kenyans prefer tea.
15. Americans got pizzas, Italians got crostata, however, Kenyans got chapati (a round flat pancake made of wheat flour).
16. Kenya is a very diverse and multicultural country like no other on earth. It is home to more than 40 distinct tribes with distinct language. Plus the newly and officially recognised Asiatic community.
17. The most popular sport in Kenya is football, however, the country is internationally recognised for producing marathoners like, Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei.
18. The Mombasa old town was once ruled by Sultans.
19. Nairobi is the only capital city in the world with a national park in it.
20. Former US President, Barack Obama is half Kenyan on his father’s side and half American on his mother’s side. The name “Obama” is male in Kenyan Luo community, the female counterpart would be “Abama”.
21. Not all Kenyans are born black, however, 98 percent of the population is black.
22. Kenya is a Christian nation, however, there is freedom of worship for the minor religions.
23. Kenya shares its land borders with five countries, which are Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan.
Do you know any other fun and unique facts about Kenya that you feel we should add? Let us know in the comment box below. And also don’t forget to drop your favourite fact below!