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Kenya

A map of Kenya, showing highland and lowland areas and vegetationKenya is situated in the Great Lakes region of East Africa. Here, the plates of the Earth’s crust have moved apart, creating Africa’s Great Rift Valley. A number of deep freshwater lakes lie in the valley, the largest of which is Lake Turkana, in northern Kenya. Savanna grasslands, home to some of Africa’s richest wildlife, stretch across much of Kenya. The equator runs through the middle of Kenya. The country has a hot, tropical climate with a rainy season between March and May. On higher ground, in uplands around the capital, Nairobi, temperatures are cooler. Kenya’s highest peak, Mount Kenya, is snow-capped all year round.


A map of Kenya
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A Kikuyu woman wearing traditional dress and face paint

People

Over 70 ethnic groups live in Kenya. Most are descended from Bantu people who arrived from West Africa around 2000 years ago. They live mainly in the southwest and along the coast, and include the Kikuyu, Kenya’s largest people.

In 1984, archaeologists discovered an almost-complete skeleton of a hominid (an ancestor of modern humans) near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya. The skeleton is known as “Turkana Boy”, and is thought to be 1.5 million years old. The boy was probably about 8 years old when he died.

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