Kenya Fact Sheet

Kenya

Geography
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National Symbol: 
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Geographic Area: 
224,080 sq mi
Time Zone: 
UTC +3
Climate: 
Tropical in south, west, and central regions; arid and semi-arid in the north and the northeast.
Population: 
41,071,000
Major Cities: 
  • Nairobi, capital
  • Mombasa
  • Kisumu
US Consulate/Embassy Contact Info: 
United Nations Avenue Nairobi (
P. O. Box 606), Village Market
 00621 Nairobi, Kenya; Tel., +254-20-363-6000; Fax: +254-20-363-6501; ircnairobi@state.gov
British Consulate/Embassy Contact Info: 
British High Commission, Upper Hill Road, (P.O. Box 30465-00100), Nairobi; Tel., +254-20-284-4000; Email, nairobi.bhc@gmail.com
Canadian Consulate/Embassy Contact Info: 
High Commission of Canada, Limuru Road, Gigiri, (P.O. Box 1013-00621 Nairobi, Kenya; Tel., +254-20-366-3000; Email, nrobi@international.gc.ca
Daily Life
Primary Language, other: 
English and Kiswahili are both official languages.
Secondary Languages: 
  • More than 60 languages are spoken in Kenya, three major ones are Kikuyu, Dholuo and Luhya, with each corresponding to a major tribe.
  • Arabic colloquialisms and Arabic in general are spreading throughout Kenya.
  • English is the most common international lingua franca, but Kiswahili is spoken as a first language among the Kikuyu tribe, the majority population. Due to the large number of languages in Kenya, however, there is no one language that is universally understood.
Currency: 
Shillings
National Dish: 
  • Ugali the local name for corn bread is made of ground maize flour mixed with water and mingled to form solid dough is the national dish. It is eaten by all Kenyans and is normally served with ‘matumbo’ the intestines of a cow or goat, a local delicacy that must be eaten hot. Smoked fish in coconut sauce might be served with ugali. Most meals will come with a side dish of sukuma wiki a vegetable that tastes like spinach or Kachumbari a salad made of diced tomatoes, onions and coriander.
National Beverage: 
  • Tusker the ubiquitous beer will accompany a meal in the evenings. Potent gins brewed from sugar canes and bananas are available, but the best advice is to stick to frothy beverages. Age restrictions exist in name but they are rarely enforced.
Legal Drinking Age: 
18
Legal Driving Age: 
18
Driving Rules: 
  • drive with your national license
  • international driver’s license required
  • drive on left side of road
  • other
Driving Rules, other: 
The roads can be in very bad condition and many vehicles are poorly maintained making it dangerous to drive in rural parts of Kenya.
Tipping Customs: 
Foreign guests normally tip but it is not mandatory particularly away from the coast and cities. Some hotels and restaurants include a 10% service charge.