Kenya Population, Main Cities and Geography

By | January 27, 2023

Kenya: population and cities

Kenya population


According to Countryaah website, Kenya has about 50 million residents.

Ethnic composition

The population of Kenya, apart from the immigrants, is composed of around 42 ethnic groups, of which around 21% are Kikuju, 15% Luo, 13% Luhya and 11% each Kalenjin and Kamba as well as around 30% members of other tribes.

About 80,000 people are of Asian and 60,000 European descent.


About 70% of Kenyans are Christian. About 20% of Kenyans profess Islam.

These Kenyans live mainly along the coast and on Lamu. 10% of Kenyans believe in traditional natural religions.

National languages

The official languages are Swahili and English. In addition, around 30 African languages are spoken, with almost two thirds of the population speaking Bantu and around a quarter Nilotic languages.

Capital and other cities


The capital of Kenya is Nairobi, with a population of around 3.5 million. According to Abbreviation Finder, KEN stands for Kenya in English. Click to see other meanings of this 3-letter acronym.


The second largest city in the country is Mombasa with about 950,000 residents. It is also Kenya and even East Africa’s most important port city. The Islamic old town is particularly worth seeing in Mombasa, with its narrow and winding streets and the street vendors who sell handcrafted goods.


Kisumu has about 250,000 residents and is located in the west of the country on Lake Victoria.


Nakuru has about 315,000 residents.

Other larger cities are:

– Machakos with around 150,000 residents

– Eldoret with around 300,000 residents.

Kenya: geography, map

Kenya is located in East Africa on the Indian Ocean. The north of Kenya consists of desert, the south of savannah landscape. Fertile plains are found on the coast and on the shores of Lake Victoria. West Kenya is mountainous, with the Rift Valley to the north, the East African Rift Valley. Check topmbadirectory for politics, flags, famous people, animals and plants of Kenya.

Area and boundaries

Kenya covers a total area of 582,646 km². Thereof:

  • ForestAround 29% of the country is forested or bushland. The annual clearing is about 930 km².
  • Meadow and pasture landAround 6% of the land is used as meadow or pasture land.
  • SavannahAround 22% of the country consists of wet or dry savannah.
  • Fields and fieldsAround 4% of the land is used as arable land or fields, especially for growing tea, coffee, cotton, sisal, tobacco, cloves and cashew nuts.


Because of climate change, the country is increasingly suffering from water shortages. Therefore, people have started to switch to camels instead of cattle. There are now over two million of these animals living here.


Kenya shares a border with the following five countries:

– Ethiopia with a length of around 860 km,

– Somalia with a length of 680 km,

– South Sudan with a length of 230 km,

– Tanzania with a length of 770 km and

– Uganda with a length of 935 km.


Kenya has a coastline to the Indian Ocean with a length of about 535 km.

Tidal range in Kenya

In Kenya the mean tidal range is around 2 to 3 m.

(For a detailed explanation of ebb and flow, see Tides, Ebb and Flow


The world’s highest tidal range can be found in the Bay of Fundy in Canada, where it is up to 16 m, and at spring tide even over 20 m. The Bay of Fundy is located on the Atlantic between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, which is called Nova Scotia in German and whose capital is Halifax. On the German North Sea coast it varies between 1 m and 3 m. In the western Baltic Sea, on the other hand, the tidal range is only 0.3 m, while it is barely noticeable in the eastern Baltic Sea.

Longitude and latitude

Kenya extends over the following geographical latitude (abbreviation Δφ) and geographical longitude (abbreviation Δλ):

Δφ = from latitude 04 ° 40 ‘north to latitude 04 ° 40’ south Δλ = from 034 ° to 042 ° east longitude

You can find detailed information on this subject under Longitude and Latitude.

Legal time

For Kenya, the following value applies to Central European Time (CET), i.e. the time (without summer time) in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. A minus sign means that it is earlier there, a plus sign that it is later than CET:

Δt (CET) = + 2 h

Further and detailed explanations of the time can be found under Time zones, time.

Highest level of the sun in Nairobi

Nairobi, the capital of the country, lies on a southern latitude of around φ = 01 °. If the declination of the sun has a value of 01 ° south and the sun’s image point is exactly above the city, the sun is perpendicular to the city. This happens exactly twice a year, roughly 5 days before March 21st and 5 days after September 21st (for details see position of the sun).


If the image point of the sun and thus the declination δ is north of the latitude of Nairobi, the sun is not in the south at noon, as in our latitudes, but in the north. In this case, the sun moves from east to north to west, where, like us, it sets.


The highest mountain in the country is Mount Kenya with a height of 5,199 m. Other high mountains are:

– Mount Elgon with a height of 4,231 m

– Mount Aberdares with a height of 3,999 m.


The longest river in the country is the Tana with a length of probably 710 km. Other rivers in Kenya are the Athi-Galana-Sabaki with a total length of 390 km and the Guam-Turkwel with a length of 380 km.

Lakes, Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria

The largest lake in Kenya is Lake Victoria with an area of 68,870 km² – even if in Kenya – in the northeastern part of the lake – there is only a very small part of the lake. After the Caspian Sea and Lake Superior in America (USA/ Canada), Lake Victoria is the third largest lake in the world and the largest lake in Africa. Overall, in addition to Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda also border the lake. The main tributary of the lake is the Kagera Nile, which flows into the lake in the northwest on the border between Tanzania and Uganda. The main outflow – to the north of the lake in Uganda – is the Victoria Nile.

The water volume of the lake is about 2,770 km³ – with a maximum depth of 85 m. Approximately in its middle, the lake borders Uganda in the north of Tanzania over a length of around 250 km. For example, while Lake Tanganyika has a tubular shape, the Victoriasse appears more rectangular. The largest island in the lake is Ukerewe in Tanzania – with an area of 560 km². Hippos and around 550 species of freshwater fish live on or in the lake.

Other larger lakes are:

Magadi Lake

The lake covers an area of 105 km². This lake is also one of the soda lakes in the East African Rift Valley. Flamingos, Egyptian geese, pelicans, herons and fish eagles live by or on the lake.

Naivasha Lake

The lake with an area of 135 km² is a freshwater lake at an altitude of 1,880 m. Around 300 species of birds live by or on the lake – such as ibises, goliath herons, cormorants, marabous, pelicans and sea eagles. Antelopes, hippos, giraffes, wildebeests and zebras live in the vicinity of the lake.

Nakuru lake

The lake with an area of 40 km² is only up to 4 m deep and has no natural runoff. The lake only loses its water through evaporation. As a result, the lake has accumulated a high proportion of sodium carbonate compounds over time, making it one of the so-called “soda lakes” in the East African Rift Valley – the Rift Valley. The lake is widely known for its millions of flamingos, who stay here temporarily and feed on the lake’s blue-green algae or small crustaceans. It is only through this food that the animals acquire their characteristic reddish or pink color

Turkana Lake

The Turkana Lake (Rudolfsee) covers an area of 6,405 km² whose northernmost part belongs to Ethiopia. It received its original name – Rudolfsee – in honor of the Austrian heir to the throne, Crown Prince Rudolf. The lake lies in the East African Rift. In the vicinity of the lake there are partly very active volcanoes.

Since the lake has no natural runoff, but loses its water through evaporation, the lake is becoming increasingly salinized. Therefore, the water of Lake Turkana is soda (sodium carbonate compounds) and also rich in fish and algae. Particularly noteworthy are the tiger tetra and the Nile perch. The crocodiles living on the banks can be dangerous for visitors. It should also be noted that the first Homo rudolfensis site is located near the lake. It was named after the place where it was found (Rudolfsee). The Turkana parks were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.


The small islands of Mfanganu and Rusinga are offshore.

The Indian Ocean

Kenya borders the Indian Ocean for around 535 km in the east of the country.

Kenya Population