Kenya covers an area of 582,646 square kilometers and has a population of about 29 million people. The land stretches from the sea level (Indian Ocean) in the east, to 5,199 meters at the peak of the snowcapped Mount Kenya. From the coast, the altitude changes gradually through the coastal belt and plains (below 152 meters above sea level), the dry intermediate low belt to the Kenya Highlands.
The monotony of terrain in the low belt is broken by residual hills, masses of broken boulders and inselbergs. Settlement is confined to places where water can be found. Wildlife is masters of the greater part of the low belt. The famous Amboseli Game Reserve and Tsavo National Parks are situated here. The Great Rift Valley bisects the Kenya Highlands into east and west. Mount Kenya is on the eastern side. The Highlands are cool and agriculturally rich. Both large and small holder farming is carried out in the highlands. Major cash crops are tea, coffee, pyrethrum, wheat and corn.
Livestock farming is also practiced. Kano plains that are suited for farming through irrigation dominate the Lake Victoria Basin. The northern part of Kenya is plain and arid. Pastoralism is the main land use activity. However, a variety of food crops do well through irrigation. Kenya is located approximately 8-10 hours flying time from major European cities, and about 16-20 hours flying time from North American cities. Located on the Equator, Kenya enjoys a tropical climate. It is hot and humid at the coast, temperate inland and very dry in the north and northeast parts of the country.
The average annual temperature for the coastal town of Mombasa (altitude 17 Meters) is 30.30 Celsius maximum and 22.40 Celsius minimum. The capital city, Nairobi (altitude 1,661 Metres) 25.20 Celsius maximum and 13.60 Celsius minimum, Eldoret (altitude 3,085m) 23.60 Celsius maximum and 9.50 Celsius minimum and the drier north plain lands 34.80 Celsius maximum and 23.70 Celsius minimum. There is plenty of sunshine all the year round and summer clothes are worn throughout the year. However, it is usually cool at night and early in the morning. The long rains occur from April to June and short rains from October to December. The rainfall is sometimes heavy and when it does come it often falls in the afternoons and evenings.
The hottest period is from February to March and coldest in July to August. The annual migration of wildlife between Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National Park in Kenya takes place between June and September. The migration of almost two million wildebeest, zebras, and other species is nature's greatest spectacle on earth.