Rugged Majesty of Mount Kenya:
A natural symbol of the birth of the nation
O God of all creation,
Bless this our land and nation.
Justice be our shield and defender,
May we dwell in unity,
Peace and liberty.
Plenty be found within our borders.
Let one and all arise
With hearts both strong and true.
Service be our earnest endeavour,
And our Homeland of Kenya,
Heritage of splendour,
Firm may we stand to defend.
Let all with one accord
In common bond united,
Build this our nation together,
And the glory of Kenya,
The fruit of our labour
Fill every heart with thanksgiving.
KENYA is the world’s favourite safari destination. The to succeed. The numerous athletes and medalists give a true
economic giant of the Eastern and Central African region and testimony of the resilience of the people of Kenya.
the main gateway to Africa, Kenya is a hospitable and friendly
country, with a thriving economy and unmatched natural In terms of trade, industry and investment, Kenya has some of
attractions. the most competitive and attractive incentives and resources in
Africa. This young African democracy, which has been a haven of
It boasts picturesque landscapes adorned by the Great Rift peace since its independence in 1963 is arguably one of the best
Valley, the snow-capped Mount Kenya and numerous tropical places in the world to visit, live and invest.
forests, rivers, lakes and coastal beaches. Kenya is home to
the largest species of wildlife in the world. Kenya – A holistic indescribable experience.
The Kenyan people besides being warm-hearted and
friendly are renowned for their hard work and determination
I am pleased to write a foreword for
this attractive and insightful publication
In this book, you will ﬁnd many
things said about Kenya, some of
which may be new, and others that you
already know. It is my hope that the
book will enable readers to broaden
their knowledge of our country and
experience a new understanding and
perception of Kenya and its people.
Kenya remains a relatively stable and
peaceful nation, despite the challenges
we have faced over the years. The
stability and success of our nation
demonstrates that we are a resilient
people, and we are always ready to
ﬁnd solutions to our problems. And
more importantly, we have been swift
to seize the challenges that confront us
and transform them into opportunities
for enhancing the political, social, and
economic development of our society. the government has implemented a highly talented and skilled labour.
In this respect, the Grand Coalition variety of reforms to make our country This publication is, therefore, also an
Government, working together with investor-friendly. We welcome investors invitation to investors, friends and
Parliament, passed various legislation to take advantage of the unique and well-wishers to visit Kenya. I assure
this year to enable the government abundant opportunities we offer to put you that you will not be disappointed.
implement various reforms to ensure their money in various sectors of our Kenya is a land of contrasts
transparency in the management of economy. – of enchanting landscapes, a snow-
the affairs of our nation. I am conﬁdent Indeed, Kenya is today one capped mountain on the Equator,
that as a people, we are capable of of Africa’s most well endowed expansive savannas that are home
overcoming the problems we face, countries in terms of human capital, of the big ﬁve and countless, varied
and building a united, stable and entrepreneurship and work ethic. wildlife in their natural habitats that
prosperous nation. The country has a large portfolio of make Kenya a true safari country.
I therefore want to assure our friends investment opportunities, ranging Moreover, Kenya’s coastal region
and well-wishers that Kenyans are from the diverse natural resources tells the story of hospitality and of
determined to uphold our nationhood. and a vibrant agricultural sector to timeless contacts with the rest of the
We are committed to living in unity, sophisticated infrastructure as well as world, a story that is still eloquently told
while recognizing the diversity of our the ﬁnancial and information services by the numerous historical monuments
people. Indeed all of us, regardless sectors. and sites, while the beautiful, white
of ethnicity, race or religion, are In this regard, Nairobi has grown to sandy beaches and an all-year round
inextricably tied together, with a become the region’s ﬁnancial, transport warm climate assure our visitors a fun-
ﬁlled holiday experience.
common destiny. That destiny, as spelt and tourism hub, while Mombasa is the
out in Vision 2030 aims at building a gateway to the Eastern Africa region.
Investors will ﬁnd well developed Welcome to Kenya.
prosperous and equitable nation that is
an example to the region, and the world infrastructure, including roads, railway,
of what Africa is capable of achieving. air transport, and telecommunications
Accordingly, the theme of this linking Kenya to the rest of Africa and
the world. Investors will also be happy H.E. Mwai Kibaki
publication is not only appropriate, but
to know that Kenya has a large pool of President of the Republic of Kenya
also timely. Over the last six years,
Foreword from the
It is my pleasure to write the
foreword to this useful fact-book
on Kenya, especially at this
particular time when our country
has regained its balance following
the political crisis that engulfed
it in early 2008. Kenya is back in
business as the gateway to the vast
and fast growing African market
on the eastern seaboard. We
have reclaimed our reputation and
position as the destination of choice
for investment, trade and tourism in
Eastern and Central Africa.
We in Kenya ﬁrmly believe that
the private sector provides the main
engine for sustainable economic
growth. The Government of Kenya
is ﬁrmly committed to working
closely with the both the domestic
and foreign private sector to
generate wealth in the ﬁght against
poverty and underdevelopment.
Kenya offers guaranteed lower • a 100 per cent investment transport for East, Central and Southern
production and operational costs deduction on capital expenditure Africa, offering daily air connections
and faster business set-up than within 20 years. to West Africa and other parts of the
most other countries, through the world.
following measures: • exemption from Stamp Duty. As a founder-member of the East
African Community (EAC) and the
• a one-stop-shop system for The Government places great Common Market for Eastern and
required licenses upon entry. emphasis on providing a conducive Southern Africa (COMESA), Kenya
and enabling environment for business. offers access to a vast market of more
• a ten-year Corporate Tax holiday Maintaining Kenya’s highly skilled than 400 million people.
and a 25 per cent tax rate labour force is a top priority alongside Kenya hosts a large number of
reduction for 10 years thereafter. issues of security, affordable energy regional bodies, multinationals and
supply, responsiveness of the public international organizations. This,
• a ten-year withholding Tax sector to business needs, upgrading together with the multi-racial fabric of
holiday on non-resident infrastructure and ensuring a pleasant Kenyan society, makes most cities and
remittances. multicultural environment to live in. urban centers in the country global in
Kenya’s unique geographical matters of faith, education, culture,
cuisine and character.
• duty and Value Added Tax position offers time ﬂexibility in cross-
Welcome to Kenya! You will enjoy
(VAT) exemption on imported or interaction with businesses in other
visiting or doing business in Kenya.
locally sourced raw materials, time zones from Auckland in New
construction equipment and Zealand to Los Angeles here in the
other business inputs except U.S., without the loss of sleep! Nairobi Raila Amolo Odinga
motor vehicles and some fuels. is the regional hub for air and sea Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya
Complete in its splendour:
The unparalled breathtaking Kenyan landscape
Elephant: Majestic giant of the Kenyan wild
Kenya at Glance
Estimated in 2007 at 37,183,924 English and Swahili are the main and
ofﬁcial languages but there are over 40
other local dialects.
591,383 square kilometers
CAPITAL CITY BEST SAFARI TIME
Nairobi A visit to Kenya is a truly unique and
unforgettable experience. The best times
to fulﬁll one’s lifetime dream for a great
Nakuru Safari to Kenya (ideally for two to three
Kisumu weeks) is July to February, although the
country is hospitable and attractive to the
visitor throughout the year.
Free market enterprise
Time for an idyllic game viewing safari
is July to September when a one of the
greatest spectacles on earth takes place
as more than a million wild animals,
A single chamber of 210 elected and 12
mainly wildebeest and zebras cross the
nominated members whose life lasts ﬁve
Mara River into the world-famous Masai
Mara National Reserve.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Moi International Airport Kenya Airways, which is affectionately
Wilson Airport tagged “The Pride of Africa” ﬂies to more
than 48 different destinations in Africa,
Europe, the Middle and the Far East and
Kenya shilling (Ksh75 is equivalent to
One US Dollar) is soon to ﬂy to the USA.
Fort Jesus: KENYA 11
Memorial to Kenya Coast’s rich history
Savour the savannah:
Open, inviting plains of the hinterland
Land of inﬁnite variety 583 000 kilometers square, lying at the centre of the
eastern part of the African continent.
Renowned globally as the cradle of mankind, Kenya Like its spectacular variety of wildlife, physical and climatic
is a land of great variety and spectacular physical and conditions, Kenya is a linguistic and cultural melting pot, with
climatic contrasts usually found in entire continents, from at least 42 different tribes and people of different races who live
high snow-capped mountains with alpine forests to hot harmoniously together.
dry deserts and lovely sandy beaches. The rich vegetation that acts as cover for some of Kenya’s
There is so much to be seen and enjoyed in Kenya, spectacular landscape also provides shelter for the great variety
ranging from the pre-historic splendour of the Rift Valley of wildlife.
to the beautiful shores of the Indian Ocean, lined with The varied altitude of kenya gives the country unique
unique mangrove forests and to Lake Turkana, the climatic features. The lower areas of the country have high
world’s largest desert lake. temperatures, with humidity dependent on proximity to water
From the modern social and cultural hub of Nairobi bodies. The highlands are mild and cool with relatively high
(the only city with a national park within its boundaries), rainfall patterns.
to the vast breathtaking expanses of wildlife parks such The popular Kenyan coast along the Indian Ocean and the
as the Tsavo, Mt Kenya, the Masai Mara and Amboseli, regions around Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater
a visit to Kenya presents the ultimate dream for any body in the world, and the source of the River Nile, are usually
traveler. hot or warm and humid. A visitor to Kenya can experience and
In the words of famous author Ernest Hemingway, enjoy these varied climatic conditions within a short time.
“Kenya is unknowable, unimaginable, and unbelievable.”
In terms of size, this great East African country is some
Sun and splendour: Kenya’s fascinating
500 kilometre-long coastline has fabulous beaches
Brilliant vision for a beautiful country opportunities for both public and private investors areas. Apart
from a visionary political leadership, Kenya has a number of
Vision 2030 advantages that make it one of the few countries on the African
KENYA’S vision is to become a middle income industrialised continent that are most likely to achieve a socio-economic
economy by the year 2030 and the government has developed a transformation in the near future. A well-educated, youthful and
comprehensive blueprint - the Vision 2030. The Government is vibrant population, vast, largely untapped natural resources,
determined and committed to making Vision 2030 a reality through enormous investment in infrastructure and a well developed
a series of planned and well-coordinated initiatives that will increase private sector are among the country’s assets.
productivity and ensure that the living standard of the majority of
the population is positively transformed. In this respect Vision Small country, big reputation
2030 clearly spells out the social, economic and political priorities Although a relatively small country in the world in its
that the country needs to focus on in order to achieve rapid geographical extent and population size, Kenya has often been
industrialisation and economic self-reliance within the next 25 to 30 at the centre of global attention and affairs. Kenya’s prowess in
years. The government is already putting in place measures for this sports, peace keeping missions and a safe haven for refugees
transformation notable among these is the creation of a favourable have positioned Kenya as a visible and impactful global player.
investment climate for both local and external entrepreneurs. In addition Kenya holds some of the most valuable treassures
on the origins and global distribution of various life forms giving it
A great vision for the future unique potential to positively contribute to the future of the world
In order to realise the goals of Vision 2030, Kenya requires and human kind. As a young and vibrant developing nation,
massive investments from both domestic and external sources. Kenya is determined to forge ahead and join the developed
The priority areas in the Vision present, enormous investment post-industrial countries.
Major Cities and Towns
Green City in the Sun
Nicknamed the green city in the sun, the modern
city of Nairobi, with a population of around 4.5
million inhabitants, occupies a unique place in the
world, being the only global metropolis with a large
wildlife park, close to its central business district!
It is also the only city of a developing country
that hosts the global headquarters of several
United Nations specialised agencies.
Its moderate climate, rich history, modern
facilities and central location makes it the most
ideal starting point for the Kenyan Safari adventure.
Situated just 140 km south of the Equator,
494km west of the port of Mombasa on the Indian
Ocean and 338km east of Lake Victoria, at an
altitude of 1670 m., Nairobi is not only Kenya’s
principal city but also East Africa’s economic and
business focal point.
In 1907, the British moved the colonial
administration from the port of Mombasa to
Nairobi and since then what was once a small
group of huts, has grown spectacularly into East
Africa’s most modern city. Nairobi attained city
status in 1950.
Nairobi: Green City in the Sun
City of Nairobi in the future
Romantic, historic island port
The island town of Mombasa is the main sea gate on the
Eastern African coastline and is Kenya’s oldest and second
largest metropolis. It has a rich romantic history dating back
over a 1,000 years.
The unrivalled beauty of the Kenyan coastline is truly a
distinctive feature of the country’s tourism industry.
Mombasa is home to a rich historic civilization that gave
East Africa the Swahili language, Kenya’s lingua franca
that has evolved to be spoken across half of Africa. One of
the most famous Swahili words that has not only found its
way into the english dictionary but also is a brand name of
several products ranging from perfumes to sports is Safari.
Close to the palm-fringed beaches lies the natural marvel
Mombasa: The historic gateway to Eastern Africa of the coral reef, which runs uninterrupted for close to 500
km. The Kenyan coast teems with various wonders of marine
life, mysterious lagoons and creeks that attract exploration.
There are also the mangrove forests and awesome cliffs
overhanging some of the beaches. Another great coastal
spectacle is the variety of wildlife, especially birds.
With such exciting features, together with a wide variety
of entertainment, a visit to the Kenyan coast is a must for
any visitor. The experience is truly memorable.
Fort Jesus, built by Portuguese adventurers during the 16th
Century, is one of the most important historical monuments
in the city of Mombasa.
Lively Lakeside Fishing City
The lively lakeside city of Kisumu, formerly
known as Port Florence is situated along Lake
Victoria, the world’s second largest freshwater
body and only about 80 km southeast of
Nyang’oma Kogelo, the ancestral home of
the father of the 44th President of the United
States of America, Barack Obama. Kisumu is
Kenya’s third largest city.
Kisumu is a thriving ﬁshing and commercial
city which is steadily positioning itself as the
commercial hub of Western Kenya, Tanzania,
Uganda and the Great Lakes region.
The surrounding region is rich in culture and
history, with many intriguing and historic sites
among them the Rusinga Islands, the crying of
stones and forests of Kakamega and a variety
of wild ﬂora and fauna.
For a visitor looking for a warm and tranquil
resting place, Kisumu is the ideal place.
Kenya Airways, the national carrier operates
daily ﬂights between Nairobi and Kisumu.
Kisumu: City on the lake
The Great Rift
The Great Rift Valley is one of the most
breathtaking and awesome natural physical
phenomena on earth estimated to have formed
some 20 million years ago.
The name “Great Rift Valley” was coined by
the Scottish explorer John Walter Gregory in
his book The Great Rift Valley (1896)
With its steep and jagged escarpment walls,
mountains and ﬂat ﬂoor, the Great Rift Valley is
one of the most attractive and popular parts of
Kenya. It is also among the most agriculturally
productive, providing most of Kenya’s wheat,
maize and dairy products.
The ﬂoor of the valley is at its lowest near
Lake Turkana where there is virtually no
distinction between the Great Rift Valley and
the surrounding desert. Lake Turkana is the
largest desert lake in the world.
As it heads south, the Great Rift Valley walls
form sheer cliffs rising to 1,900 km (6,232
ft) at Lake Naivasha, thereafter the valley
descends again to 580 metres (1,902 feet) as it
approaches the border with Tanzania.
Mystery of the power of nature
Rising to the heavens:
Subterranean movement is still common as the Rift The hot springs of Lake Bogoria
Valley is home to 30 active and semi-active volcanoes
and countless hot springs. This string of alkaline lakes
and boiling springs include lakes Baringo, Bogoria,
Nakuru, Elementaita, Naivasha, and Magadi in the
These lakes are rich in sodium carbonate which
creates an ideal breeding ground for algae. Several
species of ﬁsh, tilapia in particular, thrive in this
environment. As a result, millions of birds ﬂock to these
soda lakes to feast on the abundant algae and ﬁsh
making these lakes a unique spot for bird watching, the
most spectacular being the ﬂamingos of Lake Nakuru.
Then there is the dramatic Hell’s Gate near Lake
Naivasha, a truly awesome natural wonder.
Among the Great Rift Valley’s unique features is Lake
Turkana. Also known as the Jade Sea for the unique
turquoise colour of its waters, it stretches 250km and
has shores longer than the entire Kenyan coast.
This lake not only has an abundance of the delicious
tropical fresh-water ﬁsh, the Tilapia, but also contains
the world’s largest crocodile population. Fishing and
livestock rearing and agriculture are among the activities
within and around the lake.
There are numerous spectacular natural wonders
that surround the lake, with fantastic opportunities for
the intrepid adventurer.
Spectacular wildebeest migration:
Eighth wonder of the world
parks and game
The Masai Mara Stunning aerial view of the Masai Mara
Eighth wonder of the world
The Mara provides one of nature’s most dramatic and awesome spectacles; the annual
migration of over a million wildebeest and zebra, teeming from the south to cross the
Mara River into the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The migration which has come to be
has come to be known as the eighth wonder of the world takes place between July and
september making this the most ideal time for a classic safari.
The stunning Savannah grasslands with scattered shrubs stretches for as far as the
eye can see and is an endless spectacle of natures best highlights. In the vast landscape
can be seen the cheetah, the fastest animal on earth, chasing antelope and gazelle,
in the Mara River hippos bathe, and on the banks, crocodiles sun themselves.
It is in this predator infested waters of the mara that thousands of wildebeest,
hundreds of zebra, eland and gazelle must ﬁght for their lives... this is truly the jungles law
of survival for the ﬁttest.
For the nature loving and adventurous visitor, the wildebeest migration is a “must
see”. While at the mara a balloon safari provides an exciting view of this mighty African
Lake Nakuru National Park
Lakes Nakuru and Naivasha and the
thousands of ﬂamingos that reside
in them, together form a bewitching
spectacle beloved of many a local and
foreign visitor. Naivasha is best seen by
Eight kilometres south of Nakuru town
and covering an area of 200 square
kilometres, Nakuru National Park is
unquestionably a great ornithological
wonder of the world.
It is the congregation point of an
estimated 100,000 to two million
ﬂamingos and over 400 species of birds.
With the park greatly enlarged since its
creation in 1961, and extensive ecological
cleaning up of the area, wildlife of a wide
variety can now be seen in the park.
Lake Bogoria to the north of Nakuru,
features enticing hot springs, made even
more inviting by the sight of ﬁshermen in
papyrus boats and the rare greater kudu.
Nakuru boasts the rare Rothschild giraffe
and an extraordinary rhino sanctuary.
Flight of delight:
Graceful flamingos of the Great Rift Valley lakes
Total protection for the young
Samburu & Buffalo Springs
A tale of three game reserves
The arid and semi-arid regions of northern Kenya, framed by
volcanic mountain ranges and dotted with lakes, provide a
uniquely picturesque holiday for the visitor. Throughout the region,
rare animals such as the reticulated giraffe, oryx, Grevy’s zebra,
and long-necked gerenuk abound.
Between the drier northern region and the imposing, densely
forested Mt Kenya lies the serrated and beautiful Meru National
Park, home of Elsa the Lioness befriended by Joy and George
Adamson and featured in Joy’s Book and the ﬁlm, Born Free.
Almost similar in the variety of ﬂora and fauna are the three
wildlife reserves of Samburu, Shaba and Buffalo Springs located
along the Uaso Nyiro River, the Meru National Park is home to the
rare species of grazing white rhino in Kenya. It lies in a semi arid,
open savannah plain broken occasionally by small rugged hills.
Lodge in nature: KENYA 23
Luxury and unique wildlife are a tourist’s delight
Snow and Wildlife on the Equator
Snow-capped Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest
mountain, a stunning and challenging destination for the
adventurers tourists, climbers and trekkers.
Below the mountain’s alpine meadows roam elephant,
black rhino, Cape buffalo and antelope. On its lower
slopes is Ol Pejeta, a private ranch and rhino sanctuary
and nearby is the famous Mount Kenya Safari Club.
The Aberdare Ranges sport high alpine moorland
and primeval aloe forest. Here one can visit the famous
Treetops Hotel where leopards are regular visitors and
can be viewed in the act of refreshing themselves. The
Treetops is renowned because reigning Queen Elizabeth
visited in 1952 and went up the Treetops as a princess,
but word came that the King had died, she came down
The Aberdares were named by Joseph Thomson in
1883 after Lord Aberdare who was the then president of
the Royal Geographical Society. Lying in these mountains,
this park covers an area of 770 square kilometres.
A tantalising mixture of mountain rain forest, moorland,
thick bamboo forests and sub alpine plants make up the
vegetation in this park. Giant heath and tussock grass
cover the moorlands which are crossed by wandering
trout-ﬁlled streams that often cascade into beautiful
Snow in tropics:
Africa’s second highest, Mt Kenya is historically and culturally significant
King lion: Confident, strong and powerful
Expansive Pride of the Maasai
The imposing, ever present view of Kilimanjaro is the
main feature of this wildlife habitat which has some of
Kenya’s largest herds of elephants.
Hemingway once wrote of the Amboseli as “the
essence of Africa,” where elephants rummage the lower
forests, leopards prowl the salt ﬂats while antelope graze
the expansive grasslands; all these against the backdrop
of Kilimanjaro’s majestic peak. Few natural scenes
around the world are more inspiring.
Apart from the patches of acacia forest, Amboseli
grasslands are dotted with shrubs and fragile saline
grass. The dry volcanic ash can support little more.
The melting snows of Kilimanjaro feed rivers and
springs that supply water to the swamps and the
Amboseli, which is usually completely dry. Occasional
ﬂooding of the rivers occurs during rainy seasons.
A wide variety of wildlife, including antelope,
wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, elephants, rhino and buffalo,
the predatory lion, the cheetah and occasionally the
elusive, secretive leopard are attracted to the rivers and
As much a part of the Amboseli spectacle are the
Maasai people who graze their cattle here. Amboseli is
home of the colourful Maasai, with their rich and proud
Tower of nature: Amboseli is the peak of the wild Iconic maasai: A proud, courageous people
Tsavo East & Tsavo West
World’s largest game sanctuary
The entire Tsavo ecosystem is possibly
the world’s biggest game sanctuary. It
is an expansive model wildlife sanctuary
in terms of geographical and ecological
features, with a wide variety of plant and
animal life. Tsavo is situated half way
between Nairobi and Mombasa.
The Tsavo National Parks are ideal for
visitors who wish to include both wildlife
safari and coastal luxury on their itinerary.
Sunsets in the Tsavo offer their own
peculiar spectacle, ﬁlling the sky with an
Speed, stealth and ferocity: incredibly beautiful spectrum of colour
Cheetah, leopard and buffalo are among the Big Five of found in Tsavo and other wildlife sanctuaries
In Tsavo East roam ‘red’ elephants,
so called because of the colour of rich
volcanic soils that they throw over their
skins with their trunks in order to diminish
the effects of the hot tropical sun.
The Tsavos have the world’s largest
and most important concentration of
elephants, with a population estimated at
more than 20,000.
The rare white rhino graze our nature parks
Kenya’s esteemed place on the world map
Welcome to Kenya:
A model of Nairobi’s ultra-modern international
airport currently under expansion
Kenya: The peace maker as a peace-loving nation. Whenever the More recently, Kenya has also
Kenya has and continues to play international community seeks a suitable spearheaded successful peace
processes for the Sudan and Somalia
important roles on the international place in which to hold talks on matters
under the leadership of former President
scene. Over the years, the country has ranging from war to climate change,
Daniel Moi and current President Mwai
been a regional peacemaker. Peace talks Kenya is usually among the countries to
to end internal and external conﬂicts be considered. Kibaki.
in various African countries have been
Visits by world leaders The UN in Nairobi
held in Nairobi, with Kenya playing a vital
Prominent world leaders have been to Kenya’s capital Nairobi is the only city
mediation role. In recent months, peace
Kenya on various occasions to attend in the developing world that hosts the
talks on the conﬂicts in the Democratic
both regional and global events or simply global headquarters of a number of
Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi
for holidays. In November 2008, UN United Nations Specialised Agencies.
have been hosted by Kenya.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon was It is the world headquarters of
As a result of its engagement in
in Kenya to help broker peace in the the United Nations Environmental
numerous efforts to end conﬂicts around
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Programme (UNEP) and the United
the world, Kenya has gained a reputation
Kenyan soldiers and police ofﬁcers have Nations Centre for Human Settlements
served on numerous peace-keeping (UN Habitat). It is also the regional
missions on the African continent and headquarters for Africa of several
around the world. other UN bodies. Kenya is a full and
Through the United Nations, Kenya committed member of the United Nations
has sent peacekeeping forces to Bosnia, Organisation since independence in
Namibia and Sierra Leone. During the 1963.
past four decades, Kenya has initiated,
guided and hosted peace talks for Rich, diverse heritage
troubled African countries, starting with From the pre-historic times during the
Angola, during the rule of the country’s evolution of humankind through the
internationally respected ﬁrst President, eras of slavery, voyages of discovery
the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. and colonisation to the modern
UN chief Ban Ki-Moon
post-independence period, Kenya has
always occupied a unique place in human
In fact, Kenya and the East African
region are often referred to as the “cradle
of mankind” due to the discovery by world
renowned paleontologists of several pre-
historic remains of the ancestors of modern
The Museums of Kenya are among the
most interesting places to visit for a view of
the development of humankind and African
Melting pot of culture
Inhabited by different races and a total of 42
ethnic communities with varying historical
and cultural backgrounds, Kenya is a prime
example of harmony in diversity, a true
melting-pot of religions, races and culture.
The majority of its people are black
Africans from different linguistic and cultural
stocks, with migrant minorities of Middle
Eastern, European (Caucasian) and Asian
extraction. More than 40 different languages
are spoken in Kenya, but Swahili (a mixture of
Arabic and local vernacular languages) and
English are the ofﬁcial languages.
Dance to melt your heart
Dominating distance athletics
Kenya is a global giant in long-distance athletics, having
produced a long line of world class runners since 1968. At the
Beijing Olympics in 2008, Kenya led Africa with a record harvest
of 8 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze medals. Kenyan athletes have
won almost every known city marathon or road race in the
Track sensation Pamela Jelimo won not only an Olympic gold
medal in her 800m specialty, but also the International Amateur
Athletics Federation (IAAF) US$1.0 million Golden League
Kenya is now also one of the top swimming nations in Africa
with several continental titles. Other major sports in the country
Sporting prowess: Resilience, determination bring great success
include football (most popular), sport There are sufﬁcient world-class
shooting, sport sailing, motor rallying conference facilities, excellent
(the world famous Safari Rally), horse accommodation, entertainment and
racing, golf, boxing, angling, among lovely cuisine in all the major cities and
others. within the wildlife parks.
Conferencing (in) Kenya Centre for international media
Many important global conferences All major international media
have been held in Nairobi, including organisations and news agencies have
the UN Conference on Climate Change their Africa regional ofﬁces based in
in 2006, the UN Women’s Decade Nairobi.
Meeting in 1985, joint World Bank/IMF From the Kenyan capital, which
Meeting in Nairobi in 1975. There was enjoys excellent communication
also the UNCTAD conference in 1979. with the rest of the world, media
In 2007, there was the World Social representatives from around the world
Forum, one of the largest conferences can cover events and transmit news
ever held anywhere on earth, with across continents.
more than 20,000 delegates from Local media are among the
around the globe. most vibrant and diversiﬁed in the
Conference facilities in Kenya developing world. Media freedom
include the famous Kenyatta is guaranteed in the country’s
International Conference Centre Constitution.
(KICC) in Nairobi. Various regional and The Nation Media Group is the
global meetings take place in Kenya largest in Eastern and Central Africa,
on a regular basis since it is the main with the Daily Nation being by far the
organisational and communications most widely read daily newspaper in
KICC: Africa’s premier meeting place
hub in the entire Eastern African the region.
Beaches and Big Five
The famous “Big Five” wild animals, the
elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo
are all found in Kenya’s national parks
and game reserves.
The lion is known for its strength and
power, speed and stealth, which make it
a menacing predator and give it the the
nickname king of the jungle.
The rhino is one tonne creature with
a lone horn for which it is hunted by
poachers. It is often found a lone.
A leopard is also a solitary animal but
its strength is such that it can haul its
prey vertically up a tree. It is also known
for speed, surprise and stealth.
The buffalo has a ﬁerce temper and
will fearlessly stand up to the lion. Lions
prey on buffalo which is why the two are
African sunset: Enhances beauty of Coast
Grown under the sun
mortal enemies. Elephants move in a herd freshness and beauty. A wide variety of Free, The rise and Fall of Idi Amin, Tomb
and like buffalo keep the calves in the juicy tropical and temperate fruits and Raider, Cradle of Life, Walk With the Lions.
middle of the group to fend off predators. vegetables are also produced in Kenya Kenyan ﬁlm-makers, with the the
It is this unique behaviour of these animals for both domestic consumption and for Kenya Film Commission, are making their
that make them a joy to watch. export. presence felt on the international stage.
The city of Nairobi is teeming with art
Best tea, coffee and ﬂowers Art and ﬁlm out of Kenya galleries; Gallery Watatu, Ramoma, African
Kenya produces the best tea, coffee and As a ﬁlming destination, Kenya has few Heritage and Elimo Njau’s Paa Ya Paa
cut ﬂowers in the world. equals, with spectacular landscapes and claiming the better name recognition.
As a leading producer and global a wide variety of ﬂora and fauna, natural Theatre is popular in Kenya which
exporter of very high quality aromatic light, pool of talent and warm-hearted has seen the recent revival of the Kenya
Arabica coffee and excellent brown teas, people. National Theatre and both upsurge and
Kenya is well-placed to supply large The spectacular landscape of Kenya resurgence of local programming on all
quantities of the popular beverages to any has featured in many internationally leading television channels in the country.
market around the world. acclaimed ﬁlms. Notable among them Visitors to Kenya will enjoy the
Kenya is the leading exporter of King Solomon’s Mines of the 1950’s, numerous theatre events especially the
cut ﬂowers in the world. Its ﬂowers Sydney Pollack’s Oscar winning Out popular Kenyan School and College
are renowned, particularly in the large of Africa, The 2005 box ofﬁce hit The Drama Festival that takes place every
European Union market, for their Constant Gardener, White Mischief, Born August.
Nobel for noble cause
Kenya’s ﬁrst and so far only Nobel laureate Prof Wangari
Maathai was so honoured because of her crusading for the
The country hosts the global headquarters of UNEP, but
in Professor Maathai, has the ﬁrst African woman to win the
Nobel Peace Prize. She was a Member of Parliament and
assistant minister for environment and natural resources
(2003 – 2007).
United we share power
Kenya is the ﬁrst, and so far the only country in Africa to
have succeeded in reaching a power-sharing agreement
between the government and the opposition after the
General Election of December 2007.
The power sharing agreement and coalition government
have become models for Africa and enhanced Kenya’s
reputation as a politically stable country on a turbulent
The coalition also underscored the undying desire of
Kenyans for peace and security and an environment that
enables them survive and thrive in business.
Investing in education
In preparation for Kenya’s transformation in line with its
economic blueprint, the government introduced free
primary and secondary school education in 2003 and 2008
At one with nature:
Wangari Maathai plants a tree
Kenya has 26 universities, some of which are branches or afﬁliates of
well-known American, Australian and from other centres of learning in
In almost every ﬁeld of endeavour, Kenya has a well-focused, highly
skilled and hard-working talent pool.
Kenya also has the world’s oldest primary school pupil Kimani
Maruge whose feat has taken him to the UN in New York and made
him a permanent feature at national events besides being entered in
the Guinness Book of World Records.
Curios and curiosity
The best and most popular wood carvings depicting the country’s rich
wildlife and cultural heritage are on sale in almost all major towns in
School and business: Education and small business
point the way to a bright future
Some of the most exquisite carvings are made from Kisii
soapstone, a unique natural stone that lends itself well to the mallet
Kenya is also renowned worldwide for its hand-made traditional
baskets known as “kiondos” from various materials, including sisal
ﬁbre, reeds and grass.
Tips for quality tipples
Kenyan beers, especially the Tusker, Tusker Malt, White Cap and
Pilsner brands have won several awards at the International Monde
Selection for their excellent taste, high quality and purity.
The Tusker lager, especially which embodies our heritage has found
its place along other world popular lagers in America and Europe.
Investment opportunities in Kenya
The most modern and busiest port in Eastern Africa
A great testimony
The World Bank described Kenya as one of the best investment
and business locations in sub-Saharan Africa in 2007.
This investor and business friendly environment has been
created by a reformist government guided by its acclaimed long
term development blue-print called Vision 2030.
The plan seeks to transform Kenya into a middle income
economy and put the country ﬁrmly on track to becoming an
industrialised country in the next 20 to 30 years.
Kenya’s thriving and vastly diversiﬁed economy, the largest
and most vibrant in the East African region, makes it an
investment destination of choice.
Agriculture is the mainstay of Kenya’s economy. It employs
about 75 per cent of its 37 million people.
The sector represents 24 per cent of Kenya’s Gross Domestic
Product (GDP) and about a third of its produce is exported.
Agriculture, therefore, offers plenty of investment
opportunities in technological infrastructure, transport and
There are abundant investment openings in improvement of
and value addition to agricultural produce such as processing,
packaging and storage.
Livestock development, seed improvement, manufacture of
fertiliser, production of technical equipment and other support
services are areas of great attraction to investors.
The driving force for Vision 2030
Investment opportunities in agro-processing revolve around the
production of edible oils such as butter, ghee, and margarine as
well as sunﬂower, cotton seed, coconut and corn oil.
There are impressive investment opportunities in the core
components of the agricultural sector, such as coffee, which was
Kenya’s fourth leading export commodity in 2007.
The government welcomes investments in the coffee farming
industry particularly in its processing and packaging plants, instant
Coffee: The solid rock of Kenya that drives other economies worldwide
coffee processing, Robusta coffee growing, infrastructure and
value addition in production of Ready to Drink (RTD) coffee.
Roasting, grinding and the production of decaffeinated coffee
for export are areas with a tempting investment pull.
Tea, otherwise referred to as Kenya’s green gold, has for long
been considered a health-enhancing beverage. It was the
country’s third leading foreign exchange earner in 2007.
As a natural drink, without additives and preservatives, it has
over the years dominated the world market because of its ﬂavour
A wide range of investment opportunities exist in the tea sector
because the government encourages value addition to its growing
Processing of the crop, storage and packaging are areas
Tea: The green gold of Kenya
which have plenty of opportunities for investment.
Horticulture is one of the fastest growing areas of the Kenyan
economy. It was Kenya’s leading foreign exchange earner in 2007.
Myriad investment opportunities in horticulture exist in the
production and export of cut ﬂowers, French beans, pineapples,
mushrooms, asparagus, mangoes, macadamia nuts, avocado,
passion fruit, melons and carrots.
The Indian Ocean and Lake Victoria provide vast ﬁshing potential.
Deep sea ﬁshing, prawn and trout farming are in their infancy, but
have great potential for growth.
Investment opportunities exist in ﬁsh meal, ﬁllet and leather
processing, as well as ﬁsheries-support infrastructure, that is,
refrigerated transport, cold storage
The liberalisation of Kenya’s dairy industry has opened up
investment opportunities in livestock development and milk
processing for local and regional markets.
There is also non-conventional livestock farming of ostrich
and crocodiles while bee keeping and honey processing are an
There is high potential for investment in yarn and garment making,
textile equipment, dyes and chemicals and overall development of
Grown Under The Sun:
Kenya produces the best cut flowers in the world
Leading the way:
Tourism Kenya poised to become regional ICT hub
Tourism was Kenya’s third largest foreign exchange earner in
2007. It is a robust and vibrant industry, reinvigorated through
the government’s liberalisation strategy.
The diversiﬁcation of tourist generating markets coupled
with successful promotion has had a positive impact on the
growth of the industry.
The sector is a potential growth area that has an avalanche
of investment opportunities in conferencing, eco-friendly
tourism in the parks and cruise ship tourism.
Kenya has sumptuous investment opportunities in cultural
tourism and traditional arts and craft development. The same
goes for highway bed and breakfast outlets, resort cities and
Medical, tour, travel and aviation tourism are no doubt fast
growing segments of the industry that offer varied investment
Domestic and regional tourism together with construction
and expansion of tourist hotels and game lodges present
alluring opportunities for investment in Kenya.
Kenya’s Great Rift Valley, one of the natural wonders of the
world with fantastic scenery, provides a fascinating panorama
for ﬁlm creation and entertainment.
Kenya’s telecommunication policy enacted in 1997
underscores the government’s desire to have a well-developed
communications network by 2015.
The policy aims to bring down communication costs, improve accessibility
and create jobs by positioning the country as a regional ICT outsourcing hub.
With a liberalised telecommunications sector and an accelerated internet
growth and mobile telephony, Kenya prides itself on being ﬁrmly on the road
to becoming the regional leader in Information Technology services.
Great opportunities exist for the provision of IT and related services,
development for incoming/outgoing call centres and software.
The completion of the laying of broadband ﬁbre-optic cables by the
end of 2009 will instantly position Kenya as a strategic Business Process
Outsourcing (BPO) hub by the 2010.
The government supports investments in disaster recovery software, ICT
habitats, education/ training and development in broadband infrastructure.
The government is keen to attract reputable educational institutions,
universities and training centres to help develop Kenya’s knowledge industry.
Great investment opportunities exist in expansion of science and
technology centres, IT centres of excellence and training centres for the
Fashion and design and Research and Development Institutes (RDI) form
an attractive are of investment.
Kenya has a deregulated energy sector which offers abundant investment
opportunities in, oil exploration, LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) supply and
Kenya has embraced a rural electriﬁcation programme and created
opportunities for investment in generation of power in the rural areas,
Government policy aims to bring costs down
manufacture of transformers and management of water
service and levels.
The realisation of the government’s economic blueprint
- Vision 2030 - is dependent on development of
Government is therefore fully committed to improving
this crucial sector by enhancing Kenya’s road network,
electricity and water resources by encouraging
Construction: Has huge investment potential
investments in it.
The government provides an enabling environment
for investments in development of high capacity urban
transport, construction of roads, railways, training in road
safety and supply of equipment.
Investment opportunities also exist in rehabilitation and
management of airports, railway lines, and seaports in
Lamu, Mombasa and Kisumu.
Kenya’s manufacturing policy is export oriented. The
sector adds value to agricultural output and provides
forward and backward linkages to accelerate overall
There are ample investment opportunities in
manufacturing including garment-making, assembly
Garment making: Targeting the US market
of automotive components and electronics and the
production of plastics and paper.
There are also avenues for investment in the manufacture of
chemicals, pharmaceuticals and metal export and engineering
Banking and ﬁnance
Kenya’s ﬁnancial sector is the largest and most developed in the East
and Central African region.
The industry is regulated by the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK),
which oversees ﬁscal liquidity and the operations of the industry.
Kenya has a vibrant and investor attractive stock exchange and
brokerage. Insurance, ﬁnance and banking and also have huge
Favourite tipples: potential for investment.Though a steady growth is experienced in
the micro-ﬁnancing sector, signiﬁcant investment is required to help
Kenya’s beers are gold medal winners
realise its full potential.
Investment banking, lease hire and housing ﬁnance are growth
areas awaiting substantial investments.
Kenya produces excellent beers using locally grown barley. The
country has recently developed papaya and grape wines that can be
exported to regional and international markets.
There is a fast growing demand for electronic goods in Kenya and
investors are sought in the production of equipment such as motors,
circuit breakers, transformers, switch gears and irrigation pumps.
Other items for manufacture in Kenya include capacitors, resistors
and insulation tapes.
Kenya has a rapid growing demand for paper made from
timber. Its forests are fast diminishing hence the need for
more investments in the production of paper manufactured
non-traditional raw materials such as sisal waste, straw and
Motor vehicle parts
There are opportunities for investment in metal and
engineering works, especially as regards development of a
nucleus foundry making precision castings, manufacture of
vehicle parts and assembly, manufacture of components for
use by local assemblers for export.
Kenya has untapped mineral deposits and multiple
investment opportunities are on offer in prospecting and
mining of gold and precious stones.
The country also has an extensive area for exploration
of petroleum oil. There exists potential for production of
sanitary-ware and insulators as well as manufacture of
ceramic pottery, tiles and glass.
Development of sporting facilities such as golf courses and
gymnasiums provides lucrative investment opportunities.
Investors could help in developing sports facilities and
nurturing talent, especially from the grassroots.
Steep chase: Steeplechase is Kenya’s specialty
Home of world achievers
Kenyans gathered to applaud their heroes
The lovely tunes of a nation
Kenyans are a resilient, proud, innovative and hardworking
Global surveys conducted by the BBC in 2002 and 2006,
ranked Kenyans among the most optimistic people in the
A strong sense of national belonging and excellent
international linkages give Kenyans great advantage in seeking
Kenya proudly boasts of some of the best and brightest
in diverse ﬁelds, including writers, technologists, technicians,
scientists, researchers, poets, paleontologists, musicians,
lawyers, athletes, artists, and academics, among other
disciplines, around the world.
They are a source of inspiration to many locally and globally.
Sample a few:
Prof Wangari Maathai
Undoubtedly one of the most recognisable Kenyan faces
around the world. She is a top celebrity as Kenya’s ﬁrst only
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, (and so far the only African woman
to win the coveted award), for her work for the environment.
A long-time academic who taught veterinary anatomy at the
University of Nairobi, she was the ﬁrst Kenyan woman to obtain
a PhD, become a lecturer and then a professor in any ﬁeld of
academic study. Maathai was a Member of Parliament and
an assistant minister for environment and natural resources
between 2003 and 2007. Maathai has won 20 international
awards since 1983.
Proffesor Wangari Maathai gets another prize
Prof Miriam Were
Another internationally celebrated Kenyan and a former
chairperson of the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) that
coordinates Kenya’s HIV/AIDS response, Were has served in
several UN bodies, including the World Health Organisation,
UNICEF and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
A highly regarded chemist, biologist and medical doctor,
with a string of qualiﬁcations in Public Health from the Johns
Hopkins University in the USA, she taught medicine at the
University of Nairobi before taking up international assignments.
Were won the UNICEF Maurice Pate Award) for her work in
community health in 1978 and in 2008 won the Hideyo Noguchi
Africa Prize for her work in medical services.
He won Kenya’s ﬁrst gold medal at the Olympic Games in
Mexico City in 1968.
Keino won the 1500 metres race and put Kenya ﬁrmly on the
global sporting map as home of the long distance runners.
He repeated the feat in Munich, Germany, by winning
another gold medal for Kenya in the 3,000 metres steeple
chase race in 1972 and, once again, set Kenya on the road to
claiming the race as its specialty.
In 1965, Keino became the ﬁrst Kenyan to win the 1500
metres and 5000 meters respectively at the All Africa Games
held in Brazzaville Congo.
He was crowned the sportsman of the year in 1987 and
characterised as among “Athletes Who Care” for his work with
Kipchoge Keino, Kenyas first Olympic gold medalist
orphans by the well-known Sports Illustrated magazine.
In 1996 Keino was inducted into the world sports
Humanitarian Hall of Fame.
When he visited Kenya in 2006 as Illinois Senator, President
Barack Obama was gifted a rhino carving by the Standard
Group media house.
Smiling, Obama said the rhino is a stubborn animal.
Perhaps that is one reason the rhino still graces Kenya’s
wild, but could there be another reason?
Yes. Before Wangari Maathai became Kenya’s best
known campaigning ‘green’, there was the world famous
walker for the preservation of the rhino – Michael Sampson
“The Rhino Man” to media and conservationists around
the world”, Werikhe became famous through his long
He began his ﬁrst walk on December 1982 from
Mombasa to Nairobi, a distance of about 500 kilometres.
In 1985, he walked from Kampala to Dar-es-Salaam and to
Werikhe took his campaign to Europe in 1988 and to
the United States in 1991. In 1993 he was in Taiwan, a
consumer nation of rhino horns.
Werikhe won 10 international awards for his efforts.
August 9, 2009 will mark the tenth anniversary of Werikhe’s
passing. This article is a tribute to a brilliant conservationist.
Michael Werikhe walked the world to save the rhino
The ﬁrst African woman to win the
US$1 million International Association of
Athletics Associations (IAAF) jackpot in
Jelimo is also the ﬁrst Kenyan
woman to win the 800 metre Olympic
gold (Beijing Olympics in 2008).
Before exploding into fame, Jelimo
had won the junior national 400 meters
title in 2007 at the age of 17 and also
set a junior record of 24.68 seconds in
200 meters the same year.
She is now undoubtedly Kenya’s
most renowned female athlete,
and greater athletic achievements
are predicted of this highly talented
Inspirational Pamela embodies the
determination of the Kenyan youth
poised to take their place in national
and international affairs.
Athletic queen: KENYA 53
Pamela Jelimo in another victory run
The Kenyan roots of US President
Close family ties:
Obama meets relatives at Nyang’oma-Kogelo village
Elders bless Obama:
President Obama is presented with traditional regalia during
his visit in 2006
Nyang’oma-Kogelo is perhaps Already, there are a number of local
Kenya’s most celebrated rural village tour companies offering services
– known by Kenyans themselves to bring the international visitor, not
and the world at large. But it was not only to Kenya, but also, and more
always like that. importantly, to Nyang’oma-Kogelo.
This is the village where Barack In Kogelo, Obama has become
Hussein Obama, Snr, father of a role model and an inspiration
Barack Hussein Obama, Jnr, the for the youth. His principles and
44th President of the United State of values are likely to remain the key
America, was born, bred and buried. driving force for the youth of this
Some now think Kogelo is Kenya’s village and it is perhaps this that will
village of the future. propel Kogelo into a popular tourist
In 2006 when Obama, then an destination.
Illinois Senator and his wife Michelle President Barack Obama’s
visited Kogelo, it was a sleepy little- philanthropic trait appears to have
known village in Kenya’s Nyanza been inherited from his late father
Province. Not anymore, the senator’s who donated the land on which the
visit awakened the village where his two village schools named after the
step-grandmother Mrs Sarah Obama president stand.
lives. As the ancestral home of
the father of 44th President of
Local and international journalists
are regular visitors to Nyang’oma- the United States, Kogelo will
Kogelo and their stories of the joy of undoubtedly remain the focus of a
Kogelo people continue to grace the lot of international attention and an
screens of the local and international interesting destination to visit long
media. after Obama has left ofﬁce.
The last word
The release of this booklet on Kenya and what it has to offer to the world is
a momentous milestone for us as a nation in our continuous efforts to build a
strong, attractive and globally visible country-brand.
This booklet presents in a simple, succinct and attractive format, the very
best of what makes Kenya irresistible in terms of tourism, trade, investment
opportunities, lifestyle, heritage and culture.
It is impossible to capture the great variety and essence of this great African
nation on the pages of a small booklet like this one. The warmth, the
inventiveness, the industry, the hospitality, the friendliness, the varied and rich
African cultures of the people of Kenya are indescribable and can only be
To fully enjoy and appreciate the unique landscapes with authentic, enchanting
sites; the immensely rich heritage in plant, bird and animal species (some found
nowhere else on earth); the virgin splendour of the coastal beaches; the exciting
variety of sports; and the luxurious offerings of the resorts, hotels and lodges,
one has to pay a visit to Kenya.
A visit to Kenya presents an opportunity to experience ﬁrst-hand what makes
the country the most enchanting holiday destination in the world and one of the
best places on earth to work, visit, live and invest.
It is our hope that by reading this booklet, you have got useful insights to help
you make the decision to visit or invest in this great country.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
BRAND KENYA BOARD
Prod uced in association with Inter m a c C om m u n ic a tion s L im ite d Te l: 020 2359919 E m a il: k e n ya @gvpe dia .c om