For many people, Kenya is synonymous with wildlife and safaris. The country has been visited for centuries, first by the Arab traders who plied their trade up and down the eastern coast of Africa, and now by the hundreds of thousands of tourists who come to experience a taste of true African wilderness.
Today Kenya is home to over 70 tribal groups and, it is widely believed, it is also home to almost every major language in Africa.
Kenya, like Uganda, straddles the equator. It is bordered to the north by the arid bushlands and deserts of Sudan and Ethiopia, to the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean, to the south by Tanzania, and to the west by Lake Victoria and Uganda.
Kenya’s array of wildlife is dazzling, and all of the ‘big five’ (lion, buffalo, elephant, leopard and rhino) can be seen in at least two of the major parks. The Rift Valley, especially around the Lake Turkana area, has yielded hominid skulls, one of which is estimated to be around 21/2 million years old. These discoveries altered accepted theories on the origin of man.
Historically, the Arabs controlled much of the East African coast until the arrival of the British and Germans in the latter part of the 19th Century. White settlement in the early 20th Century saw the development of agriculture and the establishment of coffee plantations. Coffee was introduced to Kenya by way of Ethiopia.
In the early 1960s, Kenya achieved independence from the colonial administration. The current population of Kenya is estimated at around 28 million. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, employing around 80% of the population and contributing to 50% of the country’s exports (led by coffee and tea).
The principal food crops include maize, sorghum, cassava, beans and fruit. Needless to say, tourism is now Kenya’s largest export earner.
Have you had your Cup of Kenyan Coffee?
Courtesy of USAID EATradeHub
|Type of coffee:||Arabica|
|Volume (2014/15 In thousand 60kg bags):||697|
|Growing areas:||Meru, Kiambu, Kirinyaga, Ruiru|
|Marketing system:||Auction and direct sale|
|Harvest season:||April – June,
October – December
|Port of shipment:||Mombasa|
|Export destinations:||Germany, USA, Sweden, Finland, Belgium|
Did you know…?
A great Kenyan coffee is complex and has interesting fruit and/or spice flavours. Some are clean and bright, others have a winey flavour.
Mr. KARUGU MACHARIA
Kenya Coffee Platform
P.O.Box 10571-00100 Nairobi, Kenya