Kenya is a land of contrasts. The country straddles the equator and is home to the second highest mountain in Africa, the snow-capped Mt. Kenya standing at 5199 metres. To the East lies the palm-fringed coastal strip along the Indian Ocean and to the West Lake Victoria, source of the Nile and Africa’s largest fresh water lake. Kenya’s landscape ranks among the most fascinating in the world with arid desert lands in the North, the Great Rift Valley running north-south almost the entire length of Kenya, and the savannah grasslands in the South teeming with great concentrations of plains game and the predators who live on them.
It is a complete destination with rolling savannah, lush rain forests, snow-capped mountains, tropical beaches, extinct volcanoes, fresh and saline water lakes, geothermal springs, hot deserts, glaciers, caves, cliffs and coral reefs, all within its borders.
Kenya is the perfect destination for educational tours, from physical and human geography to science, nature and the arts. It offers an unrivalled blend of discovery and opportunity through observation and interaction. For the inspirational teacher or lecturer Kenya provides an educational experience of a lifetime.
Among some of the country’s physical features are:
The Great Rift Valley Lakes: Magadi, Elementaita, Naivasha, Nakuru, Bogoria and Baringo. Lake Baringo and Lake Naivasha are the only two fresh water lakes in the Great Rift Valley, the rest are alkaline. Lake Naivasha is home to a large floriculture and horticulture industry which also makes for an interesting study in sustainability and the nearby Hells Gate National Park the hugely successful geothermal power station that contributes substantially to the national electricity grid.Lake Turkana is the world’s largest permanent desert and alkaline lake and the fourth largest salt lake. It is home to the biggest single population of crocodiles and the Lake Turkana National Parks are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also known as the Jade Sea for its turquoise colour and is considered the ‘cradle of humanity’ for some of the earliest humanoid fossils that have been discovered along its banks.
Mountains: Mt Kenya is a perfect example of an equatorial mountain, permanently covered ice with glaciers extending from the peaks. Mt. Elgon, a dormant volcano, is Kenya’s second highest mountain. It is dotted with caves formed from ancient lava tubes which are regularly visited by herds of elephant, bushbuck and buffalo in search of the salts that abound in the mineral-rich earth of the caves. Mt Longonot is a 9,000ft volcanic mountain in the Great Rift Valley situated south-east of Lake Naivasha. The peak is easily accessible to the physically fit who are able to walk and scramble to the top and then traverse the entire crater rim. The Aberdare ranges which are an important water catchment area providing water to the Tana (Kenya’s longest river) and Athi Rivers. The Aberdares dip into V-shaped valleys with streams and rivers cascading over spectacular waterfalls.
Forests: Kakamega Forest is the only tropical rain forest in Kenya. It is one of Kenya’s most alluring destination for butterfly and bird enthusiasts and offers exceptional primate viewing with abundant black and white colobus monkeys. Arabuko Sokoke lies few kilometres inland from the Coast between the towns of Kilifi and Malindi. It is an important habitat for endangered birds and insect species.
Kenya has over 65 national parks, reserves and private sanctuaries covering about 10 million acres rich in biodiversity.