Terrain shapes and bedrock
COUNTRYAAH, Kenya's oldest bedrock is found at the far west, on Lake
Victoria. The rocks here were formed early during the
Precambrian. The area is predominantly petty. On the border
with Uganda lies the extinct volcano Mount Elgon (4,321 m
above sea level), which is Kenya's second highest mountain.
To the east of the Victoria area, take the so-called
White Highlands, which are built up by tertiary lavor,
weathered to fertile soils. Huge fault slopes, including Mau
Escarpment, delimits this area to an eastern part of the
East African rift system, in which several extinguished or
dormant volcanoes are encountered, e.g. Longonot and Suswa.
In the sink lies Lake Nakurus, which is a soda lake. Here
are also the lakes Turkana, Baringo and Naivasha.
To the east, the East African rift system is bounded by,
among other things, Nyandarna Mountains (Aberdeen
Mountains), a shield volcano with peaks close to 4,000 m
above sea level. In this area is also Kenya's highest
mountain Mount Kenya (5,200 m above sea level), a
extinguished volcano whose peaks have small glaciers. The
area, which is the eastern part of the White Highlands,
turns east into a large area of dry savannas. Here the
bedrock consists mostly of Precambrian gneisses, which have
weathered down to plains with inselbergs.
The easternmost part of Kenya consists of a poorly
educated cuesta landscape with rocks belonging to the
Carroose series. On the Indian Ocean, beach cliffs and dunes
are found alongside the long sandy beaches. There is also a
coral reef, which in its places reaches a width of 1 km.
Kenya's climate is characterized by the monsoon winds
from the Indian Ocean and partly by the altitude over the
sea. Nairobi at 1,700 meters above sea level has an average
temperature of about 17 °C, while Mombasa on the Indian
Ocean has about 27 °C. Most of Kenya has two rainy times
during the year. The long rains last from April to May and
the short rains come in November. Rainy periods are caused
by rainy easterly winds. The land is dry to lie at the
The flora comprises between 8,000 and 9,000 species of
vascular plants. Along the coast there are beach-close coral
reefs with a lot of marine veneerogames, eg. Cymodoceʹa
ciliaʹta (family Cymodoceaʹceae, related
strap-plants) and rich algal flora. Here and there in
protected locations there are mangroves, dominated by a few
species, i.a. of the genus Rhizoʹphora. The lowland
closest to the coast is intensively cultivated but has
remnants of natural vegetation with trees of e.g. genus
Brachylaena [-lɛ: ʹ-] (family of flowering plants).
Most of the country's surface, especially the eastern half,
has open vegetation (different types of bushland
and grassland) with shrubs (for example, many
thorny species of incense trees) and sparsely standing
trees, often acacias and the species Balaniʹtes
aegyptiʹaca (family of thistle thistle plants). Only
after rain is the soil covered with annual grasses and
herbs. Despite the meager impression during most of the
year, vegetation can be very rich. The driest areas in the
north are semi-desert or desert-like.
In the west, between 1,000 and 2,000 meters above sea
level. where the cultivation has not completely penetrated
more native vegetation, there is open forest (woodland)
which is largely kept even more open (wooded grassland)
through pasture and regular grass fires. Here, perennial
grasses, mostly millet and livestock relatives, dominate.
Dense forest (forest) is mainly between 2,000 and
3,500 meters above sea level. It is evergreen and has a rich
and intricate zoning, with elements of the tree-growing
species Juniʹperus proceʹra in drier locations and
the rose plant species often dominating in moist.
As a break in the forest there are large belts of a bamboo
species, Arundinaʹria alpiʹna. On the highest
mountains, there is a belt of afroalpine vegetation above
the forest. tree-shaped species of the genus Seneʹcio
and bushy dewdrops.
The fauna is very rich, with many typical African
mammals. There are just over 100 species of larger mammals,
including about 40 species of ungulates. In the tropical
forests around mountains and streams, there are colobus
monkeys, among others. eastern black and white guereza (Coʹlobus
guereʹza), market carpets, galagos, forest
pigs and diving antelopes.
In the nyikan (dry savannah) in eastern Kenya and on tree
and park savannahs there are pointed rhinos (about 400 left
in Kenya), giraffes, kudu antelopes, impala, firebrand and
thomson gazelle. In Kenya there are 35,000-40,000 elephants.
On the open grasslands there are herds of ungulates,
among others. striped wildebeest, eland antelopes,
cantaloupes, African buffalo and common zebra. Anubis
baby (Paʹpio anuʹbis) and savanna baby (Papio
cynoceʹphalus) are common in their places. In the
semi-deserts in the northeast, there are, among other
things. grevysebra, and at the estuaries of the coasts are
Seven species of cat animals are found in Kenya,
including lion, leopard and horse. Lashes and spotted hyena
are common, while hyena dogs have declined sharply.
More than 1,000 species of birds are found in Kenya,
including African ostrich, secretary bird, marabo stork and
other storks as well as stairs, guinea fowl, francolines,
weavers and rhinoceros. In several lakes, including Lake
Nakuru, there are large colonies of flamingos and pelicans.
crab-plover. In some places along the coast there are coral
reefs with rich wildlife. Among the reptiles, chameleons,
mamboras, cobras, puff spikes and cliff surfaces are common.
In 2010, Kenya had 21 national parks, including three
marinas. Some of the more well-known are Tsavo (20 800 km
2) and Amboseli in the south as well as Mount
Kenya, Meru and Lake Nakuru in central Kenya. Overall, 12%
of the country's area was protected.