In the Great Rift Valley palaeontologists have discovered some of the earliest evidence of man’s ancestors.
In the present day, Kenya’s ethnic diversity has produced a vibrant culture but is also a source of conflict.
The Islamist militant Al-Shabab movement, active in Somalia, has also been launching a growing number of attacks in Kenya, including the 2013 Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi and the 2015 attack on Garissa University College in northwest Kenya.
Other pressing challenges include high unemployment, crime and poverty. Droughts frequently put millions of people at risk.
- The Republic of Kenya
- Capital: Nairobi
- Population 42.7 million
- Area 582,646 sq km (224,961 sq miles)
- Major languages Swahili, English
- Major religion Christianity
- Life extpectancy 57 years (men), 59 years (women)
- Currency Kenya shilling