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Kenya - Enviornment

Kenya Environment

On Africa's east coast, Kenya straddles the equator and shares a border with Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania. Its coast is lapped by the Indian Ocean and it shares the vast waters of Lake Victoria with its western and southern neighbours. The Rift Valley and Central Highlands area form the backbone of the country, and this is where Kenya's scenery is at its most spectacular. The humid coastal belt includes the Tana River estuary and a string of good beaches. Western Kenya takes in the fertile fringes of Lake Victoria and, with the southern part of the country, some prime wildlife parks. The vast, arid northen region is where Kenya is at its wildest and most untouched by the modern world.

Kenya's flora and fauna defies easy description. The vast plains of the south are dotted with flat-topped acacia trees, thorn bushes and the distinctive bottle-shaped baobab tree. On the rarified slopes of Mt Elgon and Mt Kenya, bamboo forests sprout and even higher up is the bizarre groundsel tree, with its huge cabbage-like flowers, and giant lobelias with long spikes. If you're more into fur and feathers, then head for the teeming wildlife parks. Lions, buffalos, elephants, leopards and rhinos all cavort openly in at least two of the major parks. Endangered animals such as the black rhino are slowly making a comeback and sanctuaries for these creatures can be visited in Tsavo and Lake Nakuru national parks.

Kenya's climate varies enormously from place to place. The Rift Valley offers the most agreeable weather, while the arid bushlands and semi-desert regions can range from daytime highs of up to 40° Celsius to lows of about 20° Celsius at night. Western Kenya and the eastern coastal fringe are generally hot and humid year-round.

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