East Africa

Kenya

Kenya is a country in East Africa with coastline on the Indian Ocean. It encompasses savannah, lakelands, the dramatic Great Rift Valley and mountain highlands. It’s also home to wildlife like lions, elephants and rhinos. From Nairobi, the capital, safaris visit the Maasai Mara Reserve, known for its annual wildebeest migrations, and Amboseli National Park, offering views of Tanzania’s 5,895m Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Kenya has a land area of 580,000 km2 and a population of nearly 41 million, representing 42 different peoples and cultures. The country is named after Mount Kenya, a significant landmark and second among Africa’s highest mountain peaks

As part of East Africa, Kenya has seen human habitation since the Lower Paleolithic period. The Bantu expansion reached the area by the first millennium AD, and the borders of the modern state comprise the crossroads of the Niger–Congo, Nilo-Saharan, and Afro-Asiatic linguistic areas of Africa, making Kenya a truly multi-cultural state. European and Arab presence in Mombasa dates to the Early Modern period, but European exploration of the interior began only in the 19th century. The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, known from 1920 as the Kenya Colony.

The independent Republic of Kenya was founded in December 1963. The capital, Nairobi, is a regional commercial hub. The economy of Kenya is the largest by GDP in East and Central Africa. Agriculture is a major employer and the country traditionally exports tea and coffee, and more recently fresh flowers to Europe. The service industry is a major economic driver, mostly the telecommunications sector, and contributes 62 percent of GDP.

Kenya is a member of the East African Community and produces world-class athletes such as world champions Paul Tergat, David Rudisha, and Vivian Cheruiyot.

Tanzania

Tanzania, officially the United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country’s eastern border lies on the Indian Ocean.

Tanzania is a state composed of 26 regions (mikoa), including those of the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar. The head of state is President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, elected in 2005. Since 1996, the official capital of Tanzania has been Dodoma, where Parliament and some government offices are located. Between independence and 1996, the main coastal city of Dar es Salaam served as the country’s political capital. Today, Dar es Salaam remains the principal commercial city of Tanzania and the de facto seat of most government institutions. It is the major seaport for the country and its landlocked neighbours.

The name Tanzania derives from the names of the two states Tanganyika and Zanzibar that united in 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, which later the same year was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania.

Unlike minerals, the contribution of the tourism sector to the Tanzanian economy is steadily rising year after year. Tanzania is the home of the world-famous Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. The country has dozens of beaches such as those found in Zanzibar and world-appreciated national parks like the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which generate tourism income that plays a vital part in the economy.

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