Kenya is bordered by Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. The total area of Kenya is 224,960 square miles, of which 5,200 are under the waters of Lake Rudolf. It is located on the equator, with 250 miles of coastline on the Indian Ocean. The highest elevation 3.23 miles, and the lowest elevation is sea level.
Kenya's northern borders with Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan are loosely guarded and home to nomadic people who wander freely from one country to another. Terrorists, firearms and human traffickers are among the threats perceived by Kenya's government along those boundaries. Kenya has been the intersection of travelers from Africa and Asia for centuries.
In the 10th century, Kenya developed its own language, Swahili, which is Bantu with a strong Arabic influence.
The Rift Valley stretching from Lake Rudolf through the Kenyan Highland into Tanzania is composed of geologic plates that have shifted and exposed ancient layers of sediment. It has been the focus of archaeologists who discovered some of the oldest known hominid (pre-human) remains.
The Kenya Highlands were known as the White Highlands during colonial times because Europeans tended to cluster there to escape the heat.
Kenya's rainfall varies from 40 inches annually in the tropical forest to sporadic amounts on the high plains that border Uganda and Somalia.