Kenya Geography

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Climate. – Given the relief, the colony’s climate varies considerably from one area to another. In the coastal region it is very hot, but with not very abundant rains, which are decreasing from the SW. towards NE. and towards the interior, while temperatures decrease from north to south: Mombasa, at 4 ° S., has an average annual temperature of 23 ° and 2400 mm. of rains; Lamu, at just over 2 ° S., has respectively 26 °, 4 and 938 mm. Generally, up to 1500 meters the average annual temperatures do not drop below 20 °. Behind the coastal area lies a very hot and arid strip. The highlands – that is, most of the colony – have average annual temperatures of 15 ° -20 ° between 1500 and 2500 m. in height, and less than 15 ° above 2500 meters; the rains on the whole are more abundant than on the coast (Nairobi, at 1675 meters above sea level, has 18 °, 5 of average annual temperature and 947 mm. of rains; Kikuyu, at 2040 m., Has respectively 15 °, 8 and 1200 mm.; Limuru, at 2230 m., 18 ° and 1380 mm.; Kisumu, at 1146 m., On the shores of Lake Victoria, 25 °, 9 and 1156 mm.). In inland regions too, rainfall is decreasing from SW. NE. On the coast, the wettest periods are April-May and October-November; from December to March there is a relatively dry period. In the highlands it is also rainy in December. The coolest months are June, July and August. Except in the coastal area and along the shores of Lake Victoria, the climate of Kenya is healthy, and also favorable to the settlement of the Whites.

Hydrography. – Few rivers of any importance plow the colony of Kenya. The most important is the Tana, which collects the sloping waters from the southern and eastern slopes of Kenya, and, having completed a wide arc whose convexity almost touches the equator, it reaches its mouth at a point of the coast 200 km away. to N. of Mombasa. Noteworthy, at least in its first stretch, is the Engare-Uaso Nyire River, which also comes from the slopes of Kenya and, having developed a wide curve in the W region of the 38th meridian, enters the already occupied Lorian desert area from a lake, now drained, and therefore ends its course in the Italian Oltregiuba. Numerous watercourses of limited importance flow into Lake Victoria, of which the north-eastern part east of the 34th meridian belongs to the Colony of Kenya, which includes the large inlet of the Gulf of Kavirondo, on the shore of which is Kisumu (formerly Port Florence) which is its main port. The same applies to even minor ones that pour into the Rudolf Lake, the mirror of which falls for the most part within the limits of the Colony. Att. Mo.

Flora and vegetation. – The territory consists of vast plateaus with steppe vegetation; the slopes are covered by dense forests essentially made up of Juniperus procera and Podocarpus gracilis ; higher up towards 2800 meters above sea level, there are dense bamboo formations (Arundinaria alpina), which reach over 3100 meters. Above there is an alpine area with grassy pastures alternating with rocks and cliffs; in this area grow Ciperaceae, Pteridium, the arborescent Lobelia Gregoryana and L. Telekii and species of Senecio gigantic that develop in the midst of dense carpets of moss and lichens. Between Kenya and the Aberdara chain in the elevated region of the woods lives the Podocarpus milanjianus with branches covered with lichen beards and also grow the Rutacea arbustiforme Calodendron capense, the Euforbiacea Cluytia lanceolata and then Sparmannia abyssinica, Hypericum lanceolatum, arborea Eruca and other plants of the Abyssinian flora. The eastern side of Aberdara is more wooded than the northern one and covered with juniperus procera and the two Podocarpus mentioned above: on the northern slopes the Tarchonanthus camphoratus and the poisonous Apocinacea Acocanthera Schimperi. Under the shrubs of the northern slope live some xerophilous ferns (Pteridella hastata, Asplenium praemorsum, Ceterach cordatum), Cyanotis longifolia (Commelinacea), Crossandra leikipiensis (Acantacea), Osyridocarpus Schimperianus (Santalacea arbustiforme), Cineraria arbustiforme. To the west of the Aberdara range lies the plateau of Leikipia, furrowed by large depressions where there are numerous lakes surrounded by savannas, which here and there are wooded. Here, too, numerous plants of the Abyssinian flora grow and the Calodendron capense and Trichocladus ellipticus, species known until a few years ago only for southern Africa.

Fauna. – According to, the fauna of Kenya is part of the East African wildlife complex. It is truly impressive in terms of the number of species and variety of forms. There are vervets among the monkeys, many bats and, among the insectivores, the macroscelids with long hind legs. Among the Carnivores there are many species, among which noteworthy various viverre, protheles, the brown hyena, various wolves and jackals, foxes, wild dogs, martens, etc. Among the gnawing many squirrels, mice, spalaci. The Artiodactyls are very numerous and among these the warthog, the giraffe, the characteristic Okapia, many antelopes, gazelles, buffaloes, etc. Among the Perissodactyls we will mention the two-horned rhinoceros, various zebras, etc. The African elephant, a particular species of hyrax living on Kilimanjaro, toothless varieties complete this luxuriant African mammological fauna. Nor is the world of birds less richly represented including waders, fowl, passerine, raptors, prittaci, etc. and that of reptiles, amphibians and freshwater fishes. The entomofauna is rich with various species of beetles, termites, grasshoppers and other orthoptera with strange shapes; among the dipterans we must remember the tsetse fly which inoculates the dreaded parasite of sleeping sickness.

Kenya Geography

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