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Kenya straddles the equator and covers an area of 583,000 sq. km (225,000 sq. miles), which includes around 13,600 sq. km (5,251 sq. miles) of inland water in the form of lakes. It is bordered to the north by Ethiopia and Sudan, to the east by Somalia and the Indian Ocean coastline, which stretches for 608 km (380 miles), to the west by Uganda and Lake Victoria (62,937 of which 3,755 sq. km is in Kenya and to the south by Tanzania. The country can be divided into four main zones: the coastal belt, the Rift Valley, and central highlands, western Kenya, and northern and eastern Kenya.

Kenya is made up of seven provinces (Coast, Central, Rift Valley, Nyanza, Western, North Eastern and Eastern). Nairobi, the capital is also treated as a province.

Kenya's population centres are concentrated in the southern portion of the country and along the coast. Nairobi is the capital city. Other major towns include Mombasa, Kenya's main port on the Indian Ocean, Kisumu, Eldoret, Thika and Nakuru.

The country enjoys a varied climate ranging from the tropical to the temperate. It is endowed with a rich heritage of natural resources, which allows for a wide range of economic activities. The range of climatic conditions is wide due to the variation in altitude. The highlands above 1,500 metres (5,000 feet) have a temperate climate, but temperatures drop so low as to limit cultivation above 2,750 metres (5,500 feet). Average temperatures at sea level are 26 degrees Celsius, and decline by an average of 1.7 degrees for each 300 metre (600 feet) rise above sea level. Forests are restricted to the upper levels of the highlands which receive the most rainfall and plantations of conifers and wattle are limited to that area. Crop cultivation is carried out in the highlands and livestock raising is primarily located in the dry plains. The most critical climatic factor affecting the country is rainfall, or the lack of it. The rains come to the western part of the country in one long rainy season, while in the east there are two periods of rain, the long rains in March-May, and the short rains in September-October. Up-to-date weather forecasts can be obtained by visiting: Kenya Meteorological Department

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