Situated on the equator on Africa's east coast, Kenya has been labelled, the 'cradle of humanity'. It's strategically located in East Africa, bordering the Indian Ocean, Tanzania, Uganda,South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. Kenya has a land area of 580,000 km2, which is roughly the size of Texas, USA, or twice the size of Great Britain. The country is named after Mount Kenya, the highest in Kenya and the second highest in Africa.
Kenya's Demographic Profile
Kenya has a population 43 million people, according to July 2012 population estimates . It has forty two ethnic tribes which include the Maasai. With a population of about 841,622 according to the 2009 national census, the Maasai constitute a mere two percent of the total population of Kenya.
The Maasai (sometimes spelled "Masai" or "Masaai") are a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people located not only in Kenya but northern Tanzania.Their negligible share of Kenya's total population notwithstanding, they are conspicuous by their allegiance to their culture, traditional dress code and proximity to and their participation in the conservation of the game parks and wildlife reserves in Kenya.
Despite being the largest economy by Gross Domestic product in East and Central Africa, Kenya is experiencing major economic challenges. Kenya is among the world's 30 poorest countries, ranking 152 out of 177 on the 2006 Human Development Index (UNICEF, 2009). Moreover, according to 2008 estimates, the unemployment rate in Kenya is 40 percent (CIA,2009) and the percentage of Kenyans living below the national poverty line is 46 percent (UNICEF,2009). Comparably, the current unemployment rate in the US and the UK is about 8 percent. In 2011, the official poverty rate in the US was 15.0 percent (US.gov).
World Famous Tourist Attractions
Kenya is famous for its safaris as well as game parks and national wildlife reserves. In particular, the Maasai Mara as seen in the film 'Out of Africa' offers breathtaking scenery and an unmatched density of animals that include the 'Big Five'.
The Maasai culture has contributed enormously to the growth of Kenya's tourism sector; tourists from all over the world come to Kenya to enjoy not only its abundant sunshine and wildlife, but to experience, first hand, the traditions and resilient culture of the Maasai. The resilient culture of the Maasai is expressed vividly in their bead work.