Kenya’s coastline extends about 600 km along the seafront, from Somalia’s border at Ishakani in the north (Longitude 1° 41’ S), to Tanzania’s border at Vanga in the south (Longitude 4° 40’ S). The coastal region extends 150 km inland from the seafront, covering an area of 67,500km2. This is about 11.5% of the total area of the Republic of Kenta. Kenya’s coastal zone is often classified with reference to the city of Mombasa-the North Coast from Mombasa to Kiunga, and the South Coast from Mombasa to Vanga.  Two major rivers drain into the Indian Ocean in Kenya: River Tana and River Sabaki.The coastal climate of Kenya is influenced mainly by large-scale pressure systems of the Western Indian Ocean and Monsoon winds.  There are four oceanic currents influencing Kenya’s coastal waters, namely East African Coastal Current (EACC), the Somali Current (SC), the Southern Equitorial Current (SEC) and the Equitorial Counter Current (ECC) (UNEP 1998)

Summary statistics

UN membership date: 16 December 1963

Elevation: mean elevation: 762 m; elevation extremes: lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m; highest point: Mount Kenya 5,199 m


Land use: agricultural land: 48.1%; arable land 9.8%; permanent crops 0.9%; permanent pasture 37.4%; forest: 6.1%; other: 45.8% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land: 1,030 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources: 30.7 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural): total: 2.74 cu km/yr (17%/4%/79%); per capita: 72.96 cu m/yr (2003)

Threatened species       (2014):  428      

Forested area (% of land area)   (2012):  6.1       

Proportion of terrestrial and marine areas protected (%)  (2014):  10.6     

Population using improved drinking water sources (%)    (2012):  62.0     

Population using improved sanitation facilities (%)          (2012):  30.0     

CO2 emission estimates (000 metric tons and metric tons per capita)       (2011):  13568/0.3         

Energy supply per capita (Gigajoules)    (2012):  12.0     

Environment – international agreements:

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Social indicators

Population growth rate (average annual %)         (2010-2015):      2.7

Urban population growth rate (average annual %)            (2010-2015):      4.3       

Rural population growth rate (average annual %) (2010-2015):      2.1       

Urban population (%)     (2014):  25.2


  1. Kenya State of Coast Report
  2. UN Data
  3. United Nations Statistics Division