This is an interesting question, I’ve also found myself wondering why Kenya is so well known compared to most other African countries, so I did a bit of digging, and here’s what I found:
It is considered the cradle of mankind:
Kenya has the largest number of fossil human remains appr. 1000 individuals than any other country in Africa.
Kenya has the oldest human remains going back to 7 million year old from Turgen Hills, Baringo (oldest in Ethiopia = 4.5 million years ; S.Africa ca 3 million years, Tanzania = 2 million years.
Kenya has some of the most complete skeletons e.g Turkana Boy (1.6 Million years), which provided a great wealth of information regarding early human physiology than anywhere in the world.
Kenya is endowed with many prehistory sites scattered all along the Rift Valley (north to south) and western Kenya.
Kenya has the longest and most complete record of human evolution (and possibly the link between humans and apes).
In addition to the fossil record, there is a long record of technological evolution (with tools as old as 2.3 million years).
There is a wide genetic representation among some of its people (Turkana) pointing to the fact that humans have been here for a very long time.
We have amazing wildlife. Kenya is home to the Big 5; Lions, Elephants, Buffalo, Rhinos and Leopards. There is an abundance of diverse wildlife in Kenya. We have Oryx, Antelopes, Giraffes, Impalas, Hippo, White Rhinos, Zebras, Crocodiles, Cheetahs, and many others.
The great wildebeest migration takes place in Kenya – Tanzania. Considered as one of the most breathtaking natural events in the world, the concentration of wildebeest is spectacular; sometime the herd is comprised of over a million at the height of the migration. The migration is between, the Serengeti in Tanzania and the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
The rift valley (which is the longest -6,300 km- and deepest geographical fault of its kind on earth) cuts across 11 countries, one of which -you guessed it- is Kenya. According to astronauts who have observed the earth from space, the rift valley is the most visible geographical fault on the face of the planet.
Kenya is a great tourist destination, thanks to the weather. Kenya is located in the tropics so it’s mostly sunny (at times uncomfortably so for us locals). Some come to see the wildlife, see the sights and experience the culture.
Kenya is also renowned for our great runners. Some of the world’s greatest marathoners are Kenyans. Just look at this:
Our people. Kenyans on Twitter – KOT, some corrupt officials*, and our celebrities (Lupita Ny’ongo, footballer Victor Wanyama *Tottenham Hotspurs, Eddie Gathegi *from the Blacklist) put Kenya on the map.
The US. President Barrack Obama can trace his roots back to Kenya. His father, Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was a Kenyan.
Queen Elizabeth ascended to the throne while in Kenya. On 6th February 1952 King George VI died while Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were in Kenya at the Treetops hotel. Upon the death of King George, Princess Elizabeth became the queen and leader of the commonwealth.
Kenya is among the top 10 richest countries in Africa.
Despite this, Kenya is also home to the largest urban slum in Africa, Kibera. Because of this, foreign organizations and famous people want to help as it is good PR for them and when ever they do help out, they let as many people know about their good work.
Kenya has in recent times been plagued by a string of terrorist attacks; most infamously the Westgate Terrorist attack and the Garrissa University attack which have caught the attention of the world.
It is the brith place of the BRCK.
And last but certainly not least, M-Pesa. M-Pesa is a mobile money transfer system developed in Kenya. The system has revolutionized the Kenyan economy, people’s lives, businesses and most recently attracted the attention of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
I’m sure there are many more reasons I haven’t mentioned, but as you can see/read Kenya ain’t half bad and should do yourself a favour and pay us a visit (that is, if you aren’t here already 🙂