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Royal Geographical Society (with IBG): the heart of geography
Developing Primary Geography
United Kingdom
Hong Kong
United States of America
Map skills
Global trade
Mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes
Exploring Shackleton's Antarctica
The Mediterranean
Subject knowledge animation: Shackleton
Subject knowledge animation: Map skills
Subject knowledge animation: Mountains, volcanoes and earthquakes
Subject knowledge animation: Key Stage Two geography
Using the Societys collections to develop cross curricular links
Mount Everest and its ascent
Antarctica - Extreme wilderness
Kenya - A changing nation
China - Snapshots in Time
India - Pictures of the Past
Lesson plans and ideas

Kenya - A changing nation

Kenya has long been renowned for its stunning natural landscapes and its unique animal life. Located on Africa's Eastern coast, the climate and geography of the country provide conditions that are perfect for some of the world's rarest animals, ranging from the mighty African elephant to the elusive black rhino. Tourists are drawn to the country's pristine beaches and the cultural heritage of its diverse communities, including the well known Maasai and Samburu people.

However, Kenya also has a rich and complex history of exploration, trade and colonisation. During the 1800s the country was known as the British East Africa Protectorate and saw many explorers, both British and African, help map its territories and open trade routes to the interior of Africa. Today's Kenya is a country of contrasts, with skyscrapers standing alongside shanty towns.

Key questions

  • Where in the world is Kenya?
  • What is the climate in Kenya like and how does it compare to the climate where you live?
  • What impact has tourism had on the Maasai Mara area of Kenya?
  • How is life changing for Kenyans and how does this compare to your life?


These factsheets provide background information to each of the key questions. They can be used together with the associated downloadable activities to investigate each area.


Find out more about the  images in the gallery above PDF | MSWORD

Online activity

Want to find out more about the Maasai people and where they live? Take a look at this photographic clip about them.

Downloadable activities

The downloadable activities used with the associated factsheets can be used in the classroom to investigate each area.

An education pack exploring the stories of Africa's forgotten explorers and their contributions to mapping the continent has been developed. The pack called Stories from East Africa (PDF) contains activities for students from the ages of eight to 12.

The Society's exhibition Bombay Africans: 1850 to 1910 follows the stories of the Bombay Africans; a group of Africans that accompanied British explorers such as Burton, Speke and Livingstone on expeditions in Africa. This exhibition reveals their contributions and legacies, and the important role they played on expeditions. This exhibition is also available to hire.


  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office: find out more about Kenya's government and economy from the FCO's country profile
  • BBC News online: keep up-to-date with what's happening in Kenya today
  • Jambo Kenya: a broad tourist information website containing basic information as well as news and weather reports from the region
  • Art Matters: information on arts and culture from Kenya and East Africa
  • Met Office Learning: detailed metereological data from the UK and around the world

This theme was developed with support from Friends of Maasai People (London) with whom workshops were conducted exploring some of the themes raised within these resources.

Supported by:

Heritage Lottery Fund Esmee Fairbairn Foundation John Lyon's Charity

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