Lake Naivasha (Sept. 2018)

As a mother and wife in the mission field, my role has been mainly to care for my family. I’ve not had time really to develop a  particular ministry as a single missionary might do. However, As a result, I’ve had the privilege of observing everything around me, like a fly on the wall so to speak; it’s caused me to ask questions, mull over problems, and my curiosity has been aroused.

A painting on the kitchen wall, showing climate zones.

We’ve also been living the quiet life here in the bush and we’ve had lots of time to read, study and talk with our children about what we’ve seen and learned. The kids painted a mural of the African Continent in the wall, and we were surprised at how many countries we had to paint! So it got me thinking, 54 countries…..I could probably come up with 54 interesting facts about Kenya. Let them pique your curiosity and stir your interest, and motivate you to pray for God’s kingdom in this vast continent.

Geography and Demography

The Equator crossing, Meru National Reserve

  • There are 54 countries in Africa (while some states are disputed, the UN recognizes 54 countries).

  • Africa is surrounded by six bodies of water; the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal and the Gulf of Aden to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Fisherman on the Nile, Jinja, Uganda

  • The continent of Africa straddles the equator and lies in all four hemispheres of the earth.

  • The Nile is the longest river in the world, running from Lake Victoria in Uganda to Egypt (4,100 miles).

  • The Sahara Desert in North Africa is the largest and hottest non-polar desert in the world.

    The Sahara Desert, southwest Egypt

  • Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world with its summit of 5,895 meters (19,500 ft.).

  • The lowest point on the continent of Africa is Lake Assal in Djibouti, northeast Africa. This is the third-lowest point in the world, second to the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.

  • Lake Victoria is the largest lake in Africa, the world’s largest tropical lake, and the world’s second largest fresh water lake. Originally called by a Bantu name (Nyanza), lake Victoria was renamed after Queen Victoria by the British explorer John Hanning Speke.

  • Fishing boats on Lake Victoria, Jinja, Uganda

    The population of Africa is approximately 1.2 billion.

  • Nigeria has the largest population on the continent.

  • Algeria is physically the largest country on the continent.

  • Between 1500-2000 languages are spoken on the continent of Africa.

  • At its peak, the British Empire controlled approximately 40 colonies in Africa.

Economics and Health

  • Africa has the top 10 poorest countries in the world.

    A private borehole in eastern Kenya

  • Chad, in north-central Africa, has the second-fastest growing economy in the world.

  • 33 of the world’s 48 least developed countries are located in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Africa’s economy is growing faster than any other continent in the world.

  • Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest number of water-stressed countries in any one place in the world.

    Taking blood in a rural clinic

  • 47% of Africa’s population are children (African Child Data and Statistics Portal.)

  • Africa has the highest number of child-laborers; 72.1 million, approximately 48 million in sub-Saharan Africa (International Labour Organization).

  • Currently, 27.8 million people in Africa are living with HIV, the largest population in the world (BCM Health Services Journal, 2019).

    The Black Mamba snake is one of the deadliest

  • 91% of the world’s HIV positive children live in Africa (World Health Organisation, 2014).

  • Sub-Saharan Africa is home to some of the most deadly animals in the world. These include the tiny Mosquito, which kills up to 725,000 people every year, the Black Mamba snake and the Nile Crocodile.


  • Kenyans gained independence on June 1, 1963, and proudly celebrate Independence Day on this date, and also Republic Day (Jamhuri Day) on December 13.