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 Form 2 Geography Online Lessons on Vegetation

In this lesson we are going to discuss the different types of vegetation in Kenya

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Answer Text:
Vegetation in Kenya
1. Forests
The area under forest is less
than 7%.
The bulk is found in Central
(a) Plateau Forests
It used to cover extensive
areas around L. Victoria but
today there are few patches
around the lake in Maragoli,
Kakamega, Kaimosi, Malava,
Turbo and Tinderet forests.
They are tropical rain forests
with tall trees standing among
shorter trees intertwined with
(b) Lowland Forests
- Found along the Kenyan
The main types are:
• Mangrove forests which
grow in shallow waters and
• Tropical rain forests in
Shimba hills in Kwale District
and Arabuko Sokoke in Kilifi.
(c) Highland/Mountain
-Found on the slopes of Mt.
Kenya, Aberdare forests, Iveti,
Mbooni, Kilala and Marsabit
Indigenous hardwoods are
olive, Meru oak, mvule, Elgon
teak and camphor while
indigenous softwoods are
podocarpus and African pencil
cedar and bamboo.
They have been planted with
exotic hard wood trees e.g.
eucalyptus and silver oak and
exotic softwoods such as
pines, cypress, fir and wattle.
2. Savanna
- Most widespread vegetation
covering about 65% of the
total area.
(a) Wooded/Tree Grassland
- Found along the coastal strip
and on the plateau bordering
highlands east of rift Valley.
- Consists of grass of 1m
mixed with thorny acacias.
Where rain decreases trees
become fewer and shorter and
the grassland becomes more
There are many large trees
along water courses due to
abundant moisture (riverine or
gallerie forests).
The trees shed leaves during
the dry season to reduce the
loss of water by transpiration.
(b) Bush land and Thicket
- Covers about 48% of
- Found between coastal land
and Machakos and extends
into Kitui, Mwingi, Garissa,
Wajir and Mandera districts.
- Consists of a mixture of
thorny acacias and shorter
thorny shrubs between
forming thorn bush with gaps
between bushes which are
bare or covered by scattered
varieties of grasses.
Plants are adapted by:
• Having thin leaves and hard
cuticle to reduce transpiration
• Baobab has large trunk to
store water for use during long
dry period.
• Shedding of leaves to
conserve water.
(c) Highland Grassland
- Found on the undulating
slopes of grasslands.
- Grasses are such as red oat,
wire, Manyatta and Kikuyu
grass where forests have been
-Clover grows along kikuyu
grass where rainfall is over
3. Semi-Desert and Desert
- Covers about 21% of Kenya.
It’s found on the parts of N.E
and N Kenya including
Marsabit and Turkana
It receives insufficient rainfall
of less than 380mm annually.
It has mainly scrub type of
vegetation (covered with
underdeveloped trees or
A shrub is a plant lower than a
tree with a small woody stem
branching near the ground.
The shrubs are up to 1m and
grasses are up to 3m and in
between there is bare ground.
Tree species are acacia and
Real deserts hardly have any
Adaptations plants
• Some have thick leaves to
store water.
• Long tap roots to access
water from rocks below.
• Needle like leaves to
conserve water.
• Shedding of leaves to
conserve water (deciduous).
4. Heath and Moorland
- Vegetation found towards
the mountain tops.
• At lower altitudes there is
groundsel, lobelia and heather.
• Where there is poor drainage
there is mountain swamp
vegetation referred to as bogs.
• At high altitudes there is
tussock grasses, flowering
plants and alchemilla shrubs.
This vegetation is adapted to
cold windy conditions towards
the summit.
5. Swamp Vegetation
- Vegetation found in areas
with flat relief in wet areas
along river courses and areas
experiencing periodic flooding
e.g. along the course of R.
Tana, Lorian swamp in Isiolo,
Wajir and Garissa and the
mangrove belt along the coast.
Vegetation found there are
marshes, grasses with smooth
surfaces and long blades and
papyrus which is dominant.