It is bordered by Tanzania to the south and southwest, Uganda to the west, South Sudan to the north-west, Ethiopia to the north and Somalia to the north-east.
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Recent findings near Lake Turkana indicate that hominids such as Homo habilis (1.8 and 2.5 million years ago) and Homo erectus (1.9 million to 350,000 years ago) are possible direct ancestors of modern Homo sapiens, and lived in Kenya in the Pleistocene epoch.
During excavations at Lake Turkana in 1984, paleoanthropologist Richard Leakey assisted by Kamoya Kimeu discovered the Turkana Boy, a 1.6-million-year-old fossil belonging to Homo erectus.
Remarkable prehistoric sites in the interior of Kenya include the archaeoastronomical site Namoratunga on the west side of Lake Turkana and the walled settlement of Thim Lich Ohinga in Migori County.
The Kenyan coast had served host to communities of ironworkers and communities of Bantu subsistence farmers, hunters and fishers who supported the economy with agriculture, fishing, metal production and trade with foreign countries.
Thanks to its diverse climate and geography, expansive wildlife reserves and national parks such as the East and West Tsavo National Park, Amboseli National Park, Maasai Mara, Lake Nakuru National Park, Aberdares National Park and white sand beaches at the Coastal region, Kenya is home to the modern safari and has several world heritage sites such as Lamu and a number of beaches, including in Diani, Bamburi and Kilifi, where international yachting competitions are held every year.
The African Great Lakes region, which Kenya is a part of, has been inhabited by humans since the Lower Paleolithic period.
Previous research on early hominids is particularly identified with Mary Leakey and Louis Leakey, who were responsible for the preliminary archaeological research at Olorgesailie and Hyrax Hill.
Later work at the former site was undertaken by Glynn Isaac.
The service industry is also a major economic driver.