The vegetation and animal life of Kenya reflect the variety of its topography and climate. In the coastal region coconut trees flourish, with occasional mangrove swamps and rain forest. The vast plains of the hinterland and the northern regions are covered with grass, low bush, and scrub, giving way in the high-lying plains to typical savanna country of open grass dotted with thorn trees, and in the more arid regions to bare earth and stunted scrub. The highland areas are in parts densely forested with bamboo and valuable timber, the predominant trees being African camphor, African olive, podo, and pencil cedar.
Wildlife of great variety is to be found in Kenya, both in the sparsely populated areas and in the national parks and reserves that have been created for its protection. Elephant, rhinoceros, lion, zebra, giraffe, buffalo, hippopotamus, wildebeest, and many kinds of buck are among the large mammals that abound on the plains and along the rivers. Kenya's diverse bird species include cranes, flamingos, ostriches, and vultures.