Kenya has a distinctive topographic profile. The interior is much higher than the rest of the country, and the mountains are roughly in a line running north and south. Its highest mountain, Mount Kenya, is located in approximately the center of the country. The Great Rift Valley runs from north to south through Kenya, separating the Lake Victoria basin to the west from the hills in the east, which slide into the dry grassy lowlands and coastal beaches. Kenya's topography forms complex ecological zones, including one called the highland zone. This is a region of rolling uplands characterized by cool weather, abundant rainfall, rich volcanic soils, and dense human settlement.
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