Prehistoric animals and humans on stamps of Kenya
, officially the Republic of Kenya, is a country in Africa and a founding member of the East
African Community (EAC).
Kenya has a population of approximately 45 million.
Kenya's territory lies on the equator and overlies the East African
Rift covering a diverse and expansive terrain that extends roughly from
Lake Victoria to Lake Turkana (formerly called Lake Rudolf) and further
south-east to the Indian Ocean.
It is bordered by
to the south,
to the west, South Sudan to the north-west,
to the north and
to the north-east.
The British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate in 1895, which
starting in 1920 gave way to the Kenya Colony.
Kenya obtained independence in December 1963.
Following a referendum in August 2010 and adoption of a new constitution, Kenya is now divided into 47
semi-autonomous counties, governed by elected governors.
Fossils found in Kenya suggest that primates roamed the area more than 20 million years ago.
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
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 first stamps of independent Kenya were issued on 12 December 1963.
Before that the territory used the stamps of British East Africa Company (1890-1895),
British East Africa (1895-1903), East Africa and Uganda Protectorates (1903-1922),
Kenya and Uganda (1922-1935) and Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika/Tanzania (1935-1976).
Stamps of British East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) related to Paleontology
and Paleoanthropology: reconstruction and fossils of prehistoric animals and humans
|02.05.1967 "Archaeological Relics of East Africa" 
||03.11.1975 "2nd World Black and African Festival of Art and Culture" 
Official stamps of Kenya related to Paleontology and Paleoanthropology: petrified wood, reconstruction and fossils of prehistoric animals and humans
|15.01.1977 "2nd World Black and African Festival of Art and Culture" 
||31.12.1977 "Minerals", definitive stamp set 
||19.01.1982 "Origins of Mankind"
Skull of prehistoric primate Proconsul in stamp of Kenya Tanzania Uganda 1967
MiNr.: 167, Scott: 179
Stamp with face value of 2.50 Sh
shows hand holding Proconsul
is an extinct genus of primates that existed from 23 to 25
million years ago during the Miocene epoch.
Fossil remains are present in Eastern Africa including Kenya and Uganda.
Four species have been classified to date:
The four species differ mainly in body size.
Environmental reconstructions for the Early Miocene Proconsul
sites are still tentative and range from
forested environments to more open, arid grasslands.
The first specimen, a partial jaw discovered in 1909 by a gold
prospector at Koru, near Kisumu in western Kenya, was also the oldest
fossil hominoid known until recently, and the first fossil mammal ever found in sub-Saharan Africa.
World Black and African Festival of Art and Culture"
stamps issued by East-African community of Great Britain: Kenya, Uganda and
Tanganyika/Tanzania in 1975 and later on as joint issue of independent
countries: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in 1977.
Stone age primitive men butchering a Hippopotamus on stamps of Kenya Tanzania Uganda 1975
MiNr.: , Scott:
Stone age primitive men butchering a Hippopotamus on stamps of Kenya 1977
MiNr.: 73, Scott: 75
In 1977 these stamps were issued in separate sheets as well as in mini-sheets.
Festac'77, also known as the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture
(the first was in Dakar, 1966), was a cultural jamboree held in Lagos, Nigeria,
from 15 January 1977 to 12 February 1977.
The month-long event celebrated African culture and showcased to the world African music,
fine art, literature, drama, dance and religion.
About 16,000 participants, representing 56 African nation and countries of the African Diaspora,
performed at the event.
Stone age primitive men butchering a Hippopotamus shown on a bottom-right stamp of the mini-sheet.
 Silicified/petrified piece of wood shown on a red stamp with face value of 70c.
Piece of petrified wood on stamp of Kenya 1977
MiNr.: 101, Scott: 103
The Petrified Forest was discovered in Kenya in the region that now is a part of Sibiloi National Park,
by researchers in the early 70’s.
It is approximately 7 million years old and is concrete evidence of climate change in the Lake Turkana Basin.
Other stamps of Kenya to consider: fossils found places
|23.11.2002 "Historical Sites of East Africa" [A1]
||11.12.2013 "50th anniversary of independence" [A2]
Olduvai gorge site on stamp of Kenya 2002
MiNr.: 765, Scott: 769
Turkana Lake on stamp on Kenya 2016
MiNr.: , Scott:
[A1] Olduvai gorge
is depicting on stamp with face value of 40.
Olduvai Gorge, or Oldupai Gorge, in Tanzania is one of the most
sites in the world; it has proven
invaluable in furthering understanding of early human evolution.
A steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley that stretches across East
Africa, it is about 48 km long, and is located in the eastern
Serengeti Plains in the Arusha Region not far, about 45 kilometres,
from Laetoli, another important archaeological site of early human occupation.
The British/Tanzanian paleoanthropologist-archeologist team Mary and Louis Leakey established
and developed the excavation and research programs at Olduvai Gorge
which achieved great advances of human knowledge and world-renowned status.
[A2] Kenya issued three sheets of 25 stamps each in 2013 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Kenya’s independence.
These sheets are very rare and expensive.
One of the stamps shows Lake Turkana
, formerly known as Lake Rudolf, is a lake in the Kenyan Rift Valley, in
northern Kenya, with its far northern end crossing into Ethiopia.
It is the world's largest permanent desert lake and the world's largest alkaline lake.
Lake Turkana National Parks are now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sibiloi National Park lies on the lake's eastern shore, while Central Island National Park and South Island National
Park lie in the lake. Both are known for their Nile crocodiles.
In the Lake Turkana area an abundance of hominid fossils
- [R1] Kenya:
- [R2] Postal History and Philately of Kenya:
Links to official website of the Post Authority, stamp catalog and a list of new stamps of Kenya are here
- [R3] Proconsul:
- [R4] Festac'77, the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture:
- [R5] Petrified Forest in Sibiloi National Park:
- [R6] Olduvai gorge:
- [R7] Lake Turkana:
Many thanks to Dr. Peter Voice
from Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, Western Michigan University,
for the draft page review and his valuable comments.