The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is a massive fault line in the earth’s surface that runs from Jordan in the North, through the Red Sea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi to Mozambique in the South, some 6,000 kms. 

A western branch of the Rift Valley system runs through Uganda and joins up with the main system at the northern tip of Lake Malawi. In Kenya, the Rift Valley runs the whole length of the country from Lake Turkana to Lake Magadi and is dotted with fresh water lakes including Lakes Baringo and Naivasha and shallow soda lakes such as Lakes Bogoria, Nakuru and Magadi.

These soda lakes are famous for their spectacular seasonal concentrations of both lesser and greater flamingo – a stunning fringe of pink around the lake shores. Lakes Baringo and Naivasha are home to an incredible variety of bird species – a true bird watcher’s paradise. In Central Kenya the Rift Valley is bounded on the eastern side by the thickly forested slopes of the Aberdare Mountains and further east by the massif of Mt. Kenya, Africa’s second highest mountain at 5,199m. A string of volcanoes runs the length of the Rift Valley in East Africa with perhaps the most well known of these being both the colossal Ngorongoro with its 20 km wide volcanic crater and 600 metre high walls packed with wildlife and Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain at 5,895m, rising sheer from the surrounding plains.