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Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is a geological fault, almost 5,000 km in extention – from North Syria to the central parts of Mozambique. The Great Rift Valley ranges in elevation from 1,300 ft (395 m) below sea level at the Dead Sea to 6,000 ft (1,830 m) above sea level in Southern Kenya.

Mount Lononot, a volcano in Great Rift Valley
Mount Longonot – a dormant volcano, rising to 2,776 meters above sea level, is located near Lake Naivasha and only 100kms from Nairobi city

Both the Ethiopian and Kenyan part of the Rift Valley is characterized by ancient volcanic activity and a string of beautiful and unique lakes supporting an amazing abundance and variety of birdlife with more than 400 species of birds (including flamingos, pelicans, herons, storks, eagles, hawks, secretary birds, starlets, bee eaters, cormorants, anhinga, woodpeckers etc.) as well as a range of other interesting animals such as elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, crocodile, hippo, warthog, buffalo, antelopes, gazelles, monkeys and many other species.

Fishermen and lake and mountains in Ethiopia

Fishermen checking their nets in Lake Chamo in southern Ethiopia where both 7m long crocodiles and dangerous hippos splurge

The Great Rift Valley originated from vulcanic activity and today eastern Africa is still moving eastwards everyday from the very same geological forces! Inside the Rift valley there are an abundance of amazing lakes, some of them alkaline, thereby attracting specialized birds like Flamingos, practically coloring the lakes’ surface pink. Yes, PINK! Just take a look at the photos here to see for yourself:

Flamingoes flying

Pink Flamingos

Pink flamingoes fringing Lake Nakuru

Acacia trees and flowers fringing lake Awassa reflecting the hot and dry tropical climate in the Great Rift Valley. Similar climate, landscapes, flora and fauna is found further south in the Rift Valley in both Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

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