The Rift Valley is a geological and a geographical wonder of the world; a valley that stretches all the way from northern Syria and down south to Mozambique in East Africa.
The valley was formed roughly 20 million years ago due to the movement in the earth’s crust causing the plate to split along the fault lines and the middle plate sank downward forming the Great Rift Valley. The movement was followed by an eruption of several volcanoes which led to the formation of several volcanic mountains and lakes including Lake Tanganyika, the deepest lake in the world, and Lake Victoria, the second largest freshwater lake in the world
The Rift Valley divides Kenya down the length of the entire country. It contains all from an uninhabitable desert, flat arid plains, steep cliffs and slopes, and in some areas, very fertile farmland, plus the valley is famous for its early archeological discoveries at Lake Turkana in Kenya of ancient hominoid, dating back some two and a half million years ago.
The Valley is popular for its beauty, due to its staggering views with a spectacular scenery and a wide variety of wildlife, dormant volcanic Mountains plus its home to several geysers spewing lakes in Kenya.
The Kenyan Lakes along the Valley are quite secular and are for sure one of the reasons why you should visit Kenya, they are full of life and great for fun plus they are surrounded by national parks that are great for game viewing and bird watching.
Places You Must Visit in The Rift Valley
Below are some of the most picturesque places you can visit on your tour to the Rift Valley while in Kenya.
Hells Gate National Park
The Hell’s Gate National Park is another great destination that you should never miss to visit in your rift valley tour. Hells gate is known for its geology, hissing geysers that produce hot underground water and wildlife. The hells gate is a photography haven since it has some of the most spectacular backgrounds, especially from the valley. After enjoying sightings of various animals in the park, one can enjoy walking in the gorge and bath with the hot water from the hot springs.
It is believed that the gorge was formed after an ancient river that used to feed a prehistoric lake dried up leaving behind a deep gorge that has held up to date. While in the park, visitors can engage in various activities including; mountain/rock climbing, mountain biking, playing with the natural hot pools and viewing various animals. It is also a great place for watching birds since it is home to over 100 species of birds.
Crescent Island is Lake Naivasha’s best-kept secret that a few people know about. The Island is a great place for picnics and lunches. The island has a small game reserve called Crescent Island Game Park. The hill on the island provides fantastic views of Lake Naivasha and out to Hell’s Gate National Park and the Mau Escarpment. Many guests say their favorite time on the island is walking the area just before sunset.
Crater Lake is another destination in the Rift Valley that offers an exciting experience to its visitors. It is located near Lake Naivasha and is home to unique animals. Despite its small size, Crater Lake is home to over 150 species of birds and troops of colobus monkeys.
The lake is surrounded by acacia trees and pasture which feed animals like giraffes, Zebras, caracals, aardvarks and some leopards. The Maasai communities living by the shores of the lake use the jade colored waters of the lake to treat their animals.
Joy Adamson Museum
Joy Adamson was the author of the acclaimed book Born Free, which details her experience raising a lion cub named Elsa. Elsa was the first cub raised in captivity and then successfully released into the wild. Joy and her husband spent many months intensively training Elsa how to hunt and fend for herself.
The Joy Adamson museum details her life and work. Here, you can see the resident colobus monkeys, and enjoy some tea as you watch the videos of Joy and Elsa. After releasing here to the wild, Elsa was able to have her own cubs and Joy was still attached to her.
However, Joy and her husband kept their distance and approached only to photograph and document her progress. Joy’s book became a bestseller and was turned into the highly acclaimed movie with the same title, which was later continued with the book and movie Living Free about Elsa as a mother to her cubs.
Would you like to know where those fresh flowers come from? Flowers are highly sort after in Europe and America especially roses. Kenya is a known producer of these flowers and the demand for Kenyan flowers never seems to dwindle. You can take a visit to a flower farm for a guided walk through the different greenhouses.
You will see how the flowers are grown and prepared. The Rift Valley region is home to one of the world’s largest flower industries. Roses and other cut flowers are sent to Europe for sale.
Lake Naivasha is a beautiful freshwater lake, fringed by thick papyrus. Much of the lake is surrounded by forests of the yellow barked Acacia Xanthophlea, known as the yellow fever tree. These forests abound with bird life, and Naivasha is known as a world-class birding destination.
The waters of the lake draw a great range of game to these shores. Giraffes wander among the acacia, buffalo wallow in the swamps and Columbus monkeys call from the treetops while the Lakes large hippo population sleeps the day out in the shallows. The lake is also a short distance from Hells Gate National Park.
Lake Bogoria contains the highest concentration of true geysers in Africa at least 18 are known. The lake waters are alkaline and saline. The lake has no surface outlet so the water becomes saline mainly through evaporation. It is common in semi-arid regions.
Lake Bogoria waters contain the blue-green algae which tend to attract thousands of flamingoes seasonally and turn the shores pink.
Lake Nakuru is mostly famous for the beautiful display of thousands, sometimes millions of flamingos. They join together in a single flock that forms a uniformly shifting pink blanket. They create very appealing patterns along the shores of the lake.
The flamingos move back and forth in Unisom. They feed on algae that form on the base of the alkaline lake. The beauty of the lake is even more breathtaking as the birds take flight forming a pink cloud over the lake.