The Great Rift Valley: Everything you need to know

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The Great Rift Valley is also known as the Eastern Rift Valley and has an astounding view which is quite unbelievable.

As you approach from Nairobi, you get to witness its topographic diversity with its scarps and volcanoes, lakes, ancient granitic hills, flat desert landscapes, and coral reefs and islets.

To show you just how expansive the rift is, the ground unexpectedly disappears from under you, extending thousands of kilometres in either direction.

Where is the Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift was discovered almost a hundred years ago by an intrepid geologist. John “Jack” Walter Gregory was born in London in 1864.

The Great Rift Valley is a geographic stretch extending 6000km across the Middle East and Africa from Jordan to Mozambique.

It is part of an intra-continental ridge system that runs through Kenya from north to south. The Valley contains some of the world’s most beautiful lakes, mountains, and plains.

Beginning in the remote North, the first of these lakes is Turkana, sometimes known as the Jade Sea. It sits in a land more reminiscent of the moon than of planet earth and is home to a range of incredibly resilient life-forms.

Lake Turkana is the largest desert lake in the world, and it supports Africa’s most significant population of Nile crocodiles.

Further south, there are several lakes- Baringo, Bogorial, Nakuru,  Elementaita and Naivasha. These lakes are all unique in their own right and support a staggeringly large portion of Kenya’s wildlife.

The saline Lake Bogoria is sometimes home to vast flocks of lesser flamingos. Lake Baringo supports 500 species of birds and is a crucial stop for migrating bird populations. Lake Elementaita also is home to large numbers of flamingos.

The lakes, and their feeder/outlet rivers, together with fertile volcanic soil, are the key to the life of the Great Rift Valley.

Mammals abound the Great Rift Valley include lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, cheetahs, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, and primates ranging from mountain gorillas to chimpanzees.

Activities one can engage in while visiting the Rift include:

  1. Hiking
  2. Trekking
  3. Game Viewing
  4. Photography
  5. Guided walks around the crater lakes
  6. Picnic lunches
  7. Bird watching
  8. Golfing
  9. Community visits

Accommodation in the Great Rift Valley

While visiting in the Great Rift Valley, you will want to stay near the area for easy access to the scheduled activities.

If this is your first time to visit The Great Rift Valley, you can also use a list of travel agencies as well as tour companies to help in having a gratifying stay.

Here are a couple of accommodation spots you can look into while there.

  1. Great Rift Valley Lodge and Golf Resort
  2. Enashipai Resort & Spa
  3. Lake Naivasha Resort
  4. Lake Naivasha Country Club-Sun Africa Hotels
  5. Sawela Lodges
  6. Jacaranda Lake Elementaita Lodge
  7. Sweet Lake Resort
  8. Sarova Lion Hill Game Lodge
  9. Sarova Woodlands
  10. Burch’s Resort Naivasha

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