Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is one of the most dramatic features on earth, stretching some 6000 km from the Dead Sea in Jordan down to Mozambique in the south. In Kenya, the Rift Valley starts at Lake Turkana in the north, and runs right through the centre of the country. Up to 100 km wide in places, the floor is littered with the famous Rift Valley lakes, such as Nakuru, Naivasha, Baringo and Bogoria, which are surrounded by fascinating cliffs, escarpments, rivers and arid plains. These support an enormous diversity of wildlife, birds, trees and plants. The valley floor rises from around 200 m at Lake Turkana to about 1900 m above sea level at Lake Naivasha to the south.

In the south of the region the Masai Mara, bordering the Serengeti in Tanzania, is one of the most exciting game parks in the world, teeming with wildlife and the site of the quite spectacular wildebeest migration. It is also the most likely place in Kenya to see lions.

No visit to Kenya is complete without spending some time in the Rift Valley. The scenery here is wonderful, with Mount Kilimanjaro acting as the perfect backdrop to miles of arid savannah plains covered with fragile grasslands and scrub bush. Evaporation has left a high concentration of alkaline volcanic deposits in the remaining water. The algae and crustaceans that thrive in the soda lakes are ideal food for flamingos and many of these beautiful birds are attracted here, forming a truly spectacular display.

This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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