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The Great Rift Valley

The Great Rift Valley is a geological feature running from north to south for around 6400 kilometers from the north of Syria to the central Mozambique in East Africa. The Great Rift Valley is a Kenyan tourist attraction site and this valley is deepest to the north of Nairobi. When Kenya was under British and Nairobi became the capital city of the British East African colony the Great Rift Valley then became the play ground of the lesser know aristocracy of whose scandalous activities gave this particular fertile land which is about 5600km in length the name “happy valley”. The Great Rift Valley divides Kenya down to the length of the country. Its width valley to about a hundred (100) kilometers to its narrowest width of forty five (45) kilometers north of Nairobi. Its depth also varies being near to Lake Turkana. It formed some 20 million years ago where the earth crust weakened and tore itself into two creating a rift that was thousand of kilometers long across African continent.The land on either of the sides erupted thus creating great volcanic mountains and the floor then gradually sank into a low flat plain. These phenomena dubbed Great Rift Valley by John Walter Gregory who was the Scottish explorer. The features in the Great Rift Valley include Elgeyo escarpment which is a popular attraction for tourist. The lakes in the eastern rift do not have outlets to the sea thus these lakes to be shallow and do have high mineral content and the evaporation of water leaves salts behind.

Important features of Rift Valley

Some more important feature that are found in the rift valley are like the extinct volcanoes Mount Suswa and Mount Longonot and Lake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru, Lake Magadi, Lake Naivasha, Lake Baringo, Lake Turkana and the Suguta Valley. The rift valley is a tourist attraction site because it is evident of some active volcanoes, geisers, hot springs and the alkaline lakes that are along its lengths. Lake Nakuru,

Magadi, Elementaita, Bogoria and Baringo are alkaline lakes as they have high concentration of sodium carbonate which is good breeding grounds for algae which results to the abundance of millions of birds. Lake Nakuru, Elementaita and Bogoria attract pelicans and flamingoes by the thousands and the scenic orchards, acres of flowers plantation and farmlands that surround the freshwater lake Naivasha leaves the tourist breathless. Lake Naivasha is a sanctuary for the buffaloes, hippos, impala, giraffes, zebra, antelopes and many kinds of birds like black crakes, herons, lily trotters, ospreys and fish eagles. Kenya is the right place to see the steep cliffs overlooking Great Rift Valley. Between Aberdare Mountains and Mau escarpments especially in Nakuru the rift is narrow and most spectacular. The Great Rift Valley national parks are a treasure for ecological gems. It also provides excellent position for rock climbing, mountain biking, trekking, hiking and much more. In Nakuru national park you can spot the black and white rhinos together with antelopes, lions, monkeys and leopards. Rift valley is characterized by farmland, desert, steep escarpments and flat arid plains. All this features give home to large kingdoms of lions, the cradle of mankind and home of the Turkana, the Maasai people and the nine tribes of kalenjin. Rift Valley offers picturesque view of lakes, volcanic mountains and gorges. This is the place where you are able to find the Africa’s greatest wildlife Reserve and where the great migration occurs every year that is the Maasai Mara Game Reserve. The inhabitants of this land make beautiful artifacts which include beaded ornaments, batiks, bangles, necklaces, anklets and many jewellery. Traditional milk gourds, leather items, pottery and weapons like knives, arrows, spears and shields are also sold. The fertile land is has been the development of the world beating athletes which has created international phenomena due to the fact that many runners from different parts across the world come to this place to discover the source of the Kenya’s athletic prowess. The high altitudes training camps in the Great Rift Valley has attracted the many international athletes which make them to yearn to come and share the little which makes Kenyan runners to be the best in the world. The road connection connecting the rift valley and other parts in Kenya is and buses and coaches that are destined for any part go through Nakuru which is the regions provincial headquarter. Most of the tourist use private means of transport which is advantageous as they can stop and view plenty of things on the way. The highway to the Great Rift Valley has clear signs for the location and distance from a certain town to the next. The Great Rift Valley ranges in from c.1300ft (365m) below the sea level to c. 6000ft (1830) above the sea level. The time taken for one to arrive at the Great Rift Valley from Nairobi is approximately four hours and the distance from Nairobi to the Great Rift Valley is approximately two hundred and twenty kilometers (220).