Africa

The Wonders of the Great Rift Valley

Every place in the planet has a story to tell. In Africa, The Great Rift Valley stretches 6000 Kilometers’ from Ethiopia to Mozambique and is over 35 million years old. It was formed when extreme heat and pressure forced a 1,000 mile-wide bubble of molten lava to the surface. The enormous valley has breath taking animals, lakes, gorges, craters, springs and many more undiscovered places.

Today, the Great Valley Rift is one the major tourist attraction in East Africa. In Ethiopia one of remarkable place is the Danakil/Afar depression. The Afar Depression includes the Danakil Desert and the lowest point in Africa, Lake Asal (–155 meters or –500 ft). Dallol is also part of the Depression, one of the hottest places on Earth with air-temperature record of 64.4 °C. Thousands of years ago, this low-lying area was a salt lake which has subsequently dried up and resulted in a big plain of salt which covers an area of more than 10 square kilometers and from which salt has been extracted since ancient times. It is estimated that there are 250 million tons of salt

In Kenya, the valley is bordered by escarpments to the east and west. The floor is broken by volcanoes, some still active, and contains a series of lakes. Some of the soils are fertile from relatively recent volcanic activity.

Lake Bogoria is one of the unique lakes. The 30 sq km lake is still volcanically active, and the Western shore is lined with spouting geysers, spurting steam and bubbling geothermal pools. Water springs at the lake edge attract an abundance of birds and wildlife. The most outstanding bird is the flamingo. This birds feeds primarily on algae which grow only in alkaline lakes. Although flamingos are blue-green in colour, the algae contain the photosynthetic pigments that give the birds their pink colour. Though many hills are found in different areas of the rift valley, Mount Longonot has a very rare feature. On the sides of the mountain are V-shaped valleys and ridges with little vegetation; on the other hand a thick forest occurs within the crater. In the early 1900s, Mount Longonot erupted, and ash can still be felt around Hell’s Gate. Hell Gate has very beautiful gorges that descend into hot springs and in some places you can find rocks that will burn you.

The formation of the Great Rift Valley ensured some of the most famous places on Tanzania map .In Tanzania along the valley exist the second longest and the second deepest lake in the world. Lake Tanganyika stretches 400 mile( 676km) and is 3 miles deep. Many fish species inhabit the lake including 250 different species of East Africa cichlids. Scientist believe the cichlids evolved into many species due to the dare need to survive the harsh environment created by other fish species and animals. Ngorongoro is the world’s largest inactive, intact, and unfilled volcanic crater. Its 610 meters deep and its floor cover is 260 square kilometers. The Great Plains of the Serengeti, formed during the early stages of the formation of the Ngorongoro Crater, today host one of nature’s greatest happenings – the great wildebeest migration.

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