Great Geological Space: The East African Rift Valley


The East African Rift Valley is a beautiful but perilous place. Partially surrounding Lake Victoria, the Rift Valley extends from Tanzania to Ethiopia. The western arm of the rift is 1,900 miles long, while the eastern arm is about 1,600 miles long. This area, marked by constant earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, is also known as the Afar Triangle.

In between this geological feature, there are many lakes on the valley floor. For example, Lake Tanganyika, the second deepest lake in the world, has 5,029 feet of sediment on its bottom. There are also volcanic craters like the Ngorongoro, which was created three million years ago from a big explosion. It is now one of the finest game reserves in Africa. Near the Ngorongoro is Olduvai Gorge, where human ancestor fossils were once discovered. Many consider Olduvai Gorge the birthplace of the human race.

The East African Rift Valley is a place where wild life thrives, though these species also confront many dangers. Cape buffalo, elephants, lions, zebras, flamingos, and hyenas, are among the animals that inhabit the valley.

May who visit the East African Rift Valley do so to observe this wildlife.

[Source: 100 Great Wonders of the World]

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