THE RIFT VALLEY
The Great Africa Rift Valleys runs from North to South through the whole of Kenya. The Kenyan Rift Valley is a section of 6 000 km rift system which stretches from the Dead Sea in the Middle East, south through the Red Sea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and into Mozambique. Its' narrowest point is just north of Nairobi and the whole area contains several lakes, extinct volcanos and small game parks. Major geological upheavals caused a series of lakes in Kenya, some of which (Turkana, Naivasha and Baringo) are freshwater, but the others are soda lakes, with a high saline content. These are rich in algae and tiny crustaceans, which are the main food sources for the millions of flamingos gracing the lakes.
The upheavals also resulted in the sprouting of volcanic mountains, including Longonot and Mt Kenya. The scenery in the Rift Valley is breathtaking and particularly at the viewing points just north of Limuru and Naivasha and from the top of the Mau escarpment on the Kericho road. The approach, via road or rail, from Nairobi will take you up gently through the highlands and bring you suddenly to the edge of the Rift valley, which drops away to a ribbon of green in the valley floor below.