The name “Rift Valley” is coined from one of the largest landmarks on planet earth; The Great Rift Valley. It is part of a geological fault that runs 6000km across Africa from the Zambezi Delta in Mozambique to the Jordan Valley. A complete Safari in Kenya features a visit to one or two of the Rift Valley lakes, which stretch out along a north-south axis from Lake Turkana in the far north to Lake Magadi, which is completely dry and the source of the world’s largest soda deposits. The floor of the Valley is well supplied with famous lakes, such as Baringo, Naivasha, Nakuru, and Bogoria, which are nestled within some dramatic cliffs, escarpments, rivers and arid plains.
Covering an area of 182,505.1km2 and a population of more than 10 Million Kenyans, the Rift valley is undoubtedly the most endowed in terms of tourism resources and most populous region in the country. The region supports a huge diversity of wildlife, birds, trees, and plants. The valley floor rises from around 200m at Lake Turkana to about 1900 m above sea level at Lake Naivasha to the south. Rift Valley region currently harbors 14 Kenyan counties; Turkana, West Pokot, Samburu, Trans-Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Elgeyo-Marakwet, Nandi, Baringo, Laikipia, Nakuru, Narok, Kajiado, Kericho, and Bomet.
To the south of the region is Kenya’s most popular park; the Maasai Mara which borders the Serengeti in Tanzania. It is one of the most exciting game parks in the world, teeming with rare wildlife and a spectacular scenery of wildebeest migration which has been commonly referred to as the greatest show on earth.
Rift Valley Highlights
Home to the Maasai community
The Rift Valley region is also home one of the most famous communities in Africa, the Maasai people who have maintained the nomadic lifestyle for quite a long time. The community is unique mainly because of their distinctive height, unique customs and dress as well the fact that most of them are pastoralists.
The rift valley region is largest and most populous province in the country with an estimated area of 182,505.1km2 occupied by more than 10Million Kenyans across its 14 counties. Technically, the capital administrative city is Nakuru which is also the fourth largest city in Kenya and the largest in the region.
Kenya’s Rift Valley Lakes at a Glance
Scattered along the length of the Kenyan Rift is a chain of seven lakes. Each one of them is unique & not a single one of them has an obvious outflow.
- Lake Turkana is the largest of the Kenyan Lakes.
- Lake Logipi is a shallow soda lake fed by a hot-spring, just south of Turkana.
- Lake Baringo is the second largest Kenyan Rift Lake.
- Lake Bogoria is a shallow soda lake within a game reserve popular for flamingoes, geysers & hot springs.
- Lake Nakuru is a shallow soda lake within a national park since 1968.
- Lake Elementaita alkaline lake commonly grazed by grazed by zebra, gazelle, eland, and families of warthog.
- Lake Naivasha is the highest of Kenya’s Rift Lakes & the most convenient for a weekend retreat while Lake Magadi is the most southern of the Rift Lakes.