The Great African Rift: Description, History and Interesting Facts

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Scientists suggest that Africa is part of Gondwana. In the Cenozoic period, Africa fell into the zone of stretching of the earth's crust, resulting in the formation of mid-ocean ridges and Great East African rifts. It is believed that the process of breaking occurs to this day and as a result will lead to the fact that the eastern part of the continent will break away and a new island will appear.

Every year a crack in the crust increases by 4 millimeters. Accordingly, the capacity of reservoirs increases, and in the end everything will be flooded with ocean waters. Although there were other cases, in the area of ​​Northern Tanzania in 2005, the land split into 10 meters in some 10 days.

Today, almost all active volcanoes of the continent, except Cameroon, a lot of extinct volcanoes and even thermal water outlets are concentrated on this territory. In general, active and weakly active volcanoes, there are about 30.

Therefore, this place attracts tourists, there are many reserves and beautiful places of the planet with numerous flora and fauna.

Fault countries

The Great African Rift crosses several countries:

  • Malawi (a small country that still has territorial disputes with Tanzania).
  • Zaire (former Republic of Congo).
  • Mozambique (primordial land of the Bushman and Hottentot tribes).
  • Tanzania (a country with two capitals).
  • Rwanda (Land of a Thousand Hills).
  • Burundi (a small and underdeveloped state of the continent).
  • Kenya (the most dynamically developing republic of Africa).
  • Uganda (Buganda with Swahili).
  • Ethiopia (the state with the most significant ethnic diversity).

Some archaeologists claim that this particular place is the cradle of humanity, as evidenced by the multiple archaeological artifacts found.

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National Park "Serengeti"

This is the most ancient reserve of the Great African Rift, and it is located in the north-west of Tanzania. The total occupied area is 14, 750 square kilometers. By the way, the local population translates the name of the Masai Park as "unlimited". And on the south-eastern border is the protected zone of Ngorongoro crater. There are two magnificent lakes - Victoria and Eyasi.

In this unique zone of the Great East African Rift can be reached from Arusha (320 km). Regular charter flights fly here and the bus goes, but it will take 6 hours, but on a good route.

The most unique phenomenon in the national park is the mass migration of wildebeest, zebras and Thomson gazelles. This is a magnificent sight, when more than 3 million individuals move crowded together to other territories in search of fresh vegetation, overcoming more than 3 thousand kilometers.

In the park the largest population of lions on the entire planet, more than 3 thousand individuals. Not far from the border of the park lies the drainless lake Natron, from which salt is not washed out, and geysers are boiling at the bottom.

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Ngorongoro Crater

The occupied area of ​​this unique part of the Great African Rift is 3300 square kilometers. These are multifunctional lands, where wildlife reigns and nomads - the Masai. The protected zone is located 190 kilometers from Arusha.

The main attraction is the Ngorongoro crater itself. Millions of years ago, this volcano was larger than Kilimanjaro, and one day it exploded and filled the crater with lava, the diameter of which was from 16 to 20 kilometers. And the depth in some places reaches 760 meters. And the most interesting is Lake Magadi inside.

In addition, there are several volcanoes here, one of the most unique ones is Ol-Doiño-Lengai, it is active and spewing the most liquid and cold lava.

There are rocks in the northern part of the zone, but you can visit them only at an additional cost and accompanied by local rangers. These rocks are inhabited by leopards and cheetahs.

Gombe National Park

This is the smallest protected area in Tanzania on the Great African Rift, occupying only 52 square kilometers. There are few travelers here, as the park is located far from the traditional routes, although there are regular flights from Arusha and Dar es Salaam.

The main attraction is the huge natural population of chimpanzees. Also here is the settlement of Ujiji, where the two greatest explorers Stanley and Livingston met.

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Park "Lake Manyara"

This place is located where the boundaries of the Tarangire Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Protected Zone are located. Lake Great African Rift covers an area of ​​330 square meters. km And most of the territory, more precisely 230 square meters. km, is located under the alkaline lake Manyara. This pond even Hemingway praised. But the traveler will be pleased not only by the vast expanse of the reservoir and the picturesque nature, but by the lions climbing along the branches of the trees. These animals look out for prey from above. In addition, here are the darkest-colored giraffes that appear black from a distance. And the most interesting - pink flamingos on the surface of the lake. In the south of the park there are hot springs of Maji Mato (temperature about 60 degrees).

National Park "Katavi"

In size, this is the third protected area of ​​Tanzania. Total occupied area - 4500 square meters. km, although it is quite difficult to meet travelers here. People come here for unique photos of crocodiles and hippos, because it is in this park that their largest population is.

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In the park there is the famous tamarind tree. Some people believe that a spirit lives in it to this day, in whose honor the park is named, so you can come to the tree and chat with it.

Kitulu National Park

In this place, where the Great African Rift, the most unique flora. Aborigines themselves distinguish the park, because it is here that grow the most unique flowers on the whole continent. The park is home to beautiful birds, butterflies of unique species.

Tourists are offered a 6-hour walking tour through the mountains of Livingstone to the town of Matema. It is recommended to stay for a few days. On the territory of the village there is Lake Nyasa, where you can go fishing and sunbathing, admire the waterfalls.

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Park "Mountains Mahale"

This is a huge territory - a whole peninsula on Lake Tanganyika. You can get here by motorboat from Kigoma. Also established flights from Dar es Salaam and Arusha.

There are many chimpanzees in the park, elephants and buffaloes can be found, and in the south there are giraffes and lions and tropical butterflies. In the most central part there is a mountain range with the highest point (2462 meters) and the cleanest waters of Lake Tanganyika.

The African Rift is a vast steppe and clear waters with a unique and virtually untouched ecosystem.

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