Kenya’s Rift Valley is only part of a continental fault system that runs 6000km across the Middle East and Africa from Jordan to Mozambique. Perhaps Kenya’s most important topographical feature, it is certainly one of the country’s great distinguishing marks, acting as a human and natural divide. With its spectacular scenery of lakes and savanna, it has come to be seen as a monumental valley of teeming game and Maasai herders, a trough of grasslands older than humanity.
Although the iconic image is no longer entirely borne out by reality, the valley certainly is magnificent, a literal rift across the country, with all the stunning panoramas and gaunt escarpment backdrops you could wish for, and the plains animals are still abundant in places. Nevertheless, much of the game has been dispersed by human population pressure onto the higher plateaus to the southwest, and today most of the Maasai live farther south.