The Great Rift Valley & Lakes

The Ethiopian Rift Valley, which is part of the famous East African Rift Valley, comprises numerous hot springs, beautiful lakes and a variety of wildlife. The valley is the result of two parallel faults in the earth's surface between which, in distant geological time (Cenozoic era), the crust was weakened, and the land subsided. Ethiopia is often referred to as the "water tower" of Eastern Africa because of the many rivers that pour off the high tableland. The Great Rift Valley's passage through Ethiopia is marked by a chain of seven lakes. Each of the seven lakes has its own special life and character and provides ideal habitats for the exuberant variety of flora and fauna that make the region a beautiful and exotic destination for tourists.

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Most of the lakes are suitable and safe for swimming and other water sports. Besides, Lake Abijyata and Shalla are ideal places for aquatic bird watchers. Most of the Rift valley lakes are not fully exploited for tourist purposes except Lake Langano where tourist class hotels are built. The Rift valley is also a site of numerous natural hot springs and the chemical contents of the hot springs are highly valued for their therapeutic purposes. In short, the Rift valley is endowed with many beautiful lakes, numerous hot springs, warm and pleasant climate and a variety of wildlife. It is considered as one of the most ideal areas for short time visitors in Ethiopia.