The Great Rift Valley Lakes: stretches for over 9,600kms form Syria to Mozambique. In east Africa this crack has made a valley with a length of 6000kms. The openings of the Great Rift Valley feature are recent phenomena even not older than 20 million years. This is the last massive movement of the earth to play significantly in shaping the landmass of the earth. Again this features, the volcanoes, natural hot springs and strongly elongated lakes in the Great Rift Valley are evidences in the earth’s crust that threaten eventually to split Africa apart. This split east Africa in to two arms. The valley passes through Ethiopia where its largest area lies. (It is about 2800kms long). In Ethiopia, the northern end of the valley opens in to the famous Dankill Depression 116 meters below sea level is one of the hottest places on the earth. The volcanic floor is with an average width of 50 km and its maximum width is 90 km. The blue grey ridges of the volcanic basalt and granite either side, towering up to a height of 4000 meters. This volcanic floor encompasses some of the world’s last true wildernesses.
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. These lakes are Lake Ziway, Shala, Abyata, Langano, Awassa, Chmao and Abaya. Most of the lakes are suitable and safe for swimming and other water sports. Lakes Abiata and Shalla are ideal places for bird watchers.
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 though at present they are not fully utilized. 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 the development of international tourism in Ethiopia.