Adventure holidays in Africa’s Great Rift Valley

From the Middle East to east Africa and through bottomless lakes to soaring volcanoes, we select 10 ways to experience the stunning 3,700-mile fault line that is the Great Rift Valley


Brave Africa’s lowest point: Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

The Rift hits the African landmass with a sizzle as three tectonic plates converge to create a sun-baked griddle of salt pans and active volcanoes, among them the other-worldly lava lake of Erta Ale. The searing heat, inhospitable landscape, and ferocious reputation of the Afar peoplecorrect that call the region home mean some refer to this area as the cruellest place on earth. If you like it extreme, look no further.

Trek over the ‘roof of Africa’: Simien Mountains, Ethiopia

Looming high among the extinct volcanic outriders of the Ethiopian Rift, the Simien Mountains national park is nature junked up on steroids: a basalt escarpment 40 miles long and up to a mile high, populated by super-sized plants and armies of gelada monkeys. With relatively gentle trail gradients and relentless cliff-top views down to the eroded pinnacles of the lowlands, this is one of Africa’s great trekking destinations.

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