The Great Rift ends here

Any idea as to where the Baton Relay lands today (04.02.2014)? “The Great Rift Valley”, as described in the 19th century,  is a continuous geographic trench that runs from northern Syria to central Mozambique in South East Africa – approximately 3,700 miles in length.

John Walter Gregory, University of Glasgow

The first description of this trench, and indeed the first use of the term “rift valley”, came from John Walter Gregory, a geologist and explorer who was Professor of Geology at the University of Glasgow for over twenty years (from 1904 to 1929). His publication, The Great Rift Valley: Being the Narrative of a Journey to Mount Kenya and Lake Baringo with Some Account of the Geology, Natural History, Anthropology and Future Prospects of British East Africa (1896) described in detail the structural and glacial geology, anthropology, and parasitology of the geographic trench.

Title plate, The Great Rift Valley (Special Collections RQ 2025)

The Gregory Rift, which within the Mozambique belt, is named in his honour, and runs from Ethiopia through Kenya, Tanzania and into Mozambique.

Mozambique was a Portuguese colony for over four centuries, from 1505, and gained independence in 1975.


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