Ethiopian Highlands

Ethiopian Highlands, The Roof of Africa
The Ethiopian highlands are also considered as the roof of Africa. 30 million years ago these Ethiopian different highlands were a single plateau at the size of current day Spain. The continued erosion of this highland created many highlands that separated by canyons. Ethiopian highlands supported different animals found nowhere else in the world. The Gelada Baboon for example is one of the endemic animal in those Ethiopian highlands and has a brain capable of living in vertical cliffs in which a single slip could cause death.

Those Geladas are unique on only one of those plateau and they are covered by a large fur. They are the highest dwelling primates on the earth ranging up to 4500 meters. Geladas are the most sociable monkeys on the earth and they live in many numbers. In these highlands Ethiopian endemic animal species, Gelada Baboons share a place of grazing antelopes but Geladas are the only peculiar animal species up here in the roof of Africa.

Gelada Baboons are not the only endemic animals in these highlands many other endemic species are found here in the mountains on of them the a giant moll Rat which feeds on grass the most surprising thing is that these giant endemic Ethiopian rats are hunted by The Red fox which is also endemic to Ethiopia. There are around 15,000 of moll rats in each square miles of the grassland. Yet despite their numbers Gelada Baboons and Moll rats never meet due to the great rift valley which slices the roof of Africa in two one which have the Geladas and the other having the giant rats. Moving further south the Great Rift Valley shapes the entire East Africa creating intense hotspots of evolution.

On the northern part of the Great Rift Valley we find the Danakil depression. Here we can see Erta Ale, Africa’s most active volcano, it contains the world’s only live volcano lake in Ethiopia, Danakil Depression. In geological theory Erta Ale’s volcano is still in its infancy, but 1000 km south in the Great Rift Valley there is another volcano which at least grows for million years.

Rise to the east of The Great Rift Valley snow kept Kilimanjaro measures nearly 4 miles high. Kilimanjaro is Africa’s loftiest peak and the tallest free standing volcano on earth. Kilimanjaro and Erta Ale are only two links in the long chain volcano that runs along the length of the Great Rift Valley. In fact all the mountains along the Great Rift Valley are volcanic, born deep beneath the earth. Scientists believe that the superhot lava have been rising for millions of years in East Africa. For the last 30 million years the lava erupted and gave at least 50 square miles of rock. Above this area there are unique alpine plants which adapted the area. The weather in these highlands is unpredictable. Just a few miles away from Ethiopian highlands Lions and Zebras are found. But in Mount Kenya a snow brings a winter wonderland. This unique weather in Mount Kenya makes it difficult for wild life’s to evolve.
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About Daniel Eshetu

Daniel Eshetu is CEO of Habesha Entertainment, blogger and medical student at Black Lion Hospital Addis Ababa. Follow @danieleshetu99