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The descendants of the groups that remained established the Buganda, Bunyoro, and Karagwe Kingdoms, while others continued on to the Indian Ocean coast or moved south to Lake Malawi.The first Europeans to penetrate Central and East Africa reported snow at the equator but were not initially believed.The Great Rift Valley varies in width from twenty to sixty miles (thirty to one hundred kilometers), and in depth from a few hundred to several thousand meters.The northernmost part of the Rift forms the Beqaa Valley in Lebanon.The Afar Triangle or Danakil Depression of Ethiopia and Eritrea is the probable location of a triple junction, which is possibly underlain by a mantle plume (an upwelling of abnormally hot rock within the earth's mantle that helps the earth to lose heat).The Gulf of Aden is an eastward continuation of the rift—before the rift opened, the Arabian Peninsula was attached to the Horn of Africa—and from this point the rift extends southeastward as part of the mid-oceanic ridge of the Indian Ocean.Richard Leakey has speculated that the diversity of environments resulting from the creation of the Rift Valley provided "an ideal setting for evolutionary change." The presence of multiple lakes in the region would have drawn animals, including hominids.
In eastern Africa the valley divides into the Eastern Rift and the Western Rift.
Subterranean movement is common today as the Rift Valley is home to thirty active and semi-active volcanoes and countless hot springs along its length.
The formation of the Rift Valley continues, probably driven by mantle plumes.
This would lead to the formation of a new mid-ocean ridge.
The volcanic activity at this site and unusual concentration of hotspots has produced the volcanic mountains Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, Mount Karisimbi, Mount Nyiragongo, Mount Meru, and Mount Elgon, as well as the Crater Highlands in Tanzania.