EASTERN AFRICA is a region that begins in Tanzania in the south, extends north through the great grasslands and scrub forest of the savannas of Kenya and Uganda, and then across the highlands of Ethiopia, including the Great Rift Valley. The region also comprises the countries of Somalia, Djibouti, and Eritrea, which are located in the African Transition Zone between North Africa and Subsaharan Africa.
The world’s second-largest lake by surface area (Lake Superior, on the border between the United States and Canada, is considered the lake with the largest surface area) is Lake Victoria, which borders Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya. Lake Victoria provides fish and fresh water for millions of people in the surrounding region. The White Nile starts at Lake Victoria and flows north to the city of Khartoum in Sudan, where it converges with the Blue Nile (sourced by Lake Tana in the highlands of Ethiopia) to become the Nile River.
The geography of Eastern Africa is stunning and scenic. Shaped by plate tectonic forces that have created the East African Rift, Eastern Africa is the site of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, the two tallest peaks in Africa. It also includes the world’s second largest freshwater lake, Lake Victoria, and the world’s second deepest lake, Lake Tanganyika.
Eastern Africa is one of the earliest regions where Homo sapiens are believed to have lived. Evidence was found in 2018, dating to about 320,000 years ago, at the Kenyan site of Olorgesailie, of the early emergence of modern behaviors associated with Homo sapiens.
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