A rift through Africa — Geocache of the Week

by A1HydeAndSeek
S 14° 02.202′ E 034° 49.574′

For anyone who’s experienced the splendor of the African Great Lakes, it’s obvious that you can’t rush perfection; these magnificent lakes took millions of years to form. Today, we use multi-million dollar satellites to learn about them!

It’s time to brush up on your geology—we’re going to the shores of Lake Malawi for our Geocache of the Week, GC4K3RZ, A rift through Africa!

Lake Malawi covers an impressive total surface area of 11,400 mi² (9,600 km²) in the Great Rift Valley of East Africa. Luckily, thanks to the trusty Global Positioning System, we know exactly where to go for the answers to GC4K3RZ. Our voyage takes us to Otter Point, a Malawian peninsula that dramatically juts out from the southern coast. From here, you’re treated to glorious views of West Thumbi Island and the remarkable breadth of Lake Malawi.

Image by ingnola.

As you look out, a gentle breeze animates the largely untouched nature that surrounds you. The crimson sun falls slowly beyond the horizon, and in the midst of it all, you might forget we’re here to cache! Before it gets too dark, check out the cache page where A1HydeAndSeek lays out your assignment.

Image by ingnola.

To earn this smiley, you’ll need to know a thing or two about plate tectonics. Look at the diagram provided by the cache owner, and do your best to describe the geological processes taking place. How was the Great Rift Valley formed? A correct answer will bring you one step closer to a find.

Next, examine the volcanoes surrounding Lake Malawi. Most of the volcanoes are dormant, but it may come as a surprise that some are active! Your task is to message the CO the name of both an active and dormant volcano from this region.

Lastly, pinpoint the posted coordinates of GC4K3RZ. At this site, you find an engraved stone with the necessary information to log the EarthCache. Hurrah!

Image by ingnola.

Now that the smiley is yours, it’s time to reflect on a day well spent. The African Great Lakes region is one of the most stunning in the world. Between spectacular views, captivating wildlife, and unspoiled nature, you’re sure to leave Lake Malawi with everlasting memories.

Image by annika anna.

Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.

Eric is a Community Coordinator at Geocaching HQ. Among other things, he's passionate about animals, the outdoors, and reading.