Eastern Africa, part of sub-Saharan Africa comprising two traditionally recognized regions: East Africa, made up of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda; and the Horn of Africa, made up of Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.
Eastern Africa consists largely of plateaus and has most of the highest elevations in the continent. The two most striking highlands are in Ethiopia and Kenya, respectively, where large areas reach elevations of 6,500 to 10,000 feet (2,000 to 3,000 metres). Twin parallel rift valleys that are part of the East African Rift System run through the region. The Eastern, or Great, Rift Valley extends from the Red Sea’s junction with the Gulf of Aden southward across the highlands of Ethiopia and Kenya and continues on into Tanzania. The Western Rift Valley curves along the western borders of Uganda and Tanzania. Between the two rift valleys lies a plateau that comprises most of Uganda and western Tanzania and includes Lake Victoria. The volcanic massif of Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, reaches 19,340 feet (5,895 metres) in northeastern Tanzania. The Horn of Africa, a major peninsular extension of the African mainland into the Arabian Sea, contains the vast lowland coastal plains of Somalia.
The climate of eastern Africa is generally tropical, though average temperatures tend to be reduced by the region’s high elevations. Precipitation also is affected by varying elevation: Uganda, Tanzania, and western Kenya receive plentiful rainfall, while Somalia, eastern Ethiopia, and northeastern Kenya receive far less. The region’s vegetation ranges from woodlands and grasslands in the wetter regions to thornbushes in semiarid areas. The grasslands of Tanzania and Kenya are renowned for their wildlife, in particular large migratory herds of ungulates (e.g., gnus, zebras, and gazelles) and predators (lions, hyenas, and leopards).
Eastern Africa is populated by 160 different ethnic groups or more, depending on the method of counting. Most of the peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia—and some of those in Tanzania and Kenya—speak languages belonging to the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic languages. Speakers of Nilo-Saharan languages populate Uganda and the rift valley portions of Kenya and Tanzania, while speakers of Bantu languages constitute much of the remainder of these countries’ population.
The largest ethnic groups in eastern Africa are the Oromo, Cushitic speakers who occupy much of southern Ethiopia, and the related Somali, who occupy all of Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, and much of Djibouti. The Afar are found in both Eritrea and Djibouti. The main ethnic groups of Eritrea, the Tigray and the Tigre, are speakers of Semitic languages. Both the Tigray and the Amhara, another Semitic-speaking group, dominate northwestern Ethiopia. The ethnic fabric in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda is much more fragmented, with many smaller peoples intermingled or occupying discrete territories. The largest numbers of Nilo-Saharan speakers belong to the Luo, Lango, Kalenjin, Maasai, and Karimojong peoples, while the principal Bantu-speaking ethnic groups are the Kikuyu, Chaga, and Kamba.
Content Source : Encyclopedia Britannica https://www.britannica.com/place/eastern-Africa