2024: GDR-Rift Symposium

GDR Rift meetings

May 13-17 2024: Kenya – Maasaï Mara University

GDR Rift scientific symposium

From 13 to 17 May 2024, the 3rd GDR RIFT symposium will be held at the Maasai Mara University in Narok (Kenya).

The aim of the conference is to promote interdisciplinary research on the Eastern Africa Rift Valley. Three days will be devoted to scientific papers and four workshops (13-15 May). Two days of field visits will then be organised on 16 and 17 May.

This conference has only been possible thanks to the collective and voluntary participation of all the members of the scientific and organising committees, and to the support of the supervisory bodies (CNRS, Embassies, IFRA, CFEE). We would like to take this opportunity to thank them warmly.


The keynote lectures will be online, and we will provide the link through the diffusion list and on the website at each session’s day.

The collections of abstracts is avaible here.


Monday 13th

  • 8:30 AM to 10 AM – Opening ceremony & tree planting
  • 10:30 AM to 12 PM – Delegates speech & signature MoU :

Mr. Lankeu Reson (Maasai Mara University)
Director Public relations & Linkages

Prof. Bulitia Godrick (Maasai Mara University)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academics & Student’s affairs

Prof. Jean-Baptiste Eczet (EHESS)
Deputy director of the GDR Rift / Scientific comity of the colloquium

Prof. Mathieu Gérin (French Embassy)
Attaché for Science and Higher Education / Deputy Head of Cooperation

Prof. Leopoldo Iribarren (EHESS)
Vice-Président of the EHESS in charge of International Relations

Prof. Aloo-Obudho (Maasai Mara University)

  • 12 PM to 12:30 PM – Keynote lecture I
  • 2 PM to 4:30 PM – Settlement / Energy
  • 5 PM to 6 PM – Poster session I
  • 5:30 to 6 PM – French scientific cooperation

Tuesday 14th

  • 8:30 to 9:00 AM – Keynote lecture II
  • 9 to 10:30 AM – Causes & effects I / Health I
  • 11 to 12:30 PM – Preservation I / Health II
  • 12:30 to 1 PM – Keynote lecture III
  • 2 to 4:30 PM – Cosmopolitics / Modelling
  • 5 to 6 PM – Poster session II
  • from 8 PM –Gala dinner

Wednesday 15th

  • 8:30 to 9 AM – Keynote lecture IV
  • 9 AM to 10:30 AM – Causes & effects / Preservation II
  • 11 AM to 1 PM – Workshops I & II
  • 2 PM to 4 PM – Workshops III & IV

Thursday 16th

  • Field visits at Mont Suswa :
    distribution into 2 groups
    (1a=lava caves / crater + geothermal OR 1b=crater hike + school)

Friday 17th

  • Field visits at Ol Njorua Gorge

Practical info

To get to Narok (Kenya):

An electronic travel authorisation (eTA, 35USD https://www.etakenya.go.ke ) is required for certain citizens. Please check the necessary procedures before your departure.
Nairobi airport.

The journey between Nairobi and Narok takes around 3 hours by car, sometimes longer depending on traffic.

  • Nairobi > Narok: University shuttles will be available on Sunday 12 May

– at 12:00 (noon) in front of the IFRA headquarter, Laikipia Road – Kileleshwa
– at 13:00-14:00 at the Jomo Kenyatta airport
– at 20:00-21:00 at the Jomo Kenyatta airport

Please, be sure to be on time to board the shuttle.

  • Narok > Nairobi Airport: a University shuttle bus will be available on Saturday 18 in the morning (~9am), allowing you to catch a flight after 2pm.
  • If you are arriving or leaving at other times, private taxis can make the journey for 10,000kes (~70 euros). Collective transport is available, but it is longer, cheaper and possible.

Accommodation and meals

Lunch is provided by the GDR during the colloquium (buffet). Evening meals can be taken on a half-board basis (breakfast+dinner) in the hotels listed below.

There are two hotels close to the Narok campus. They have WIFI, and you must book in advance, mentioning that you are coming for the conference.

Beneficiaries of a GDR rift mobility package including accommodation do not need to make a reservation. Reservations will be made by the organising committee and IFRA Nairobi.

Other participants must book and pay for their own rooms.

Shuttle buses will be available morning and evening to transport participants to the conference venue.

Gala dinner

A gala dinner is organised on Tuesday evening at the Olive Hotel. All participants are invited to attend. A shuttle will take Enkipai hotel residents back to their hotel.


To ease the logistics, prior on-site registration will be required to balance groups.

Equipment required:

  • walking shoes or sports shoes
  • water bottle
  • small rucksack
  • hat
  • sun cream

For the 1a excursion, you will also need :

  • a torch
  • A face mask (odour and dust from animal droppings)
  • A helmet/cap to avoid head injuries (protruding rocks on the walls and ceiling)
  • Suitable physical condition (asthmatics and claustrophobics are advised to abstain).

In the caves, colonies of bats and insects are likely to be present.

The GDR RIFT scientific committee



Great African Rift
Interdisciplinary Group

Legal mentions