Africa's Albertine Rift: National Geographic Examines One Of The Most Densely Populated Places On Earth (PHOTOS)

10/25/2011 06:10 pm ET | Updated Dec 19, 2011

In the November 2011 issue of National Geographic, Robert Draper profiles a corner of Africa plagued by violence and a booming population.

The 'Albertine Rift,' named for Lake Albert, spans 920 miles in East Africa. The population has boomed as a result of the region's fertile land and rich biodiversity, however such expansive growth has resulted in competition for resources: From Robert Draper's report:

As the global population soars toward nine billion by 2045, this corner of Africa shows what’s at stake in the decades ahead. The Rift is rich in rainfall, deep lakes, volcanic soil, and biodiversity. It is also one of the most densely populated places on Earth. A desperate competition for land and resources -- and between people and wildlife -- has erupted here with unspeakable violence. How can the conflict be stopped? Will there be any room left for the wild?

How did this land of plenty descend into a perilous free-for-all? Dig deep into its history and it turns out the Albertine Rift has been shaped by mistaken ideas about its ethnic identities...

The full article by Robert Draper appears in the November 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands now.

See the full gallery by photographer Joel Sartore here.

Albertine Rift
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