Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

Dangerous Erupting Volcanoes of Africa

Nyamuragira in the DRC is Africa's most active volcano; Mount Nyiragongo is the most dangerous volcano, Rift Valley has the most volcanoes in Africa.
Mount Nyiragongo is the most dangerous volcano in Africa
Mount Nyiragongo 

Nyamuragira in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is Africa's most active volcano; Mount Nyiragongo is the most dangerous volcano. Volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley is frequent; Ethiopia has 61 volcanoes which 10 are active. Ethiopia in the East African Rift Valley has one of the worlds highest concentration of volcanoes.

Volcanos reshape Africa, in fact Africa is creating new volcanoes because the continent shifts over time therefore to count the number of volcanoes in Africa would be a guess at best. The associated dangers of active volcanoes in Africa include lava flows, mudflows, pyroclastic flows, ash clouds, ash fall, ballistic rock projectiles, gas emissions, landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Some of the largest volcanoes in Africa and the Rift Valley are Mount Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania, this is a dormant volcano and Mount Kenya has never erupted. However, many younger volcanoes like Ethiopia’s almost 60 mile long Erta'Ale has an active lava lake.

Village in DRC destroyed by Nyamuragira volcano lava flow
Dried lava destruction

There are 12 African countries where volcanic activity is common.

Cabo Verde Volcanoes

The volcano Fogo, Portuguese for fire is around 2,829 meters above sea level and last erupted in 1995; this is Cabo Verde's only active volcano.

Cameroon Volcanoes

Mt. Cameroon volcano is about 4,095 meters above sea level last erupting in the year 2000. Mt. Cameroon is the most frequently active volcano in West Africa. Lake Nyos is a dangerous lake in Northwest Cameroon that tragically released a huge cloud of lethal carbon dioxide on August 21, 1986, killing 1,800 sleeping African villagers. Lake Nyos is a lethal carbon dioxide gas rich water-filled crater of a volcano.

Comoros Volcanoes

Mountain type is a shield volcano; Mount Karthala is around 2,361 meters above sea level on Grand Comore Island last erupting in January 2007. An April 17, 2005 eruption forced 30,000 people to be evacuated and produced a large ash cloud.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Volcanoes

Located inside Virunga National Park Mount Nyiragongo is around 3,470 meters above sea level last erupting in 2002. Nevertheless, is experiencing ongoing volcanic activity posing a major threat to tens of thousands of people. Nyiragongo produces abnormally fast-moving lava known to travel up to 62.1 miles or 100 km per hour. Nyiragongo is being studied by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior and labeled as a Decade Volcano due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations. Neighboring volcano, Nyamuragira, which erupted in 2010, is Africa's most active volcano. Visoke is the only other historically active volcano.

Djibouti Volcanoes

Mount Ardoukoba is around 298 meters above sea level last erupted in 1978; Manda-Inakir, located along the Ethiopian border is also a historically active volcano.

Equatorial Guinea Volcanoes

One of the highest points in Equatorial Guinea is Mount Santa Isabel, which is around 3,007 meters above sea level last erupting in 1923. Mount Santa Isabel is Equatorial Guinea only historically active volcano. The basaltic shield volcanoes, Santa Isabel and Pico Basile helped to form Bioko Island in the Gulf of Guinea. There are an estimated 55,000 people living on Bioko Island.

Eritrea Volcanoes

Eritrea has seven volcanoes. Mount Dubbi is around 1,625 meters above sea level last erupting in 1861. Dubbi was Eritrea’s only historically active volcano until after a series of earthquakes, Mount Nabro, 2,218 meters above sea level erupted on June 12, 2011. Nabro Volcano is an active stratovolcano in the Southern Red Sea Region of Eritrea.

Ethiopia Volcanoes

Mount Erta'Ale is around 613 meters above sea level, is almost 60 mile long with an active lava lake producing frequent lava flows. Mount Erta'Ale is Ethiopia’s most active volcano. Other active volcanoes are Alayta, Dabbahu, Dalaffilla, Dallol, Dama Ali, Fentale, Kone, Manda Hararo, and Manda-Inakir. Ethiopia has 61 volcanos which 10 are active.

Kenya Volcanoes

Kenya has 26 volcanoes but only two have limited volcanic activity; the Barrier is around 1,032 meters above sea level last erupted in 1921. South Island is the only other historically active volcano.

Rwanda Volcanoes

Visoke is around 3,711 meters above sea level located on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Visoke is Rwanda’s only historically active volcano.

South Africa Volcanoes

South Africa has three volcanoes, off the southern coast of Africa, the volcano Marion Island volcano last erupted in 2004. The first historical eruption was recorded in November 1980.

Tanzania Volcanoes

Tanzania has 24 volcanoes but only three have limited volcanic activity; Ol Doinyo Lengai is around 2,962 meters above sea level and erupted lava in 2017; other historically active volcanoes include Kieyo, which erupted in 1800, and Meru erupted in 1910.

Volcanologist on Mount Nyiragongo

Volcanologist on Mount Nyiragongo

Nyamuragira in the DRC is Africa's most active volcano; Mount Nyiragongo is the most dangerous volcano and the Rift Valley has the most volcanoes throughout Africa.

Ethiopia has the greatest number of known volcanoes in East Africa, here is a list of names of known Ethiopian volcanoes. Because the continent shifts over time the exact number of volcanes is unknown, new volcanoes are forming at a great rate.

Volcano Name Last Eruption
Erta Ale Currently Erupting
Erta Ale Currently Erupting
Manda Hararo 2009
Dalaffilla 2008
Dabbahu 2005
Ayalu 1928
Manda-Inakir 1928
Adwa 1928
Dallol 1926
Alayta 1915
Tullu Moje 1900
Mount Fentale 1820
Kone 1820
Dama Ali 1631
Alutu 50 BC
Afdera Holocene Era
Ale Bagu Holocene Era
Asavyo Holocene Era
Asmara Holocene Era
Beru Holocene Era
Bilate River Field Holocene Era
Bishoftu Volcanic Field Holocene Era
Bora-Bericcio Holocene Era
Borale Ale Holocene Era
Borawli Holocene Era
Boset-Bericha Holocene Era
Chiracha Holocene Era
Dabbayra Holocene Era
Dofen Holocene Era
Gabillema Holocene Era
Gada Ale Holocene Era
Gedamsa Caldera Holocene Era
Groppo Holocene Era
Hayli Gubbi Holocene Era
Hertali Holocene Era
Hobitcha Caldera Holocene Era
Korath Range Holocene Era
Kurub Holocene Era
Liado Hayk Holocene Era
Ma Alalta Holocene Era
Mallahle Holocene Era
Mat Ala Holocene Era
Mega Basalt Field Holocene Era
Sodore Holocene Era
Sork Ale Holocene Era
Tat Ali Holocene Era
Teppi Holocene Era
Tosa Sucha Holocene Era
Mount Yangudi Holocene Era
Alu Extinct Volcano
Amoissa Extinct Volcano
Butajiri-Silti Field Extinct Volcano
Corbetti Caldera Extinct Volcano
Dendi Extinct Volcano
East Zway Extinct Volcano
Gariboldi Caldera Extinct Volcano
O'a Caldera Extinct Volcano
Sabober Extinct Volcano
Lake Shala Extinct Volcano
Wonchi Extinct Volcano
Mount Zuqualla Extinct Volcano
Nameless Volcanoes Unknown

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