Volcano Tourism in Tanzania

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August 12, 2017

Volcano Tourism in Tanzania

Ol Doingyo Lengai volcano in Tanzania is about to explode!

Tourism today is about experiences; seeing and doing the kind of things you don’t do at home. It doesn’t get any more different than combining an African safari with a visit to a live volcano!

The two most recent explosive eruptions occurred in 1966/7 and 2007/8, and great rumblings indicate another eruption is imminent. Now might be the only opportunity you have in your life to visit an erupting volcano that’s safe enough to be close to.

Ol Doingyo Lengai volcano – dubbed ‘Mountain of God’ by the Maasai – is the only known active volcano that emits lava rich in a type of rock called carbonatite. This is lower in temperature – about half as hot as other volcanoes – and much more fluid. In an article about Ol Doingyo Lengai, National Geographic said that “the late photographer and renowned volcano chaser Katia Krafft was captivated by what she called the “toy volcano” because its diminutive flows are cool enough to collect with a spoon.”

Ol Doingyo Lengai is just south of Lake Natron and 150km from Arusha – the main airport hub of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. The volcano falls within the new Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark. This is the first ever sub-Saharan Geopark project, initiated by Unesco and funded by the European Union, earmarked to cover 12,000 sq km.

Some Ol Doingyo Lengai Facts:

Name: Mount Oldonyo Lengai, “Mountain of God

Height: 2,960 metres (9,711 feet)

Lava flow: eruptions can create lava fountains but because natrocarbonatite lava is  half as hot as basaltic lavas, it only glows orange at night and during the day looks like fluid black oil with a viscosity almost like water, or a brown foam that can look like a mud flow.

 

 What is the most out-of-the-ordinary tourism experience you’ve ever had?

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