Major Volcanoes of Africa

The are many major volcanos in Africa, which are magnificent and splendid work of nature. These volcanoes are handful in Africa because they are bound to rise there due to tectonic activities caused beneath the land, as it is where the African Plate meets the Arabian Plate.

From most dreadful volcano, Nyamuragira volcano to some shallow volcanoes like, Mount Muthaura and Mount Sabyinyo, Africa has always been rich in active volcanoes. Each of volcanoes are terrible enough to destroys miles of civilizations.

Features of Major Volcanoes of Africa

There are many active volcanoes in Africa. Here are the features of major volcanoes of Africa −

Cameroon Volcano

  • Africa has some of the biggest and most active volcanoes, including Mount Cameroon.

  • Other names for Mount Cameroon include Cameroon Mountain, Fako (the name of the taller of the mountain's two peaks), and Mongo ma Ndemi ("Mountain of Greatness").

  • One of the rare volcanoes with historically dated eruptions is this one as well.

  • With a height of 4095 meters, the volcano is the most active in a chain of hot spots.

  • The previous eruption happened in February 3, 2012.

Nyamuragira Volcano

  • One of Africa's most active volcanoes, Nyamuragira, is 3,058 meters high.

  • Located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Virunga Mountains, Nyamuragira, also spelled Nyamulagira, is an active shield volcano.

  • The term comes from the Bantu verb Kuragira nyamu, which means to herd cows or other animals.

  • It is situated 25 km north of Lake Kivu in the East African Rift Valley, 500 km northwest of the Nyiragongo volcano.

  • The most recent eruption occurred in May 2021.

Nabro Volcano

  • In the Danakil Depression, near the southernmost tip of the Danakil Alps, is where you may find the Nabro Volcano.

  • The biggest of the two calderas on the Nabro volcano, which has a diameter of 8 and 15 km, is breached to the southwest.

  • At a height of 2,218 meters, the Nabro stratovolcano is located on the crystalline basement of the Danakil horst.

  • The volcano was widely assumed to be extinct before its eruption in 2011.

  • The most recent eruption occurred in 2011.

Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano

  • Tanzania has an active volcano called Ol Doinyo Lengai.

  • Ol Doinyo Lengai is a stratovolcano that rises at a height of 2,890 meters from the depression of the East African Rift Valley to its peak.

  • There are two craters in its volcanic cone, the northern of which has erupted historically.

  • It is the only known active volcano that produces carbonatite lava eruptions. Natrocarbonatite, a rare, chilly, and extremely fluid kind of magma, has erupted.

  • The most recent eruption occurred in 2019.

Erta Ale Volcano

  • The most active volcano in Ethiopia, Erta Ale, is situated in the Danakil Depression, a region below sea level between the last two countries.

  • In Ethiopia's central northern Danakil depression, in the Erta Ale volcanic range, is the sizable basaltic shield volcano known as Erta Ale.

  • Erta Ale is a volcano that rises to a height of 613 meters (2,011 feet), and it has one or occasionally two active lava lakes at its peak that occasionally overflow onto the volcano's south flank.

  • Since it was originally found, the lava lake, which has been active for the most of the past decades, has gained notoriety.

  • The most recent eruption happened in 2009.

Mount Nyiragongo, D.R. of Congo

  • At the eastern border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda in the Virunga National Park, Mount Nyiraggongo is a sizable stratovolcano close to Lake Kivu.

  • It is situated inside Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 12 kilometres (7.5 miles) north of the town of Goma and Lake Kivu, and only a few kilometres (0.6 miles) west of the Rwandan border.

  • Standing at 3,479 meters, it is one of the most active volcanoes on the entire African continent.

  • The largest and most active lava lake in the world is found inside its 1.2 km diameter summit caldera.

  • The most recent eruption occurred on January 17, 2002.

Ngorongoro Volcano

  • Located inside the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in northern Tanzania.

  • A dormant volcano, it is 2,870 meters above sea level.

  • The Ngorongoro Crater, which was created when the volcano collapsed, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a habitat for a wide variety of species.

  • Recent eruptions have not been reported, which points to a protracted period of inactivity.

Mount Gahinga

  • It is situated on the boundary of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.

  • It is 3,474 meters above sea level.

  • It is a part of the Virunga Mountain range and is renowned for its diverse environment and lush greenery.

  • Since no recent eruptions have been observed, the state is inactive.

Mount Muhabura

  • It is located on the line separating Uganda and Rwanda.

  • It rises to a height of 4,127 meters.

  • The volcano offers breathtaking vistas, and hikers looking for a challenging adventure frequently climb it.

  • It has been dormant ever since its final eruption in 1956.

Mount Sabyinyo

  • It is situated in the Virunga Mountains, close to the boundary between Rwanda and Uganda.

  • It is 3,634 meters above sea level.

  • Mountain climbers frequently travel to Sabyinyo because of its unusual triple peak.

  • The last known eruption of the volcano occurred about 8,000 years ago, rendering it inactive at the moment.

List of Major Volcanoes of Africa

Here is a table of major volcanoes in Africa, including their location, height, and last eruption −



Height (m)

Last Eruption

Cameroon volcano




Nyamuragira volcano

Democratic Republic of Congo



Nabro volcano




Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano




Erta Ale volcano




Mount Nyiragongo

Democratic Republic of Congo



Ngorongoro volcano




Mount Gahinga




Mount Muhabura




Mount Sabyinyo





There are numerous active and dormant volcanoes in Africa, each with distinct characteristics. The impressive geological diversity of the continent is displayed by these volcanoes, which range in size from the formidable Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the scenic Mount Sabyinyo on the border between Rwanda and Uganda. While some, like Mount Nyiragongo and Ol Doinyo Lengai, have active lava lakes, others, like Mount Gahinga and Ngorongoro, are dormant yet still feature beautiful scenery.

Although these volcanoes can be breath taking, their eruptive nature makes them a potential threat to the nearby areas. It is essential to comprehend and explore these natural wonders in order to advance science and protect nearby populations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which volcano in Africa is the tallest?

Mount Muhabura, located on the border of Uganda and Rwanda, is the tallest volcano in Africa, standing at a height of 4,127 meters.

When was the last eruption of Nyamuragira volcano?

The most recent eruption of Nyamuragira volcano in the Democratic Republic of Congo occurred in May 2021.

Which volcano erupted in 2011?

Nabro volcano, situated in Eritrea/Ethiopia, last erupted in 2011.

When was the last eruption of Erta Ale volcano?

The most recent eruption of Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia occurred in 2009. It is known for its active lava lakes.

Is Ngorongoro volcano currently active?

The activity status of Ngorongoro volcano in Tanzania is unknown, as recent eruptions have not been reported. It is considered dormant.

What is the elevation of Mount Gahinga in Uganda?

Mount Gahinga in Uganda stands at an elevation of 3,474 meters above sea level.

Updated on: 07-Nov-2023


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