10 Popular But Dangerous Volcanoes In Africa

People have always thought that volcanic explosions were God’s punishment. Nowadays, however, we understand that these eruptions take place due to the result of red hot glowing magma that forces its way up through the holes or vents in the earth’s crust. The effects of this magma when it to the reaches the surface is catastrophic and doesn’t make their explosive impacts any less devastating.  The article below reviews some of the African dangerous volcanoes and are most likely to erupt and cause havoc on surrounding communities and the environment.

Ol Doinyo Lengai has been named as one of the known dangerous volcanoes in Africa,  It is a volatile volcano and may erupt anytime just as most of the volcanoes in reviewed in the article.  Some of them have been active in recent years while others indicate signs of doing so again.

List of African Volcanoes ranging from the most to the least dangerous

Volcano Country
1. Mount Nyiragonga Democratic Republic of Congo
2. Nabro Ethiopia/Eritrea
3. Karthala Comoros
4. Mount Fogo Cape Verde
5. Nyamuragira Democratic Republic of Congo
6. Mount Cameroon Cameroon
7. Manda Hararo Ethiopia
8. Ol Doinyo Lengai Tanzania
9. Marion Island, Prince Edwards Islands South Africa
10. Dabbahu Ethiopia

10.Dabbahu – Ethiopia

Dabbahu volcano is in northern Ethiopia.  The Volcano is located 40 km NNW of Manda Hararo Volcano.  The first historical eruption of the volcano was on 26 September 2005. Before the explosion, there was an earthquake swarm.  There was little information regarding the eruption due to its remote location, and civil unrest in the area. The ash emitted from the volcano darkened the area surrounding for three days.

9.Marion Island, Prince Edwards Islands – South Africa

On 24 June 2004, there was a small volcanic eruption. It is always assumed that small volcanic eruptions frequently occur on Marion Island, the remoteness and hilly terrain has meant that such events are not witnessed and documented as they happen. The last confirmed eruption on Marion took place in 1980.  Marion Island makes to the list of African dangerous Volcanos.

8. Ol Doinyo Lengai – Tanzania

Tanzania’s Ol Doinyo Lengai is one of the unique African volcanos. It is the only part of the world that is currently erupting carbonatite lava. These lavas are laden with calcium, sodium and carbon dioxide, leading to some of the odd properties of these eruptions. Carbonatites could be a good source for mining rare earth elements.

7.Manda Hararo – Ethiopia

Manda Hararo complex is located on the southernmost axial range of the western Afar triangle. The first historical eruption that was witnessed occurred at this volcano in August 2007. The activity was accompanied by an intense seismic activity and many signs of ground deformation typical of rift spreading zones.  At the northern peripheral of the complex, there is a small basaltic shield volcano, with two basaltic shield volcanoes in the middle of the volcano.

6. Mount – Cameroon

Mount Cameroon volcano is one of Africa’s largest and most active African volcanos. It is one of the few volcanoes whose eruptions dated from BC.   The volcano is the most active on a hot spot chain and rises above the coast of west Cameroon coast through tropical rainforest to a bare summit which sometimes gets snow. On average, Mt Cameroon volcano erupts every 10-20 years making it an active volcano.


5. Nyamuragira – Democratic Republic of Congo

Nyamuragira or Nyamuragira is a shield volcano located 9 miles northwest of Nyiragongo. It is the continent’s most active volcano and one of the African dangerous Volcanos. It is an enormous basaltic shield volcano that rises about 25 km north of Lake Kivu.  The eruptions which have occurred within the summit caldera, always disrupt and change the morphology of the caldera floor,  fissures and cinder cones on the volcano’s flanks. Lava fountains often construct cinder or spatter cones at the vent.

4.Mount Fogo – Cape Verde

It was once assumed and reported that the eruption at Fogo had ended since sulfur dioxide emissions were almost undetectable on 8 February.  It remained so until 11 February.  During that time, pahoehoe flows were stagnant and only minor fumarolic activity was witnessed at the edge of the new crater.  The volcano is a potential threat to the environment and hazardous.

3. Karthala – Comoros

Karthala is a large and very active shield volcano with a summit caldera on La Grande Island of the Comores in the western Indian Ocean. It erupts every few years and often produces large lava flows and sometimes has a lava lake in the crater of the Caldera. It formed the southern part of the Comores Island La Grande Comore In 2005, it erupted twice and caused significant problems due to extensive ash fall and contamination of drinking water.

2. Nabro – Ethiopia/Eritrea

Known dangerous Volcanos in Africa

Nabro is a volcano at the end of the Danakil Alps in Eritrea.  It the highest volcano in the Danakil depression. It is a complex volcano with two nested calderas of 8 and 15 km diameter.

-0The stratovolcano is composed of trachytic lava flows and tephra layers. There are post-caldera rhyolitic obsidian domes, and basaltic lava flows inside the caldera and on its flanks. The most recent recordings are lava flows from trending fissures transverse to the NE-SW trend of the Nabro volcanic range.  These three volcanoes, Nabro,

There are post-caldera rhyolitic obsidian domes, and basaltic lava flows inside the caldera and on its flanks. The most recent recordings are lava flows from trending fissures transverse to the NE-SW trend of the Nabro volcanic range.  These three volcanoes, Nabro, Dubbi, Mallahlealong with Sork Ale volcano are part of the Bidu volcanic complex.

1. Mount Nyiragongo – Democratic Republic of Congo

Nyiragongo volcano in The DRC is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa. It is an active and one of the Known dangerous Volcanos in Africa.  It is famous for extended active lava lakes which appear in the summit crater. It is one of eight volcanoes in the Virunga Mountains and located near the town of Goma.  Nyiragongo’s lava lake is sometimes recorded as the largest known lava lake in recent history and remains active to this day, and there could be another eruption shortly.


Another rarer, but potentially more devastating hazard posed by volcanoes is the potential for massive landslides triggered by a collapse of the volcano’s flanks. Such a collapse is rare in African volcanos, but it can cause severe earthquakes.  Most of these volcanoes emit fumes and gases that pollute the environment.


Written by How Africa

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