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Oldoinyo Lengai :

Location: African Rift, Tanzania.

Coordinates: 2 ° S 45 'E 35 ° 54 '

Altitude: 2890m

Short description: active stratovolcano

Red Volcano (Gray during the day and red at night)


Oldoinyo Lengai volcano rises to between 5 and 7 hours depending on the physical level.

The climb is done at night, with a departure from around 1am to avoid the sweltering temperatures in this region of Africa.

The elevation is about 1700m from the point of departure, good physical condition is required since the trail is fairly straightforward and therefore the slope often important.

Walking sticks are strongly recommended and a strong pair of gloves can be useful, both uphill and downhill.

Located south of Lake Natron, Lengai volcano Oldoinyo is the sacred mountain of the Maasai people.

Under the appearance of a symmetrical cone, is a close neighbor of Kilimanjaro and is the only active volcano in the eastern branch of the rift continental East Africa.

The Oldoinyo Lengai is a unique example on Earth, it is the only active volcano to emit carbonatite lava very low silica (<1%) and composed mainly of sodium carbonate.

This type of volcanism have been extremely rare in Germany highlighted the volcano Kaiserstuhl with Gardar in Greenland.

The lava emitted by the Lengai is extremely flowable, has a temperature between 500 and 550 ° C and is dyed black to brown (but still glowing at night).

From 2 hours after the eruption, alteration of minerals under the effect of atmospheric moisture causes the appearance of a white powder consisting essentially of thermonatrite nahcolite and on the surface of the lava, giving it a snowy aspect.

Eventually, she becomes completely white.


Normally the trekking to Oldoinyo Lengai is done as part of Lake Natron visit, the trek start from 22:00hrs to 10:00hrs and can be organized in the village with your local Maasai guide.