OL DOINYO LENGAI
Ol Doinyo Lengai is known among geologists for its natro-carbonatite lava, in fact it is the only known active volcano in the world erupting this kind of lava. While it is thinner and more fluid than the fiery red lava rich in silicate minerals, it is most easily distinguished by its colour: Ol Doinyo Lengai’s lava is black!This unusual black colour results from its composition and the comparably low temperature at which it erupts. While basalt based lava erupting from volcanos in Hawaii reach scorching 1100 degrees Celsius, the Mountain of God’s cough appears rather cool at about 510 degrees Celsius.Once it gets in contact with moisture, the lava turns white. Looking at Ol Doinyo Lengai with unsuspecting eyes, you might think its peak is covered in snow, while in fact it is black lava turned white.While you can climb the mountain, you need to be prepared for a tough hike: once in contact with rain, the decomposed lava rocks turn brittle and crumble easily, making the steep ascent all the more demanding.Only a few kilometres from the mountain, scientists discovered several hundreds of ancient footprints, preserved in a mudflat near the village of Engare Sero for the past 19,000 years. One area shows so many footprints that the scientists nicknamed it the “dance room”.
A volcanic eruption is imminent Local villagers living in the area in 2017 will be looking at Ol Doinyo Lengai even more closely in the weeks and months to come: scientists monitoring the volcano have noted increased activity, signalling that an eruption might be “imminent”. But no one is packing their bags just yet as “imminent” in geologist-speak can mean anything between a couple of weeks, months or even a year. The last major eruptions were recorded in 2008.However, there are clear signs such as earthquakes and increased ash emissions which suggest that the Masai’s God Ngai, living on the volcano, is not content and might vent her anger in a volcanic eruption sooner rather than later.
Attractions in Oldoinyo Lengai
1: Engaresero Waterfalls
hidden in the depths of the Ngare Sero Gorge is the hidden gem of the region with a series of stunning waterfalls,The Engaresero Waterfall is in the Lake Natron region, just below the foot of the Ol Doinyo Lengai Mountain
2: Lake Natron
Lake Natron is a salt or alkaline lake located in north Ngorongoro District of Arusha Region in Tanzania. It is in the Gregory Rift, which is the eastern branch of the East African Rift Valley. The lake is within the Lake Natron Basin
3: Maasai Bomas
Masai families live in small traditional bomas which the women make from mud, sticks, grass and cow dung. Bomas are scattered over the area and are just large enough for sleeping and cooking. Women leave them at dawn each day to fetch firewood and water. Children spend their days playing around the boma and are taught to tend livestock while still very young.