Volcano Holiday Destinations: 6 Best Places to Visit in Africa

The continent of Africa is renowned for its diversity and extraordinary beauty. Ancient volcanic eruptions are part of the reason behind this and are among the best places to visit. Visiting the tip volcano holiday destinations in Africa is an opportunity to experience these marvels firsthand.

Africa’s volcanic wonders range from bubbling lakes of lava and rugged terrains to towering mountain peaks and geothermal fountains. They offer an intriguing blend nature’s finest terrains and adventure.

Our detailed guide takes you on a journey through these awe-inspiring landscapes. Whether you are a nature enthusiast or an avid adventurer, these destinations will take your breath away.

Stunning Landscapes in Africa for the Best Volcano Holidays

Afar Triangle, Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia


Located in northeastern Africa, the Afar Triangle is one of the best volcano holiday destinations on the continent. Also known as the Afar Depression, this geological marvel sits on a hotspot where three tectonic plates meet. (The Somali, Arabian and African tectonic plates). It is close to the intersection of the East African Rift Valley, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. This is the only place on the planet, other than Iceland, with a mid-ocean ridge.

The bottom of this depression primarily consists of lava. As a result, the area features multiple active and dormant volcanoes. It is also home to incredible geothermal features such as lava lakes, fumaroles and boiling mud pots. The area also features desert landscapes and salt flats in some of its lowest places. These white salt areas stand in sharp contrast to the surrounding volcanic terrain. The area is home to Lake Asal, which is 509 meters below sea level – the lowest point on the African continent.

Scorching temperatures and low rainfall levels make this one of the most inhospitable places on earth. However, some creatures and plants have found ways to thrive in the high salinity and high temperature setting. These include the planet’s last populations of the African wild ass. The Afar community has also defied the odds and called this place home for centuries.

Damaraland, Namibia

The geologically fascinating landscape of Namibia’s Damaraland is the result of ancient volcanic and tectonic activity. It features vast expanses of stunning desert landscapes in orange and red, rock formations and deep canyons. Some of its famous landmarks are canvasses for intriguing San rock art dating back more than 2,000 years.

Some of the most famous landmarks are volcanic marvels in their own right. The highest mountain in Namibia, Brandberg Mountain, is a huge conical massif made of granite. Its name means fire mountain – inspired by the fiery, red that define the massif at sunrise and sunset. It has a rich gallery of ancient rock art, including the famous White lady. For avid rock art enthusiasts, Twyfelfontein features thousands of engravings from bygone eras.

Another must-see site here is the Messum Crater, is a circular formation measuring 18 kilometers in diameter. An elevated rim wall surrounds a flat interior lined with sparse vegetation, dry riverbeds and rock formations. Red sand contrasts with the green vegetation providing great photo moments.

Spitzkoppe is a huge inselberg – an isolated rock mass jutting out from a flat landscape. Made up of granite, this dramatic mountain has endured years of erosion shaping its jagged peaks. Its unique silhouette makes it an instantly recognizable landmark in this desert landscape.

Harrat Khaybar, Egypt and Sudan

Though it is located in Saudi Arabia, this amazing landscape extends all the way into Egypt and Sudan. It is one of the best volcanic holiday destinations, consisting of numerous marvels. The expansive field features lava flows, cinder cones and volcanic cones.

The basaltic lava fields extend for thousands of kilometers, forming a dark and barren floor. Since it is a lesser-known destination, it remains unspoiled, with some of the volcanic cones nearly intact. Some of the marvelous features here include lava caves, areas of white volcano and numerous mysterious sculptures made of stone.

Comoros Islands

Situated on the Indian Ocean, Comoros Islands sit between the Mozambique coast and the island of Madagascar. These islands are a volcanic archipelago with plenty of features to mesmerize any adventurer.

One of the reasons why this is one of the best volcano holiday destinations is that it still has a number of active volcanoes. This is because it sits on an area of high volcanic activity known as the “Ring of Fire.” The volcanic islands here include Anjouan, Moheli and Grand Comore. The latter is home to the highest volcanic peak, the 2,361-meters tall Mount Karthala. Mount Karthala is an active shield volcano with a huge caldera which has a beautiful crater lake.

Most of the volcanoes here are shield volcanoes and tend to flow gently rather than explode. The areas covered with basaltic lava deposits are incredibly fertile and host lush vegetation. The high fertility levels have also given rise to vibrant tropical forests.

Another highlight here is the presence of geothermal features like hot water springs. These are popular for mineral therapy and general relaxation.

Is it Safe to Visit Active Volcanoes?

The mention of an active volcanic landscape raises many concerns. Many adventurers wonder for instance, ‘Is it safe to visit an active volcano?’ in recent years, the trend of volcano tourism has grown rapidly. Adventurers are flocking to top destinations with active lava eruptions in search of a thrill.

Cautions When Visiting Active Volcanoes

The thought of experiencing a volcanic eruption and seeing red hot lava firsthand is certainly thrilling. But there is need for caution. In order to avoid unnecessary risks:

  • Stay within demarcated safe zones
  • Book trips with registered tour guides with a good reputation for following regulatory guidelines
  • Stay in touch with the latest updates at all times
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Note that some risks are unsee. Volcanic gases may be harmful to infants, pregnant women, young children and persons with respiratory problems

Active Volcano Holiday Destinations in Africa

That said, here are some volcano holiday destinations in Africa with active eruptions and flows:

Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo

Located close to the border of DRC Congo and Rwanda, Mount Nyiragongo is among the continent’s most active volcanoes. This stratovolcano sits on the East African Rift Valley and is known for violent lava explosions.

It is home to one of few lava lakes on the planet, located in a crater on the summit. Its lava flow consists of low-viscosity basalt which continuously spatters.

Mount Nyiragongo emits a similar kind of lava, which flows rapidly as it is relatively fluid. It also spews ash and harmful gasses. Though adventurers love this destination, it is one of the most dangerous ones in Africa.

Erta Ale, The Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Situated in the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia, Erta Ale is one of the most active volcanoes worldwide. It consists of a series of shield volcanoes and on its summit has multiple calderas and pits. The active ones among these usually emit low-viscosity lava which flows gently.

Among its most iconic features is a lava lake in a pit crater at the top of its summit. It constantly churns to create a mesmerizing spectacle. However, it also emits dangerous gases which are bad for the environment and people in the surroundings.

Quench Your Thirst for Adventure in Africa’s Volcano Holiday Destinations

Without doubt, Africa is home to some of the most captivating volcano holiday destinations in the world. The diverse array of options here includes tropical islands, majestic mountains and surreal desert landscapes. A trip to any one of these is a journey back into time, showcasing the forces that have shaped the continent. Whether you are new to volcano tourism or an avid explorer, these are some of the best places to quench your thirst for adventure.

Beyond the African continent, there are numerous geologic wonders around the globe that are the product of volcanic activity. Waimea Canyon, one of the secret canyons in the US, is a prime example to explore.

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