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Geysers of Africa

The list

Here are listed locations with geysers, extinct (or may be - dormant?) geysers, perpetual spouters and cold water geysers of Africa. Locations are listed in alphabetic order.

Allalobed geysers and hot springs

Geysers in Ethiopia, Afar

Surprisingly little known is the beautiful geothermal area south from Tendaho and Dubti.

This area is named "Allalobad" - "the waters of Allah", but often is named after the nearby villages.

One of the hot water pools here acts as a nearly constant geyser - Allallobeda Spouter, which often is 6 m tall but in rare cases - even 30 m tall. Surface of the water in this pool is 97°C hot.

There is one more geyser in another spring - it is just 0.3 m tall. Some more springs are pulsating, sometimes boiling more intensely.

Analavory Geysers

Analavory Geyser, Madagascar
One of Analavory geysers / Rakotozafy Harison Sangitiana, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Cold water geysers in Madagascar, Itasy Region

Analavory Geysers are not true geysers but partly artificial cold water geysers powered by carbon dioxide.

These springs have developed at the end of pipelines of abandoned mines and over the years have formed interesting travertine mounds.

 

Buranga Hot Springs

Mumbuga erupting spring, Uganda
Mumbuga erupting spring, Sempaya Hot Springs / sarahemcc, , CC BY 2.0
Perpetual spouter in Uganda, Western Region

Some of the most amazing hot springs in East Africa are Buranga Hot Springs. Currently here are flowing 37 springs which receive the geothermal heat from the deep faults of East African Rift System. One of the springs - Mumbuga spring - is a perpetual spouter - a permanent small fountain.

 

Chemurkeu Hot Springs, Lake Bogoria

Geysers in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

Chemurkeu springs are located to the south of the most famous Lake Bogoria geysers - Loburu Geysers.

Springs are located close to the lake, some springs are even inside the lake. In total here are 40 hot springs, 4 geysers among them. One geyser is up to 1.2 m high, one is less than 0.3 m high. Geysers have formed carbonate terraces.

Dallol salt springs and geysers

Dallol salt springs
Dallol salt springs / Hervé Sthioul, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0
Geysers in Ethiopia, Afar

One of the most unusual places on Earth is Dallol Volcano. It is dubbed to be the most colourful place on Earth and the hottest place in the world. This is the only volcano in the world below the sea level and without water over it. This place has got the only geysers of salt and acid in the world - and lots of them!

 

Lake Abaya Hot Springs (Chokore Hot Springs)

Extinct geysers in Ethiopia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region

There are numerous hot springs around Lake Abaya. Chokore Hot Springs (Chakoware Hot Springs) north from the lake recently had even some geysers.

Geysers were active here up to 1979 - the last geyser was erupting erratically, up to 1.8 m high.

Geyser of Edo Laki Island, Langano Lake

Extinct geyser in Ethiopia, Oromiya

In the northern part of Langano Lake is located a deep, round bay with an island in the centre. This island has different names - Edo Laki, O'a and also Geyser Island. For several decades here was located impressive geyser, which now has disappeared.

Koibobei Hot Springs and Geysers

Geysers in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

A larger group of hot springs at Lake Bogoria. Here are located three geysers. The largest is Koibobei Geyser reaching up to 4.6 m high. Two more geysers are less impressive - 0.3 - 0.7 m high.

Loburu Geysers and Hot Springs, Lake Bogoria

Lake Bogoria, geyser and flamingos
Lake Bogoria, geyser and flamingos / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Geysers in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

The best place to see geysers in Africa is Lake Bogoria. In several locations around this lake at one time can be seen more than 10 geysers, but the best known here are Loburu Geysers.

Here are found more than 50 hot springs, at least 3 perpetual spouters and six geysers, where one reaches up to 5 m high.

Logipi Geyser

Extinct geyser in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

As the Suguta River is passing through the Gap (a place, where the flat Suguta valley is flanked by two volcanoes), the river is supplemented by numerous hot springs flowing from both sides of the valley. One of these springs - Logipi Geyser - up to the recent times was an active geyser.

Losaramat Hot Springs and Geysers

Geysers in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

Losaramat geothermal area is one of four areas with geysers around Lake Bogoria. Here are 17 hot springs with 3 geysers among them. Each of the geysers is some 0.7 m high.

North Island Geyser, Lake Turkana

Extinct geyser in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

In 2004 there was observed geyser activity on the North Island of Lake Turkana. It is deserted summit of dormant volcano, crossed by a fault line. In the southern part of the island are observed hot springs and steam vents, fumaroles and solfataras.

Soborom geothermal field and Yerike hot spring

Extinct geyser in Chad, Tibesti

The most interesting geothermal features of Sahara are seen in Soborom geothermal field. Here are located steam jets, boiling mud pots and solfataras.

The hottest spring pool is named Yerike - gas constantly is rising from it and the pool is bubbling as if boiling.

The temperature of springs in Soborom is between 22 and 88°C. Here is emanating also sulphur and iron, both have colored the soil in vivid colors.

Soro Hot Springs, Ol Kokwe Island

Extinct geysers in Kenya, Rift Valley Province

The largest island in Lake Baringo is Ol Kokwe - a summit of extinct volcano.

In 1902 here (above the lake level) existed springs which on a regular basis erupted - geysers. Over the last decades geysers have not been observed here anymore, here are located boiling springs.

Any more geysers in Africa?

In literature there have been mentioned some more geysers in Africa... which for most part are not geysers:

  • Chibwatata Geyser (10) in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe most likely is a hot spring near Lake Kariba.
  • Chilambwa Geyser (10) in the Southern Province of Zambia is considered to be an artesian well wich decades ago was behaving like a fountain. Now here is a salt spring. If so - this is far from being a geyser.
  • Chimanimani Geyser. (10) There have been reports about a geyser in Chimanimani, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. Water was spouting several feet high. Some of springs (Nyanyadzi Hot Springs?, Rupise Hot Springs?) here are very hot, close to boiling, but there is not found any direct information about true contemporary geysers or perpetual spouters here.
  • Goa Geysers near Shoma (11) - ?, Zambia. These seem to be cold water geysers, as the temperature is shown 26 - 63°C. Mentioned that here are several spouting springs, which have created large deposits of tufa and sinter. Again - no more information...
  • N'Kala Geysers(11) - Southern Province, Zambia. Mentioned as spouting springs in the work of D.Fergusson, 1903. Could not find any more information...
  • Ta'hou geysers (4) - Afar (?), Ethiopia. These very well could be Allalobed geysers, but as well - some other geysers. Mentioned in the book of Charles Johnston, issued long ago - in 1844. Author writes, that his local guides told him about evil jinns embodied as "several boiling springs, a few yards distance from each other, that threw up columns of hot water and vapour, several feet high. Around the borders of these steam fountains a large quantity of a very white stone is found." Author mentions that this is in the country of Danakils, on the caravan route "from Owssa to Gondah" - a placenames, which do not correspond to any known current place names in Ethiopia.
  • Zongola Geyser (10, 11) (Fulunka Geyser) in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, (suspiciously close to Chibwatata Geyser - may be it is the same?) is (or was) a hot spring with 90°C temperature. This spring might be flooded by Lake Kariba. Here were located 8 springs, one of them is (or was) perpetual spouter, up to 2.5 m high (local people in the 19th century told that earlier it was up to 5 m high), temperature of water - 97°C. Formed travertine and sinter.

Some other misunderstandings

An image of an engraving circulating in internet, named "Zambia: Kazembe: The Great Geyser, antique print, 1880" is misnamed. It shows Geysir in Iceland and refers to the next article of the collection of truly exciting travel stories "Illustrated Travels: a Record of Discovery, Geography, and Adventure", edited by H.W.Bates and issued in 1880.

In earlier literature there could be found reference to spouting springs near Lake Hannington in Kenya (10). Well, many Eastern African lakes earlier were called in names given by Europeans, now we use local names. These are the same four groups of excellent geysers around Lage Bogoria, such as Loburu Geysers.

Map of African geysers

The map below shows 14 locations in Africa where geysers (or something what is called - geysers) can be found or existed in the past.

If "lost", refresh the page to see all sites!

 

Geysers of Africa

Best known geysers of the world are located in United States, Iceland and New Zealand, sometimes there are mentioned also geysers of Chile and Russia. But far less known are the other geysers of the world.

Wondermondo has made a summary of information about some of the least known geysers in the world - geysers of Africa.

True geysers exist in two African countries - Ethiopia and Kenya. In the past they (possibly) existed in Chad. In Uganda is known interesting perpetual spouter, but in Madagascar - beautiful cold water geysers. There are unclear reports about geysers or cold water geysers in Zimbabwe and Zambia in the recent past.

Geysers of Ethiopia

Currently there are two active geyser fields in Ethiopia - Allalobed geysers and Dallol salt springs and geysers. Both are located in Afar region. Dallol salt springs and geysers certainly belong to most surprising geothermal features on the world - here exists a whole wonderworld of colourful salt terraces. Allalobed Geyser seems to be the highest in continent - in rare cases it has been erupting up to 30 m high.

In the past there were known more geysers along the East Africa Rift zone - but these are extinct now. It is still possible that there exist geysers not mentioned here.

Geysers of Kenya

Kenya has the best geyser fields of Africa in four locations around Lake Bogoria. At one time here might be erupting 10 geysers, but several more are dormant and can start acting as the lake changes its water level.

One of Loburu geysers, Lake Bogoria
Eruption of Loburu geyser at Lake Bogoria / / CC BY 2.0

In the past there were more geysers in Kenya - now they are extinct or dormant. It is well possible that here exist some more active geyser fields, not mentioned in this page.

Chad, Madagascar, Uganda

Reports about geyser in Tibesti Mountains, Chad are not convincing and nowadays here are up to 88°C hot, fervently boiling springs.

The interesting cold water geysers near Analovary (Madagascar) often are presented as true geysers. These springs have formed amazing travertine mounds and represent truly beautiful natural landmarks.

One of Buranga hot springs (Uganda) is perpetual spouter - "almost geyser". This amazing spring has formed a cone of travertine with fountain on the top of it.

References

  1. Fergusson, David. The geysers or hot springs of the Zambesi and Kafue valleys. 1903.
  2. Glennon J. Alan, Pfaff M. Rhonda, The Operation and Geography of Carbon Dioxide-Driven, Cold Water "Geysers". 2004.
  3. Gouin, Pierre. Earthquake History of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. 1979, Ottawa.
  4. Johnston, Charles. Travels in Southern Abyssinia through the Country of Adal to the Kingdom of Shoa, 1844.
  5. Kalb, John. Adventures in the Bone Trade. The race to Discover Human Ancestors in Ethiopia's Afar Depression. 2001.
  6. Nachtigal, Gustav. Sahara und Sudan, 1879, Leipzig, F.A.Brockhaus
  7. Nyakecho, Catherine. Preliminary Environmental Impact Assessment for the Development of Buranga Geothermal Prospect, Uganda. 2008. Accessed on June 15, 2011.
  8. Ochmann Norbert, Lindenfeld Michael, Barbirye Paula, Stadtler Christopher, Microearthquake Survey at the Buranga Geothermal Prospect, Western Uganda, Proceedings, Thirty-Second Workshop on Geothermal Reservoir Engineering. Accessed on June 15, 2011.
  9. Renaut, Robin W., R. Bernhart Owen, John K. Ego, Recent changes in geyser activity at Loburu, Lake Bogoria, Kenya Rift Valley. 2008.
  10. Scott, T. Bryan. The Geysers of Yellowstone, Fourth Edition. 2008, Boulder.
  11. Waring, A. Gerald. Thermal springs of the United States and other countries of the world. 1965.

Some interesting images

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