One of the most exciting episodes in the book is the eruption of the volcano and the miraculous escape from certain death of Diego Alvarez and Shankar.
The African continent is highly seismically active, and indeed “Africa is the only region other than the Mediterranean with an historically dated B.C. eruption (at Mount Cameroon, observed by a passing Carthaginian navigator in the 5th century B.C.).” For more details, you should check this and this.
In this post, we shall visit only the mountains that the author has mentioned.
First, the mountain called Ol Doinyo Lengai.
This is an active volcano located in the north of Tanzania and is part of the volcanic system of the Great Rift Valley in Eastern Africa. It is located in the eastern Rift Valley, south of both Lake Natron and Kenya. It is unique among active volcanoes in that it produces natrocarbonatite lava, a unique occurrence of volcanic carbonatite. Further, the temperature of its lava as it emerges is only around 510 °C (950 °F). A few older extinct carbonatite volcanoes are located nearby, including Homa Mountain (ref. Wikipedia).
Another volcano the author mentions is Chimanimani. The Mountains, with their jagged peaks and deep ravines, form a natural border with Mozambique for 40km. Whilst most of the range is in Mozambique, much of the Zimbabwean side is now protected within the Chimanimani National Park.
“The Chimanimani Mountain range is a geological feature pertaining to that rent that runs from the Cape to the Levantine, and is known along most of its distance as the Great Rift Valley. It marks the collision of two tectonic plates, and is poised at the apex of several local ecological zones. The featured of the range are clearly old. There is a gnarled, Tolkienesque venerability in the many, many cracks and fissures, gorges and gullies, lakes and rivers.” To read more about this picturesque place, please go here.
The author mentions Kruger Mountains.
The closest I could get to that is the Kruger National Park, one of the largest game reserves in Africa. To find out more, go here.
The Virunga Mountains, also mentioned in the book, are a chain of volcanoes in East Africa, along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Uganda.
Volcano tourism is big there, and here’s an article on this: “Virunga invites tourists to see Mount Nyamulagira volcano erupt!” Requires more gumption and colones than I, for one, possess!!
There are a few other mountains that the author mentions – Ruwenzori and Richtersveldt being the most important – I will write about them in another post.