Mount Karthala Volcano

Mount Karthala Volcano

Mount Karthala or Karthola is an active volcano and the highest point of Comoros at 2,361 m above sea level. It is the southernmost and larger of the two shield volcanoes forming Grande Comore Island, the largest island in the nation of Comoros.

The mountain is covered by moist evergreen forest up to about 1800 meters above sea-level. Higher up the vegetation consists of stunted trees and heathland where the giant heather where Erica Comorensis grows.

Many of the species found on the mountain are unique to Comoros and four bird species are found only on the slopes of Mount Karthala: Karthala scops owl, Comoro drongo, Comoro white eye, and the Humblot’s flycatcher The Mountain’s forest is threatened by logging and the spread of agriculture. A nature reserve has been proposed to cover the mountain; it has not yet been created.

All you need to know about Mount Karthala Volcano

Mount Karthala volcano on the Indian Ocean archipelago of Comoros, which threatened further eruption as lava bubbled atop it on Monday:

  • One of the largest active volcanoes in the world, the 2,361-metre (7,746 feet) Mount Karthala and its thickly-forested slopes form much of the landmass of Grande Comore, the biggest island in the Comoros chain which lies 300 km (190 miles) off east Africa.
  • Karthala has erupted every 11 years on average over the last two centuries, but it has not caused major destruction. Noxious fumes seeping from cracks suffocated 17 people in 1903 in its worst disaster on record.
  • Scientists at the Karthala observatory say that the volcano’s crater, which is about 4 km (2.5 miles) wide, is the largest of any active volcano in the world. Volcanologists describe Karthala as a basaltic shield volcano with broad, gentle slopes.
  • The volcano erupted twice in 2005, depositing ash on most of the island, forcing thousands to flee their homes and contaminating water supplies. An eruption in July 1991 hurled boulders for several km but caused no injuries.
  • Molten rock dribbling from the sides of the volcano destroyed some 300 houses in the village of Singani in April 1977, although locals managed to flee to safety. An 1860 lava flow from the summit traveled about 13 km (8 miles), reaching the western coast north of the capital Moroni.

How to get to Mount Karthala Volcano

Mount Karthala is located 10 kilometers (6 miles) northwest of Moroni the main capital of Comoros, travellers can take a hired vehicle to mount Karthala volcano, those that have booked hiking safaris will be picked from their hotel in Moroni and transferred to the volcanic mountain.

Hiking Mount Karthala Volcano

The 2,361m volcanic summit will give you some of the spectacular challenges of hiking in Comoros Island, the volcano last erupted in 2007 making it some of the active volcanoes alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Nyiragongo.

2-3 days is required to hike the volcano and travelers must find out the state of the volcano before booking a safari as it is predicted that the volcano erupts every 11 years.

Best time to Visit Mount Karthala Volcano

Hiking safaris to Karthala national park can be done all year round, though come from April to November for the driest and balmiest conditions and this makes the hikes easy.

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