a dusty affair. As a pre taste for the Oldoinyo
Lengai camp we could feel the pure fine dust which was creeping through
every little chink.
wall: Each settlement is surrounded with a solid wood
barricade which should keep away wild quadruped, tourist etc..... Like
Martin needs to say: The human beeing in this region of the world does not
belong to the end of the food chain. In this landscape it is amazing under
which hard conditions the Masai people can survive.
TheLengai with the
wild life and morning
impressions on the 'Mountain of god'
The LakeNatron with its
magnificent bird world
To evade the hot temperatures the ascent of the expedition
was started around 1 o'clock at night. Beside our luggage, 35 porters
transported in stages 250 litres water, meals for twelve persons for eight
days up to the 2835 m level of the north crater. The summit height of this
volcano is about 2955 m. While concentrating to balance the cameras and the
other optics over the steep and rocky slopes the Masais were ascending like
gazelles. Additionally an extreme cold and strong storm was treating us badly.
Inside the crater plateau pieces of loosen lava were taken up from the storm
and facial collisions has been very painful. Together with the cement-like
dust in the crater camp it was nearly impossible to film or taking photos.
Nice to imagine if that weather disaster would have continued the next eight
days. Nothing as dust before the camera... plus small scratches on the films.The
the Masai- porter after our arrival at the summit. The dark atmosphere
resulted from the strong sandstorm. Here we met also the ChrisWeber group which
observed the volcanic activities already five days before.
always changing landscape of the northern crater plateau. The lava flows
expanded during one week over the south and north east part.
The map is based on the GPS measurements
The link to the site
(V.E.I.) is at the end of this page
The T58 Cones from the afternoon into
Lengai and astronomy
The southern Milky Way and the Zodiacal
(Wide angle, 20 mm
Night photos of the cones. This fantastic scenery acquires
the digital exposure technology. In case of the long exposure times, the red
incandescence walls of the main cone did become effective on the chip. For
the human eye the reflection at the white cone walls of the weak shining
lava lake was hard to discover.
* Zodiacal light.
Illuminated space dust which is concentrated in the ecliptic layer of our
solar system. Every body or planet belonging to our system leaves a little
track of material (dirt) while orbiting around the sun. In equatorial areas
this light pyramid is standing nearly vertical. Straight
on waking up from my nap the
first activity already announced itself. The
cone broke laterally and up to 10 meter high ejections were catapulted out
from the hole. For the first time I saw this strange lava mass silvery
shining in the sun.
highly liquid lava which changes immediately into the AA lava consists mainly
of Natriumcarbonate (Soda).During
the observation I saw one detail that this lava at the south cone had
pearl-like components and already with the exit a minimum roll effect was
resulting from this partial viscosity. This strange behaviour of currency
which differs also acoustically from the silicate lava was moving very
rapidly, and you must react very fast to evade larger lava quantities during
The temperature measurement of the ChrisWeber group
some days before was about 560 C°
4th day; Collapse of the bridge
The activities were still going on through the
night. At the same time a loud lava lake made itself attentive in the main
which was observed from us standing on a lava bridge. There was only one big
problem. Assuming by us falsely, this bridge should have be of a good static
On the photo you can see us standing on the
bridge. Right: The first setting cracks of the weakened nature building
already start s to get bigger.
To create the general tendency more precarious in our group -
take the lava bridge inside the cone T56 B and step on it
to recognise afterwards that this plateau was broken down half
an hour later – completely!!!
our surprise no base pillar exists under this bridge and after
the breakdown the wild raving lava lake with a supposed diameter of 15 meters
was offered to us. If someone would have been on this natural cantilevered
construction we would have had a dead- surely barbecue at this
Now it is also understandable why FredBelton was running after this discovery
extremely nervously to the camp to count every one.
Nearly coming in trouble,
I have to mention Olivier and Fabian: They did experience this
happening more promptly. They stood 15 minutes before the collapse on this
day; free view into the lake
collapse of the bridge had the big advantage that we had finally a free view
on the lava lake. More respectfully we placed ourselves again at this place
and recognised also that the cone wall partly broke down too. The picture from
Martin shows the abruptly ending footprints at the edge.
Nevertheless a marvellous sight.Standing inside cone the gurgling noise was amplified so
strengthened that we did almost had problems understanding our own words. Nice
to mention that from the distance (camp) the sound reminded me of
a mild sea surf. Together with the full moon a great romantic
The photos from Martin shows the open
lava lake after the collapse