Back to Africa Check

No, Kenya’s extinct Mount Longonot didn’t erupt – fire reported on volcano’s southern slope

IN SHORT: An eruption of one of East Africa’s famous volcanoes would have been news. But it didn’t happen.

“BREAKING; Mt. Longonot is currently erupting,” reads a typical version of a claim circulating on Facebook since October 2022.

Kenya’s Mount Longonot volcano gets its name from the Maasai word oloonong’ot, meaning “mountains of many spurs” or “steep ridges”. 

Longonot is an extinct stratovolcano with a peak 2,776 metres above sea level. It lies 60 kilometres northwest of Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, in the Great Rift Valley.

A stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, is a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava (molten or partially molten rock) and tephra (fragments of material produced by a volcanic eruption). 

The Great Rift Valley, better known as the East African Rift, has several famous volcanic mountains, including Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro in neighbouring Tanzania. But they are all either dormant or extinct.

The claim that Longonot has erupted has also been posted here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here on Facebook.

But did it really erupt?


Last Longonot eruption more than 150 years ago

The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) manages 22 national parks, 28 national reserves and five national sanctuaries, including Mount Longonot national park

On their verified Twitter and Facebook pages, KWS dispelled rumours of the eruption.

“A fire outbreak on the southern side of Mt. Longonot N. Park reported on October 27, 2022, has been put out,” the statement reads.

KWS says the park is safe to visit.

The last eruption of Mount Longonot was in 1863.

Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.