Menengai consists of a caldera located on a dormant shield volcano, just north of Nakuru Town in the Rift Valley. Roughly 8km wide, the complex shape suggests that there were different periods of collapse for each part. Different kinds of lava fill much of the caldera. It is not know when Menengai last erupted, although some of the cinder cones on the crater floor emit smoke (hence the Maasai legends surrounding it). This Landsat TM image shows the different lava flows of the crater in varying dark colors. Note the cultivated land all around the crater: once Maasai grazing land, the area has been Kikuyu territory for over a century.
Credit: image processed by Herbert Blodgett of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.