Olduvai Gorge

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The Birthplace of Mankind

Originally known as ‘Oldupai’  a Maasai word for sisal, Olduvai Gorge is located between Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.

The gorge was formed about 30,000 years ago as the result of aggressive geological activity and streams. The steep ravine is about 30 miles (48.2 km) long and 295 feet (89.9 metres) deep and is nestled in the Great Rift Valley.

This fascinating site holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. A large number of fossilised bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years found by Paleoanthropologists suggests that humans first evolved in Africa.

In 1986, a team of Tanzanian and American archeologists unearthed 302 bones and teeth belonging to a 1.8 million year old female.

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Olduvai Gorge Highlights

Visiting Olduvai

This trip can be incorporated into any itinerary, and is especially convenient if you are already visiting Ngorongoro and/or Serengeti. 

You will be picked up from your accommodation and drive to the gorge. On the way there you will have great opportunities to spot some wildlife. 

Due to its scenic beauty and fascinating history the Olduvai Gorge is a great addition to any itinerary. 

Immerse yourself into history as you find out more about the oldest evidence of mankind evolution.

This trip is ideal for those who have an interest in archeology, history or evolution of human kind.

The Story of Louis & Mary Leakey

In 1930s, the Leakeys discovered stone tools in Olduvai, as well as several extinct vertebrates, including the 25-million-year-old Pronconsul primate, one of the first and few fossil ape skulls discovered.

In 1959, Mary discovered fossilized parts of a skull and upper teeth of a type of hominin that had not been previously identified.

Over the next several weeks, the Leakeys uncovered about 400 pieces of a nearly complete skull. They dated the discovery as having lived 1.75 million years ago.

By 1960 they had also uncovered a well-preserved fossil foot that had arches, giving credence to the theory that hominins walked upright.

Mary Leakey and son Jonathan found another, smaller form of hominin that they called Homo habilis (“handy human,”), which was dated at about 2 million years old.

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For those of you interested in making your safari extra special there are a number of add-ons that you can enhance your trip with: balloon safaris, horse riding safaris, cultural tours and walking safaris are all available.
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