Size: 48 sq km (30 km sq miles).
Location: Northern Tanzania, 300 km (190 miles) Northwest of Arusha.
Olduvai Gorge or Oldupai Gorge is commonly referred to as “The Cradle of Mankind.” It is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley, which stretches along East Africa. The gorge is in the eastern Serengeti in northern Tanzania and is about 30 miles (48 km) long. Olduvai is locally called ìOldupai,î a name given by the Maasai for the Sisal growing in the gorge.
Olduvai Gorge is known is known for the fantastic archeological, homo habilis discoveries made by Doctors Louis and Mary Leakey, including the skull of a humanoid believed to be 1.75 million years old. The place lies on the short grass plains of the Serengeti. Not only have fossils of humanoid origin such as the homo habilis in Tanzania have been found, but also fossils from prehistoric animals that lived around them.
An American and Tanzanian archeological team made the latest and probably greatest findings in 1986. They discovered human fossils including 302 bones and teeth belonging to a female some 1.8 million years old. Excavations still continue in the gorge during the dry season, and you can enter the gorge with a guide. There is also a small museum showing some of the finds and a resting place suitable for a picnic lunch. Olduvai Gorge is located on the way between Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti and is part of many of our itineraries. It is a geographical masterpiece that gives travelers a history of mankind – homo habilis in Tanzania, Africa.
There is little wildlife surrounding Olduvai Gorge. The gorge is home to more than 150 different species of extinct mammals and birds that are excavated during the dry season.
How To Get There
Olduvai Gorge is located between the†Serengeti†and†Ngorongoro Crater†along the northern circuit. By road, charter or scheduled flight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and†Lake Manyara.
What to do
The gorge is one of the most important Archeological sites in the world and is know for fossils of prehistoric tools and homo habilis in Tanzania. Visit the small museum to learn more about the on-going excavations. Include a visit to Olduvai Gorge in your holiday itinerary.
When to go
Dry season (July-October) to witness excavations by museum and university archeologists or the museum.
There are a few camps to stay at in Olduvai Gorge with most campers staying at nearby Simba site