Olduvai Gorge

Northern Circuit

Olduvai Gorge

Conservation Areas, Historical Sites 48.2 km long and 89.9 m deep Northern Circuit, Arusha

The Olduvai Gorge, which is a remarkable archaeological site in East Africa and perhaps in the world. It was officially recognized as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Exposed within the sides of the gorge is a remarkably rich chronicle of human ancestry and the evolution of the Serengeti ecosystem.

It was here that Mary and Louis Leakey, over the course of more than 30 years of backbreaking work, unearthed the first well-dated fossils and artefacts of some of our earliest human ancestors. 

Their discoveries include the famous Zinjanthropus (Australopithecus boisei) skull, as well as remains of  Homo habilis, the presumed maker of the numerous early stone tools found in deposits ranging in age from 1.6 to 1.8  million years ago, and Homo erectus, the larger- bodied and larger- brained hominin that preceded the earliest modern humans (Homo sapiens).

The gorge may be visited year-round. It is necessary to have an official guide to visit the actual excavations.

Length:55 km (34m) | Deep: 100 m | Excavation Since: 1930s

Olduvai Gorge Museum

Olduvai Gorge Museum exhibits numerous fossils, stone tools of our hominid ancestors and skeletons of many extinct animals excavated in the gorge. 

Mary Leakey founded the museum in 1970. In 2017, The Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority replaced the original museum structure by constructing a new museum and visitors centre.

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