Safari in Africa, Day 3 – Oldupai Gorge, Where Humankind Started?

Oldupai Gorge is a famous archaeological site as they found there remains of the earliest humans. It makes it one of the most important places in the world to study our origins and our evolution.

 

This visit was part of our 6-day safari in Tanzania. We stopped there in the morning, on our way to Serengeti National Park.

 

DSC00510 - Olduvai Gorge
Geology lesson watching the layers of the Earth

We visited the museum and assisted to a trained local guide’s speech in front of what I felt was an open-air museum. I was good to learn about our ancestors and on the Earth geology this way. We were listening to the guide as she was pointing to the different areas in the gorge in front of us to illustrate her lesson. For example, we could clearly see the different layers of the Earth that have settled down for millions of years. The strata were exposed to the air just in front of us. It makes so much more sense than a description by itself, and I will for sure remember it better than if I only saw a photo!

 

Have you heard of Lucy? She lived 3.2 million years ago and was a “hominin”, an early human ancestor. In Oldupai Gorge, they have found several footprints from hominins. Some of them are very well-preserved. They have displayed in the museum the evolution of footprints. We can see the evolution of the way creatures stood and walked straight millions of years ago.

In addition to footprints, the museum displays a lot of fossils from the gorge. Many information on the work done by the archaeologists on the site is also put forward.

This visit was unexpected and very different from the primary game driving activity we did during the safari. I always prefer to see for real what I read in my History or Science books or, or even in museums. I was not too keen on going there initially but the explanations from the guide were good, so I found the visit and the experience satisfying. Still, I preferred the idea of looking for wild animals in the savannah.

 

Where is Olduvai Gorge?

The gorge is in the Great Rift Valley, between the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park.

 

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