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Olduvai Gorge, also known as Oldupai Gorge, is a famous archaeological site located in the Great Rift Valley in Tanzania. The site is often referred to as the “Cradle of Mankind” as it has been the site of some of the most important archaeological discoveries of human evolution. The gorge is approximately 50 kilometers long and lies within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Olduvai Gorge is known for its rich history and prehistoric significance. It was formed about 30,000 years ago as a result of tectonic activity, which created a deep canyon in the area. The layers of sediment in the gorge have preserved a wealth of information about the history of life on earth. The first discoveries of hominid fossils in Olduvai Gorge were made in the 1930s by Louis and Mary Leakey, who were instrumental in advancing our understanding of human evolution.
When to visit
The best time to visit Olduvai Gorge is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, the weather is dry and sunny, and it is easier to navigate the trails around the gorge. The months of January to February are also a great time to visit as this is the calving season for the wildebeest and zebra, and visitors can witness the incredible sight of thousands of baby animals being born. The rainy season, which runs from November to May, can make the trails muddy and difficult to navigate, and many of the animals move to higher ground, making them harder to spot.
Things to do
Visit the Olduvai Gorge Museum
The museum is located near the entrance to the gorge and provides visitors with an overview of the history and significance of the site. Visitors can see displays of artifacts and fossils that have been found in the area and learn about the work of the Leakey family, who were instrumental in uncovering the secrets of human evolution.
Take a Guided Tour of the Gorge
Visitors can take a guided tour of the gorge and learn about the different layers of sediment that have been preserved in the area. The tour takes visitors through different areas of the gorge, including the famous Shifting Sands, which is a giant sand dune that moves across the landscape.
Hike in the Surrounding Area
The area around Olduvai Gorge is home to a variety of wildlife, including giraffes, zebras, and wildebeest. Visitors can take a hike through the surrounding landscape and witness the incredible sight of these animals living in their natural habitat.
Visit Nearby Attractions
The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is home to a variety of other attractions, including the Ngorongoro Crater and the Empakai Crater. Visitors can take a day trip to these attractions and witness the incredible natural beauty of the area.
Experience Local Culture
The area around Olduvai Gorge is home to the Maasai people, who have lived in the area for centuries. Visitors can experience local culture by visiting one of the many Maasai villages in the area and witness traditional dances and rituals.