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Olduvai Gorge visit

Olduvai Gorge visit

Reviews: Olduvai Gorge visit

Below are independent comments from 11 of our travellers who have done this activity and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.

Showing 1-10 of 11
Date
Mr DG
New Hampshire

"Olduvai Gorge - A Must-See Experience"

Based at Entamanu Ngorongoro on 14 Dec 2022
"Olduvia Gorge is a must-see experience for anyone interested in archeology and human evolution. It is easy to get to as it lies off the road linking the Ngorongoro Crater rim with the Serengeti. The ride along this road itself is entertaining as it provides interesting vistas of rolling hills and Maasai villages framed by mountains in the background. We also saw a number of giraffes munching on the leaves of Acacia trees during the drive.

Our visit to the gorge itself involved four different activities. The first involved an excellent lecture from a museum guide as we sat in a small amphitheater overlooking the impressive gorge. We were the only visitors that morning, so we were fortunate to have the sole attention of the guide. He described the geology and layout of the gorge, the history of the explorations made over time in the gorge, the types of stone tools that were excavated, and the chronology of the discovery of the different types of hominins unearthed in the gorge. Much attention was paid to the contributions of Louis and Mary Leakey during the various excavations they made at the gorge for more than 40 years. Their contributions included discovering the first simple stone tools made by humans and fossils of the earliest human ancestors, as well as promoting the theory that humans originated in Africa.

A tour of the modern museum was our second activity. It is definitely worth a visit. It is organized into a number of well-lit rooms with interesting, well-explained exhibits, including: many of the stone tools that were discovered in the gorge; reproductions of the fragments of the skulls and skeletons of the various hominin species excavated (the originals are in a museum in Dar es Salaam); bones of ancient animals; reproductions of two famous hominin skeletons found elsewhere in East Africa; and casts of the earliest hominin footprints in the world showing individuals walking on two-feet that were discovered at nearby Laetoli.

Our third activity was a drive into the gorge to see the sites where many of the discoveries were made. There is a small exhibit and a plaque embedded in the place where, in 1959, Mary Leakey found part of a jaw bone with two teeth and a skull a few days later of an early hominin species.

We also visited the nearby Mary Leakey Living Museum that consists of a set of the original buildings that Mary Leakey used after she returned to do further excavations of the gorge. The buildings included her living quarters, a kitchen, a storeroom containing filing boxes, a windmill and a large number of batteries used to generate electricity, and her old Land Rover. We were amazed at the simplicity of the living quarters - a bed and a few tables - and marveled that she could have functioned so well for all those years in such sparse living quarters in a very hot climate.

An added bonus to our visit was a short drive out into a desert-like area of the savannah to a place known as the Shifting Sands. The Shifting Sands is a crescent-shaped dune, maybe 10 meters in height, that consists of highly magnetized volcanic ash with much darker texture than the surrounding soil. The ash feels very gritty and dense to the touch. Because the ash is highly magnetized, the particles stick together rather than being blown away by the wind. The most amazing thing is that the entire dune moves slowly each year in strong winds. Stone markings have been placed at different points in the area to indicate the distance - approximately 17 meters - that the dune has moved each year.

Finally, we ate a very pleasant brunch on a grassy hilltop overlooking the Shifting Sands and the savannah. The vista was impressive because there was nothing else to see for what seemed many miles." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Mr & Mrs A.
Oregon

"Olduvai Gorge visit review"

Based at Lemala Ngorongoro on 6 Oct 2021
"Worth the stop if you have an interest in anthropology.

Somewhat overwhelming amount of information for anyone who isn't more than passively interested.

Well-designed information center and amphitheater overlooking the Gorge." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Good
Mandolin
Surrey

"Fabulous, fascinating and thought-provoking"

17 Nov 2020
"We stopped here on the way from Lemala Ngorongoro to Lemala Nanyukie so we only stayed a couple of hours but I could have lingered all day. It was so, so interesting with lots of exhibits and everything was clearly labelled in English as well as Swahili, to show what it was, where it was found and what secrets it had revealed about our ancestors and how they developed. Highly recommended if you happen to be in the area." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Dr C
Newmarket

"Olduvai Gorge visit review"

Based at Lemala Ngorongoro on 4 Feb 2020
"It does my heart good to see the continued improvements at Oldupai; what a treasure this site is for Tanzania.

I thoroughly enjoyed the short lecture, the displays and the lovely new lecture gallery.

I never get tired of visiting this spot. It holds so much history and continues to feed my imagination." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Jonathan
bronte

"Olduvai Gorge visit review"

Based at Ngorongoro Farmhouse Lodge on 9 Oct 2019
"A nice place to stop and break the drive up.

Good set-up and they provided a short lecture in the outdoor area which was interesting.

Overall it was worthwhile.

We didn't bother driving on to see the moving sands." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Mr D.
Cambridge

"Olduvai Gorge visit review"

Based at Lemala Ngorongoro on 9 Sep 2019
"A very interesting and informative visit." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Mr & Mrs D
Hampshire

"Olduvai Gorge visit review"

Based at Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge on 6 Sep 2019
"The museum here is new and very interesting, and the talk by a local guide is quite good. I feel a bit more could have been made of this, perhaps by more involvement of the visitors, and/or a visit into the gorge rather than just looking from the rim." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Good
Dip & family
Cardiff

"Olduvai Gorge visit review"

Based at Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge on 3 Aug 2019
"Enjoyed the museum, worth visiting." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Marilyn & Duane
CA

"Very interesting hislory"

Based at Rhino Lodge on 3 Aug 2019
"Olduvai Gorge is famous for its research. The museum part was a bit disappointing, some good stuff but a lot more words than displays. I think it could be more engaging given the work the Leakey’s did. I am glad we saw it, an iconic place in the world." Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Good
Mrs C
Highgate

"Very interesting, great museum"

Based at Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge on 27 Jul 2019
"Really good museum and interesting talk. Well worth a visit" Read more about this whole safari
Overall
Excellent
Showing 1-10 of 11
95%
11 reviews of this excursion by travellers since Aug-2007.
Overall rating by our travellers
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