On the road that runs from the Ngorongoro Crater to Serengeti National Park lies Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Officially known as Oldupai Gorge, which is the Masai word for the wild sisal plant, this site is often referred to as one of the world’s most important palaeoanthropological sites. Here, you will find a number of fossils that were discovered by Mary Leakey in the Laetoli area in 1978. Some dating over 3.75 million years, among these fossils was the now-famous Zinjanthropus skull.
Image: Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania. Harvey Barrison/ Flickr.com/ CC BY-SA 2.0
In early October 2017, Tanzanian Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan unveiled a brand new museum at this site that will help to further promote and educate the important archaeological finds within the Olduvai Gorge area. Situated within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), the new museum is set to provide visitors with even more to see and do on safari in Tanzania.
About the New Museum at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
The new museum at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania will house a wide variety of exhibits, including artifacts collected at major sites and currently preserved at Dar es Salaam Museum in the country’s capital city. The European Union provided 80% of the funds, with the Tanzanian government providing the remaining funds to construct the museum.
Highlights include an exhibition of early stone age finds, along with cultural exhibits featuring the Datoga, Masai and Hadzabe cultures that can be found within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
Public Relations Manager for the NCA, Joyce Mgaya, noted that the new museum far exceeds the size of the previous museum. She also stated that the museum upgrade formed a part of a bigger upgrade to the various sites within Olduvai Gorge. The new museum aims to attract a larger number of global visitors.
Speaking of the museum’s highlights, Joyce Mgaya stated, “Apart from the new museum development, the project includes the Laetoli footprints and a geopark.”
The Laetoli site lies just 60km away from the main site of Olduvai. Here, visitors can see ancient footprints of human ancestors that date back to four million years ago. Other historical sites in Tanzania meanwhile also include the Dar es Salaam Museum, Kalenga and Mwalimu Nyerere mausoleums, Bujora Museum and K. Majimaji War Museum.
Along with its rich cultural attractions, Tanzania is also one of the top safari destinations on earth. This is where the annual Great Wildebeest Migration takes place, with over a million wildebeest, antelope and zebra migrating between Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve and the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. Whether you are here to view wildlife or immerse yourself in culture, a visit to Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania is highly advised on your trip to this part of the world.