Everything to know about Olduvai Gorge

Everything to know about Olduvai Gorge, also known as the Cradle of Mankind: About 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Laetoli, another significant archaeological locality of early human occupation, it is a steep-sided ravine in the Great Rift Valley that runs across East Africa. It is located in the eastern Serengeti Plains within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in the Olbalbal ward located in Ngorongoro District of Arusha Region. The excavation and study programs in Olduvai Gorge were started by the British/Kenyan paleoanthropologist-archeologist pair of Mary and Louis Leakey, who made significant contributions to human knowledge. These projects are now well-known worldwide.

The Maasai phrase oldupai, which means “the place of the wild sisal,” in reference to the abundance of East African wild sisal (Sansevieria ehrenbergii) in the canyon area, is how the gorge got its name. The gorge carves into the sediments of the Pleistocene lake bed to a depth of 90 meters, 25 kilometers downstream of Lake Ndutu and Lake Masek. Eight kilometers from the mouth, a subsidiary gorge that rises from Lemagrut Mountain merges with the main valley. The shoreline of a prehistoric lake, rich in fossils and early hominid settlements, is followed by this side gorge. The fossils in the gorge were kept alive by recurrent flows of volcanic ash from Olmoti and Kerimasi.

The area is noteworthy for demonstrating the rising social and developmental complexity of the earliest humans, or hominins, which was primarily demonstrated in the making and usage of stone tools. Prior to the development of tools, scavenging and hunting activity can be inferred from the ratio of meat to plant matter in early hominin diets and the existence of gnaw marks that precede cut marks. An indication of growing social interaction and community activities is the gathering of tools and animal remains in one location. Many of these things point to an improvement in cognitive abilities at the start of the shift from hominid to hominin, or from animal form and behavior to human form and behavior.


It is one of the most significant historical sites on Earth situated in northern Tanzania. The first evolutionary evidence of people walking on two feet and utilizing tools was discovered here. You can read some of the most important information about this significant location below.

Everything to know about Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge Museum


One of the most significant fossil sites in the world is the Olduvai Gorge. The gorge is a part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, a World Heritage Site that is more than thirty miles long and about three hundred feet deep. The evolutionary discovery of some of the oldest traces of human development has made it famous.


Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge lies tucked between the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater in the Great Rift Valley. Here is the place to go if you’re interested in archaeology and palaeontology and going on safari! 


Who found the 1.8 million-year-old hominid’s bones at Olduvai Gorge is a fascinating mystery for people who are interested in the history of humans. Although the Leakey name is the one that garners the most attention when Olduvai Gorge is brought up, a few German archaeologists did examine the site in the early 1900s. After the First World War, Louis and Mary Leakey traveled to Berlin to view the transported fossils after discovering relics of early hominid settlement. The fact that the fossils in Berlin were roughly the same age as those Louis had discovered at Kenya’s Kariandusi prehistoric site led them to believe that the canyon might include evidence of stone tools. He had discovered hand axes here, Everything to know about Olduvai Gorge

The majority of the discoveries and excavations in Olduvai Gorge are attributed to the Leakey family; it was here that they discovered the earliest indications of human technology. The earliest known evidence of the tool industry is evidence of hominids using tools.

There was also evidence of hominids walking on two feet in the same location. Some of the earliest evidence of upright human walking can be seen in the nearly 3.5 million-year-old hominid footprints that have been preserved in volcanic rock. Much has been learned about civilization and the early stages of human culture from the evidence discovered in the Gorge!


Numerous of the excavation sites are still in use today. Researchers continue to search for additional fossilized remains of ancient civilizations. Official tour guides can give you a tour of the area and explain the significance of Olduvai Gorge’s history, while a small museum offers further information and illuminating displays for you to peruse. Anyone planning a safari in North Tanzania who wants to understand a little bit about the history of our ancestors must visit Olduvai Gorge.

If reading this blog has you considering a trip to Tanzania, be sure to get in touch with us for free, unbiased advice. We’d be thrilled to hear from you.

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