This is where millions of years ago our ancestors lived and, the remains found, tell us how their life was over 2 million years ago.
It’s an exciting experience to venture in this steep ravine where the history of mankind began.
There is also a small museum showing all the fossils and tools unearthed in the area, which help reconstruct mankind’s evolution.
Olduvai Gorge is located in the Great Rift Valley, South-East of the Serengeti National Park, in the vicinity of Lake Masek, and is accessible from the Ndutu or Naabi area; it forms part of the Serengeti Ecosystem and here, from December to April, you can view herds of wildebeests and zebras during the Great Migration.
From a landscape point of view is a gorge, like many others in the world, which was formed through weathering and the erosion of the waters of the rivers that flow and contribute to form Lake Masek; where there is also a monolith similar to the ones in the Monument Valley in the United States.
What makes Olduvai truly unique are the artifacts that have been discovered over the years, thanks to the wise work of archaeologists and paleoanthropologists.
In fact, hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools belonging to our ancestors have been found in what is the most important archaeological site in Tanzania, and one of the most significant of the entire African continent.
Thanks to these findings, in addition to those of the Omo Valley in Ethiopia and Taung in South Africa, it can be stated that humans evolved in Africa and, therefore, Olduvai is often referred to as "the cradle of mankind" and, because of the value it represents for our history, it was declared a World Heritage by UNESCO in 1979.
Olduvai is a misspelling of Oldupai, a Masai word for a wild sisal plant that grows in the area.
The steep Olduvai Gorge is about 48.2 km long and 89.9m deep, not large enough to be classified as a canyon, but it is defined as a “ravine”, i.e. a narrow gorge flanked by rocky walls gauged out by a river.
Fossil remains of 60 hominids or so were unearthed; they cover a time period ranging from the appearance on earth of Australopithecus to Homo Sapiens, i.e. the species to which we belong.