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Why it's special
The Olduvai Gorge is where some of the earliest known physical evidence of early man was unearthed. After viewing it, most visitors feel a stronger bond with their prehistoric ancestors.
It is a popular side trip because it is a short, convenient detour when traveling between the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
In 1959 Louis Leakey and his wife Mary discovered in the Olduvai Gorge a 1.7 million year old jawbone of the early-human species named Australopithecus - this set an archaeological record at the time.
Seventeen years later, his wife astounded the scientific world by finding near Olduvai Gorge the unmistakable fossilized footprints of a human ancestor who was walking 3 million years ago along a river bank.
Visitors look down upon the famous Olduvai Gorge from a strategic vantage point (see photo). Visitors also hear a brief lecture on the early hominid discoveries - and walk through a tiny, visually informative museum about the famous discoveries. Some visitors get to walk into the Olduvai Gorge with an on-site guide (if properly set up in advance with authorities).