Tanzania is filled with interesting destinations that cater to all types of travel lovers. From exotic beaches to unspoiled natural beauty, Tanzania has it all! Let’s look at the archaeological wonder of Tanzania, along with the interesting natural phenomena, the Shifting Sand Dunes.
Both the shifting sand dunes and the Olduvai Gorge are located within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Beyond the safari and beaches, if you’re visiting Tanzania the Olduvai Gorge is a site you cannot miss. What makes the world-famous archeological Olduvai Gorge so special? The Olduvai Gorge, also known as the Cradle of Mankind, is where the earliest remains of Homo sapiens were discovered. Located on the road from the Ngorongoro Crater to Serengeti National Park, this is the spot where archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey began a series of extensive excavations that led to the landmark historical discovery of fossils which enabled them to track the evolution of mankind. They were able to establish that the human race originated in Africa!
Today the excavation sites are still operational. Visitors, under the supervision of a tour guide, can visit the excavation site. You can also visit the museum located on top of the ravine, for a nominal fee. Here you’ll be able to view a collection of hominid and faunal fossils, as well as Oldowon or ancient tools. The fossils are displayed in casts for preservation. Don’t miss the Laetoli Footprints when you’re there.
If you want to go to the Olduvai Gorge itself, you just have to pay an extra tip of $10. This will lead you to the site where the first remains were discovered. The Olduvai Gorge is just ten minutes away and you’ll be driven there with a staff member.
Make the most of your day and take a trip north of the Olduvai Gorge and visit the Shifting Sand Dunes as well.
Shifting Sand Dunes
The shifting sand dunes are located about 30 minutes away from the Olduvai Gorge. You’ll see two crescent shaped dunes of fine black ash that are darker than the surrounding dunes.
The dunes are composed of highly magnetized volcanic ash. As a result, the grains of the sand dune aren’t blown away by winds. Instead, they clump and fall back on the dunes! This can be observed by throwing some sand in the air. You’ll notice that the sand will clump together, and then fall back on the dunes!
However, when the strong winds blow, the sand dunes begin to move at a speed of about 17 meters per year. They’ve been shifting around for about 3 million years now! We would recommend not to go to the dunes after rainfall because the trail becomes too muddy to bear!
Just make sure you don’t step on these sand dunes because they’re considered to be sacred by the Masaai!
So, what are you waiting for? Make a tour to the Olduvai Gorge and the Shifting Sand Dunes! They’re both exceptional and interesting places in their own ways. Explore Tanzania with Flightlink and see for yourself how beautiful the country is and how much it has to offer!