Tanzania has started revamping the camp that was being used by famous archaeologists, Dr. Louis Leakey and Dr. Mary Leakey at the Olduvai Gorge in Ngorongoro area located in northern part of the country in an effort to lure more tourists.
Jumanne Maghembe, Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism said on Sunday that the camp is under refurbishment to restore its natural outlook as it was in 1960s.
“We are revamping the camp so that some of the tourists and researchers who want to sleep in, do so and learn a number of things of the earliest man,” the minister said.
He described the Olduvai Gorge as an important area when it comes to tourism and historical researches as it holds the earliest evidence of the existence of human ancestors. Paleoanthropologists have found hundreds of fossilized bones and stone tools in the area dating back millions of years, leading them to conclude that humans evolved in Africa.
Maghembe stated that the area is one of the world’s most important historical sites, where it is believed that the famous Zinjanthropus skull was discovered at Olduvai Gorge.
Dr. Leakey discovered the 1.75 million year old skull on July 17, 1959 after nearly 30 years of archaeological research at the gorge in Ngorongoro district alongside with her husband Dr. Louis Leakey.
“The Olduvai Mary Leakey camp has been attracting more tourists as well as scientists and researchers. That’s why we want it to look natural as it was in 1960s,” said Maghembe.
John Paresso, conservator of the camp, said that among other issues in the rehabilitation process include restoring the bed that was being used by the two archaeologists into the camp.
“We are currently communicating with the family of Dr. Leakey in Nairobi, Kenya so that to get that bed and bring it into the camp,” the official said.
Louis and Mary (Nicol) Leakey are often referred to as the first family of paleontology, as much of their lives, and later the lives of their children, revolved around Olduvai Gorge. Enditem