Experience A Paleontology Trip To Laetoli Near Ngorongoro : This is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add a mind-blowing emotional experience to a fact-finding trip to northern Tanzania. Although you will not be able to see the actual 3.7 million-year-old footprints of the first men to stand erect because modern archaeological standards require that they be kept covered in order to preserve them, Focus East Africa Tours recommends a guided walk in the area to experience the wonder of the original discoverers. Imagine the scene as you stand here on your incredible Tanzanian paleoanthropology safari.
Laetoli is an important palaeontological site in Africa. It is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area on the southern edge of the Serengeti Plains, far north of Lake Eyasi. A long series of Plio-Pleistocene, mostly volcano-sedimentary, deposits rich in archaeological and paleontological remains are overlain by Precambrian metamorphic rocks at the site.
The area’s paleoanthropological significance has been recognized since the mid-1930s, but Laetoli only became known in the 1970s as a result of exciting discoveries such as the holotype and other remains. It contains exceptional evidence of the earliest bipedal hominid traces dating back 3.6 million years. Two early human ancestors walked through wet volcanic ash in Laetoli about 3.6 million years ago. When a nearby volcano erupted again, subsequent ash layers covered and preserved the oldest human footprints.
The Laetoli footprints are the world’s oldest known footprints of early human ancestors. Archaeologists believe the Laetoli Footprints show three distinct tracks of an upright walking hominid known as Australopithecus afarensis. The total length of the footprint trail is nearly 27 meters, with approximately 70 early human footprint impressions. These footprints are on display at the Olduvai Museum.
Kohl Larsen, a German entomologist, discovered a few fossils in the Laetoli area in the 1920s. A team led by Mary Leakey discovered the hominid footprints in 1974, and excavations were carried out in 1978 and 1979. Researchers interested in human origins and cultural development are welcome to visit the site. Every year, researchers from local and international universities visit the site to work on the more than fifty geological bed exposures.
See the epic scenery, plains wildlife, and predators on an Ngorongoro safari. Ngorongoro Crater safaris are one-of-a-kind; this wildlife haven is a must-see on any visit due to the numerous animal species that call it home and the unique landscapes that surround you. All of our Tanzania safari trips include a visit to the crater.
If you choose to travel overland, you will have the opportunity to observe life along the roadside, whereas if you choose a fly-in adventure, you will have more time in your destination to see wildlife and take advantage of your lodge’s facilities and epic setting. Another option is to create your own independent safari, choosing your own accommodations and mode of transportation.
WHEN TO VISIT
It is up to you to decide when the best time is to visit Ngorongoro. The dry season, which lasts from June to October, is the peak season, and the rainy season, which lasts from November to May, is the low season.
The grass will be shorter and drier during the dry season, making it easier to spot wildlife. And, because animals tend to congregate around remaining bodies of water during the dry season, you can go to specific locations to find them. During this season, people have also had an easier time spotting rhinos. However, during peak season, the crater can become extremely crowded, which may be an issue for some visitors.
Animals stay at Ngorongoro all year, so you’ll be able to see wildlife whenever you visit, but finding animals during the wet season will take a little longer. Because water will be present everywhere, the animals will not congregate around specific bodies of water. The grasses and shrubs will also grow taller, blocking your view of the animals. The conservation area, on the other hand, will be stunning due to the lush green scenery. Because it is the off-season, the area will be less crowded. During this season, you are also more likely to see more birds.
Tourists who want to see the Great migration during the calving season can go to Lake Ndutu in Ngorongoro in the months of January to March. You must confirm with your tour operators whether you will be able to see calving wildebeests while visiting.