EAS Alumni College at Olduvai
schedule & itinerary

EAS Alumni College Program in Tanzania
June 5-14, 2019

The group will be accompanied on this once-in-a-lifetime journey by professors Brophy and Njau who will provide a special vantage point and insights on the geology, prehistory, and ecology of Olduvai Gorge, including the dynamics of the Ngorongoro volcanics, East African rift valley, and the Precambrian systems of the Serengeti region, one of the most remarkable geologic features in Africa.

All reservations for hotels, lodges, and ground transportation will be arranged by our tour operator.

Topic Activity
 Travel to Tanzania
  • Either: 1. US via Amsterdam (overnight flight). Arrives Schiphol next morning. Departure: Amsterdam ˜10:05AM and arrives Kilimanjaro (JRO) ˜8PM .
  • Or: 2. US via Addis Ababa (overnight flight). Arrives Addis Ababa next morning. - Departure: Addis Ababa ˜10:20AM and arrives Kilimanjaro (JRO) ˜12:55PM.
 DAY 1 Tanzania  
  • All arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and overnight at a nice hotel in Arusha town.
  • It’s approximately a 1 hour drive from the airport to Arusha.
  • It is recommended that you arrive in Tanzania one day before the program starts in order to overcome jetlag. Additional hotel cost will apply.
 DAY 2 Tarangire:
setting the scene
  • Have breakfast and pack your luggage ready to leave town. The driver will meet you at the hotel at approximately 8:30AM, load the vehicles, and start the trip.
  • Drive to Tarangire National Park for a game drive and overnight in a tented lodge. You will see magnificent herds of elephants, buffaloes and large carnivores. The park sits on the rift floor and presents a spectacular view of the rift escarpment, Ngorongoro volcanic highlands and Lake Manyara basin to the northwest, and Essimingor volcano to the northeast. Essimingor is the oldest volcano in the northern Tanzania volcanic province (˜6 myr). It is older than Ngorongoro volcanoes, which are responsible for the formation of Laetoli, Olduvai Gorge, Makuyuni (Manyara) and other archaeological sites. It is also older than the famous Kilimanjaro and Meru volcanoes.
  • In this southern termination of the EA rift system, you will experience remarkable landforms, faults, and volcanoes associated with the half-graben structure of the rift which extends ~ 400 km eastwards past Arusha, Kilimanjaro to Pangani graben.
  • Your journey to the most spectacular natural landscapes, including the Tanzanian Craton (2.7 billion year old Archean rocks) in the Greater Serengeti, Proterozoic mobile belt (0.6 billion year old Precambrian rocks) in Ngorongoro-Olduvai, and late Cenozoic landforms, environments, wildlife, and cultures, begins here.
  • Dinner and overnight at a tented safari lodge.
 Day 3
Olduvai Gorge
  • Early morning coffee, birding, pack, and depart to Olduvai after breakfast.
  • Tarangire to Olduvai Gorge is about 4 hrs.
  • Brief stop at Mto wa Mbu (meaning, river of mosquito) cultural markets (˜30 minutes from Tarangire).
  • Brief stop at Lake Manyara viewpoint at Mto wa Mbu. Magnificent view of the rift valley escarpment and the lake margin zones of the Manyara basin, which is viewed geologically and ecologically as a modern analog of the ancient Olduvai sedimentary basin.
  • Short lunch break at Karatu town, then proceed to Ngorongoro. highlands. Brief stop at Lodware gate for paper work.
  • After crossing the Lodware gate you are now in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. You will stop at the viewpoint, top of the Crater rim, for the afternoon view of the Crater.
  • Overnight at Olduvai Kilogi tented safari lodge.
 Day 4
Olduvai Gorge
  • Early morning coffee, birding, breakfast.
  • Participate in geology field instruction.
  • Visit field labs and teaching, research and camp facility.
  • Visit the museum and have a guided tour of this new facility.
  • Participate in geology field instruction.
  • Visit Masai Boma, meet the elders, taste the local beer, and have a unique barbecue roast prepared by warriors.
  • Overnight at Olduvai Kilogi tented safari lodge.
 Day 5
Olduvai Gorge
  • Early morning coffee, birding, breakfast.
  • Participate in archaeology field instruction.
  • Participate in hands-on experimental studies, stone tool knapping with the world’s expert, Dr. Nick Toth.
  • Overnight at Olduvai Kilogi tented safari lodge.
 Day 6
  • Early morning coffee, birding, breakfast.
  • After breakfast: Pack, load the vehicles and depart for Serengeti with game viewing on the way.
  • Brief stops at study sites along the way e.g., Shifting sand, Tanzanian craton outcrops, Naabi kopjes, greenstone belt.
  • Lunch at Naabi Ngorongoro-Serengeti border.
  • Dinner and overnight at Serena Serengeti Lodge.
 Day 7
  • After early coffee.
  • Hot Air Balloon Safari in search of large predators and the gentle herbivores on which they feed (–optional).
  • Bush breakfast after balloon safari.
  • Game viewing and study sites e.g., the greenstone belt; crocodile and hippo pool.
  • Return to the lodge in the evening for a sunset at the swimming pool bar.
  • Alumni College dinner reception with traditional dance presentation at the Serena Serengeti Lodge.
  • Overnight at Serena Serengeti Lodge.
 Day 8
Ngorongoro Crater
  • Breakfast, pack and depart to Ngorongoro with a lunch box (~ 5 hrs. drive to Ngorongoro Serene Lodge).
  • Dinner and overnight at the Serena Lodge on the crater rim.
 Day 9
Ngorongoro Crater- Arusha
  • Breakfast, pack and descend into Ngorongoro Crater with a lunch box for viewing game exploring the short-grass plains of the Crater floor. This extinct volcano embraces 100 sq. miles alive with lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, and many more game animals.
  • After lunch, ascend the crater and exit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area via Lodware gate and drive to Arusha.
  • Dinner and overnight in a nice hotel in Arusha.
 Day 10
Arusha and Departure
  • Breakfast in Arusha
  • Morning: visit to the museum or local places, markets etc. by arrangement (optional).
  • Afternoon you will driven to the Kilimanjaro Airport for a long flight back to US.

recommended reading

  1. Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life by Martin Meredith.
  2. The Next Species: The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man by Michael Tennesen.
contact information

dr. jackson njau | dr. jim brophy
department of earth and atmospheric sciences
indiana university
1001 e. 10th st. bloomington in 47405

phone: 812-856-3170 | 812-855-6417

email: jknjau@indiana.edu | brophy@indiana.edu