Living Conditions

The Leakey Camp

The basecamp is set up at Leakey’s camp at Olduvai Gorge (˜240 km northwest of Arusha town and approximately a 6-hour drive from Arusha town).  Olduvai is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area a World Heritage Site famous for its natural and cultural resources.  The continuing tectonic activity in the region makes the place an epicenter of research in tectonics, environments, climate, wildlife ecology, anthropology, and human evolution. The Olduvai site is located about 3° South of the Equator (S 2°59’ and E 35°20’) with an altitude of about 1450 m.  The temperatures can range from 40°F to 90°F. Therefore, days are usually warm and dry, but nights and mornings can be chilly. Campers are advised to bring light cotton shorts and pants, and long-sleeved shirts or blouses, brimmed hats and sunglasses for the days, and long pants and fleece jackets for the evenings and mornings. 

The terrain in the camp is flat, but immediately outside the camp is the rim of the main arm of the Olduvai Gorge.  Trails to the gorge may be steep and slippery due to losing grit from the calcareous top unit. The terrain on which we will be walking during the course varies from flat grass plains with and without thorny brush, to steep outcrops.  Field studies may require hiking down and up the Korongos (gullies) along the gorge, requiring rugged boots with deep treads for a good grip.  The distance from the rim of the gorge to the nearby sites on the Olduvai riverbed is about 300 m and takes about 10 minutes to descend and about 20 minutes to ascend.  Dust is prevalent so precautions should be taken such as using bandanas that cover your nose and mouth.



Daily Life in Camp

Packing Checklist