Curious about the origins of the name “Laitolya”? Our family-run tours and safaris company was inspired by the world’s oldest footprints, the “Laetoli footprints,” discovered in the 19th century, 40 kilometers southwest of Tanzania’s Olduvai Gorge (sometimes called Oldupai).
About the footprints
In the 1920s, German entomologist Kohl Larsen began exploring the Laetoli site in Tanzania, which unearthed a few fossils. The footprints were later found by a team headed by British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey in 1974, and excavations were conducted in 1978 and 1979.
These footprints date back more than 3 million years, making them some of the oldest evidence of our human ancestors. They were preserved because ash from a nearby volcanic eruption built up slowly over time.
Archaeologists and other researchers have come to the conclusion that the Australopithecus afarensis left three separate footprints at the Laetoli site. Approximately seventy sets of footprints are visible throughout the trail’s whole length of close to 27 meters. Reproductions of these footprints may be seen on display at the Olduvai Museum. For many years, these footprints were also a major attraction for visitors to the Olduvai Gorge and the Tanzanian tourism industry as a whole.
When it comes to palaeoanthropology, Laetoli is right up there with the best of them, including Olduvai Gorge, Lake Ndutu, and Nasera Rock, all located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
As one of the most famous archaeological sites in all of East Africa, the Olduvai Gorge known as “the Cradle of Mankind” is a steep-sided ravine measuring 90 meters deep and stretching 50 kilometers wide. The Gorge has become a must-see for visitors traveling to or from Ngorongoro or the Serengeti. The deposits along the gorge’s sides date back millions of years and include the fossil remains of hominins (Homo habilis, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens), giving us the oldest known archaeological record of human evolution. Because of this, and after much research, paleontologists concluded that the earliest humans first emerged in Africa.
Leaving our mark on the world
It is for this reason that the historical significance of the Laetoli Footprint inspired Laitolya Tours and Safaris. We want to leave our own footprints by showing visitors the real Tanzania, complete with its magnificent landscapes and exciting wildlife safaris.
“To travel is to live,” as the old adage goes, and this proverb couldn’t be more right.
Each and every one of our vacations is special in its own way. Our goal is to provide more than just a standard tour and safari service, and we’re committed to providing adventures that are both unique and firmly entrenched in the community. Further, we want to give our guests an unforgettable experience by blending exciting activities with educational opportunities about the region’s rich cultural heritage. If you go on a safari or have a cultural experience with us, we hope you’ll take some time to reflect on the historical precedents that inform our story.
It is our hope that every traveler who gets to enjoy one of our many experiences will leave with an understanding of the wonder and beauty of Tanzania, as well as a sense of appreciation for our cultural heritage. After all, when we take the time to appreciate what’s around us, we’re able to better understand ourselves in the process.
So what are you waiting for? Send us a message today and let us help you discover the wonders of Tanzania!