This week I am taking you back to the Sibiloi National Park in Northern Kenya – commonly referred to by Anthropologists as the Cradle of Mankind. Koobi Fora which lies inside the park boasts deposits rich in mammalian, molluscan and other fossil remains and has contributed greatly to the study human evolution.
Northern Kenya holds an unsurpassed archive of Human Prehistory. It holds the world’s richest record of human pre-history, the longest and most complete record of human ancestry spanning over 27 Million years and a rich fossil heritage stretching back over 100 million years into the dinosaur age. This is the largest and most-well documented collection of human related fossils that exists and is unmatched anywhere in the world, and can only be found at the Koobi Fora Museum and the National Museums of Kenya Headquarters.
Unfortunately I was not able to take many photos at the museum, since we got lost on our way there and by the time we arrived the museum was about to close.
The Koobi Fora Museum source
The museum hosts replicas of the fossils found in the park and also has a collection of photos of the people of Northern Kenya plus some of the wildlife that used to inhabit the park before the climate of the area changed.
In 1968, research work began led by Dr. Richard Leakey, a world renowned palaeontologist. By 1994, over 200 hominid and animal fossils were found here, more than any collection the world had ever produced in 60 years. Amongst the most famous discoveries that have put Kenya on the world map is the Turkana Boy, discovered by a Kenyan –Mr. Kamoya Kimeu, dating back to 1.6 million years ago. This young boy of about 9 – 12 years old and 1.6 meters tall, is the only almost complete skeleton of a human related fossil ever found in the world and can be viewed at the National Museum, amongst other discoveries in Nairobi.
The next stop was the elephant fossil site. I have been fortunate enough to visit the site twice. Most of the park looks like this…
On our way there we encountered a very sandy section of the road, our driver took a slightly different route from the rest of the convoy and we ended up getting stuck. The rest of the convoy had to come back and help dig us out.
We eventually made it to the site.
The fossil is housed in a shed in the middle of nowhere. There is no proper road to the site, you have to park your vehicle then walk the rest of the way.
The fossil was found and excavated in 1974
In the background is Guto the curator of the Loiyangalani museum who was in Sibiloi for the eclipse. The fossil is huge. I imagine the elephant looked more like a mammoth than a modern day elephant.
For visitors looking for adventure, this desert like environment in Sibiloi National Park offers amazing opportunities to discover Kenya’s hidden treasures of Northern Kenya. These include spectacular scenic viewing, a rich cultural heritage, bird watching, three national parks in one location, a visit to the Cradle of Mankind (archaeological sites) which also have extinct species such as tortoise, elephant and crocodile, Koobi Fora Museum and campsite amongst many other attractions.
I would especially like to thank Mike for allowing me to use some of his photos for the post.
I hope you guys have been taking part in the photo contest #IncredibleAfrica14 being held by Africa Point– a competition that is giving you the opportunity to show off your best African safari moments to the world. Don’t miss out on the chance to win an African Safari worth USD3, 333.
Please visit the competition’s Facebook page to vote for your favorite photo if at all you choose not to participate.
Have you been to any archeological site?
This week I’ll be linking up with;