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Marks 50th Anniversary of Leakeys' Discovery of First Humanoid Skull "ZINJ"

 Tanzania Tourist Board, together with Ethiopian Airlines Journeys. Asante Safaris, Dhana Safaris and Serena Hotels & Lodges, launched an "Archaeology Lovers' Tour" to Tanzania/Ethiopia at the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) /Archaeology Magazine's Gala Dinner, April 28, 2009 at Capitale in New York City. The special event, which honored Harrison Ford and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for their respective roles in uplifting the profile of archaeology, was hosted by author, TV host and renowned archaeologist James Delgado.

The Tanzania portion of the tour, part of  the live charity auction at the dinner, was created to mark the 50th Anniversary Celebration, August 17 2009, of the discovery of the first humanoid skull, "Zinjanthropus" (ZINJ) by Drs. Mary and Louis Leakey. The historic discovery was made at Oldupai Gorge in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.  The well-preserved skull and teeth were to rewrite archaeological history. It allowed scientists to prove conclusively that the beginnings of man occurred in Africa, not in Asia as previously thought. And the "Zinj" skull also gave the world the first credible date that this early group of humanoids walked the earth: two million years ago.

The Honorable Shamsa S. Mwangunga, Tanzania's Minister of Natural Resources & Tourism said "Many people don't think of Tanzania in terms of its archaeological importance. We are grateful to all our partners who helped create this first Archaeological-focused tour to Tanzania to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Leakeys' famous discovery. We are confident that this showcase at the AIA /Archaeology Magazine gala event will create a new awareness of Oldupai Gorge as the "Cradle of Mankind".

In commemoration of the Anniversary of this crucial find, the Tanzania Tourist Board and Ethiopian Airlines Journeys have joined together to auction off a Tanzania/Ethiopia trip for two, which includes a visit to Axum, Ethiopia, site of the "lost" Ark.  This Ethiopia/Tanzania trip is also being offered to the public as a special archaeological tour. Tanzania was represented at the dinner by H.E. Ambassador Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Tanzania's Permanent Representative to the UN, Karen Hoffman, TTB USA, and Renny Hunt, Asante Safaris. 


Highlights of the Tanzania "Archaeology Lovers'Trip"


The six-day/five-night safari features a drive to the Ngorongoro Crater (this UNESCO World Heritage Site is often referred to as "The Eighth Wonder of the World"; stops at Oldupai Gorge ("The Cradle of Mankind") and the Laetoli Footprints. Included are game drives in the Serengeti National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its annual animal migration.  Accommodation is in the five star Serena Hotels & Lodges.. 

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Tanzania, the largest country in East Africa, is focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 % of the land protected by the Government. It boasts 15 National Parks and 32 game reserves. It is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro; The Serengeti, named in October, 2006, the New 7th Wonder of the World by USA Today and Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World; Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind:  the Selous, the world's largest game reserve; Ruaha, now the second largest National Park in Africa; the spice islands of Zanzibar; and seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people are warm and friendly, speak English, which together with Kiswahili, are the two official languages; and the country is an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government.


A Trip to Ethiopia and Tanzania was featured in the live auction at the Gala Dinner of the Archaeological Institute of America/Archaeology Magazine honoring Harrison Ford and hosted by author, TV host and renowned archaeologist James Delgado. From Left:  H.E. Ambassador Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Tanzania's Permanent Representative to the UN in New York; Renny Hunt, Asante Safaris; James Delgado, Gala Host; Karen Hoffman, TTB USA; and Gobena Mikael, Regional Director, North  and South America, Ethiopian Airlines.


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For more information about Serena Hotels and Lodges, visit


For more information about Dhana Safaris, visit