A village in Kenya is catching the attention of tourists across the world as the country continues to stamp its foot with regard to the tourism industry.
Olorgesailie village in Kajiado County is located along Magadi road, an hour’s drive and 70kms away from Nairobi and has caught the admiration of even the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) because of its prehistoric connections.
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On Wednesday, January 12, the village was named amongst 44 villages from 32 countries by UNWTO during the 2021 convention in Madrid, Spain.
“The site is world renown as the “factory of stone tools” and has the highest number of hand axes anywhere in the world representing some of the first camping places of early man,” stated UNWTO as quoted by the Kenya Tourism Board.
The tourism body moved on to urge Kenyans to visit the little village laden with a heritage that not only exudes Kenya’s diversity but also provides an insight into the life and times of the early man.
“They say that anywhere you go becomes a part of you in some way. So today we ask you to journey with us to Olergasaile Village in Kajiado County, a charming little place rich with heritage that exemplifies Kenya’s vast diversity,” added the statement.
The rich prehistoric site offers one an exhilarating experience coupled with the Maasai community which rules over the Olorgesailie conservancy, where the village is located.
“Needless to say, nothing beats engaging with the Maa community. A cultural masterpiece Magical Kenya is proud of as it is one of the few ethnic groups that have preserved much of their customs, lifestyle, and folklore,” added the tourism board.
Olorgesailie pre-historic site is known famously as the “factory of stone tools” and the only place in the world with the largest number of hand axes and representing some of the first camping places of early man.
The prominence and accumulation of human tools represent actual camping places of early men and evidence that the human species had a tropical origin. The site is in a lake basin that existed about 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
Researchers, Dr Leakey and his wife began probing the site in 1942 where they found important evidence that concerns the habits and activities of early prehistoric peoples of the Acheuleus or “Handaxe” culture.
Olorgesailie has excellently preserved biological and cultural evidence about the evolution of man. This was made possible by heavy falls of alkaline volcanic ash from the nearby mountains of Suswa and Longonot, which might have contributed much to the accumulated ash in the lake basin.
“There is evidence of a humid climate during part of the middle Pleistocene that is given by temporary lakes and swamps that exist in the area today. The sediments left by the lake cover an area of 80 square kilometres,” reads in part the explanation of the village on the National Museums of Kenya’s official website.
The conservancy offers recreational options such as site visits where one can then take a walk to see the actual prehistoric site and the discoveries made there. Also on offer is bird watching activities, the area is a bird watcher’s paradise citing the highest number of migratory bird species in Kenya.
Perhaps the most defining moment of anyone’s visit is the climbing of Mt. Olorgesailie, which was named after a renowned Maasai elder who used to meditate and hold meetings with village elders up the mountain. On average it takes three hours to ascend and the same to descend, with the mountain best climbed from 5:00 am.
There is also a campsite which offers affordable camping facilities available as well as a picnic site and a baboon camp where guests encounter a congregation of baboons in the evening, one kilometre from the campsite.
The camping rates are charged as follows:
Citizen (Kenyan) Adult: Ksh300 and Ksh200 for a child below 16 years
Residents & EA Adult: Ksh400 and Ksh250 for a child below 16 years
Non-Resident Adult: Ksh600 and Ksh300 for a child below 16 years
Citizen Single: Ksh1,200 and double Ksh1,500
Residents and EA Single: Ksh1,500 and double Ksh1,800
Non-Resident Single: Ksh1,800 and double Ksh2,000
Citizen Single: Ksh1,000 and double Ksh1,200
Residents and EA Single: Ksh1,200 and double Ksh1,500
Non-Resident Single: Ksh1,500 and double Ksh1,800
Other charges include mountain guide fees featuring a maximum of five people per guide, going for Ksh5,000 as well as Baboon camp guide which is Ksh500 per person. Picnic fees are charged at Ksh200 per person for adults and Ksh100 for children below 16 years