Discover the roots of humanity -- come to the Turkana region of Kenya on a 10-day learning adventure with Dr. Ellen Miller, Wake Forest University Professor of Anthropology, and immerse yourself in the story of ape and human evolution, in the place where our ancestors evolved.
Journey overland from Nairobi to the Mpala Research Centre in central Kenya, home to an impressive array of African wildlife, and a place where elephants, rhinos, wild dogs, giraffes, and big cats are commonly sighted. Fly by private plane to the west side of Lake Turkana, where our base of operations will be the Turkana Basin Institute (TBI) research station at Turkwel. At TBI, settle into comfortable cottages which feature all the modern amenities. Mosquito nets, towels and bedding are provided, and food is fresh and plentiful. Dietary restrictions can be accommodated with advanced notice.
Learn about important fossil discoveries and visit some of the famous sites where these finds were uncovered, including the Miocene fossil forest of Napudet, where Alesi, the most complete fossil ape skull ever known was discovered. Relax in the evenings with a swim in the Turkwel river and sundowners on the veranda. From Turkwel head across the lake to the TBI research station at Ileret, located close to the Kenyan-Ethiopian border, and spend an afternoon in the village of Ileret, a largely pastoralist Dassenech community. After an evening’s rest, enjoying the breeze and the spectacular views of Lake Turkana, we’ll resume the life of a field paleontologist, heading off to search for fossil monkeys and apes at Dr. Miller’s field site, “Buluk”.
When we return from Buluk, we’ll start work in the lab, learning first-hand how to clean and prepare fossils for scientific study. You’ll be living, working, and learning in the place where world renowned scientists, such as the famous fossil-hunting family the Leakey’s, have made, and continue to make, the groundbreaking discoveries that shape the way we understand the origins of ourselves and our closest relatives. Join us on this academic safari!