Tag Archives: homo habilis

Paleoanthropologist Donald Johanson discovers Onsea House

We have the pleasure to have Donald Johanson among our guests, as expert in the National Geographic Expedition “Human Origins”. The whole expedition team has chosen to stay at Onsea House before they walk in the footsteps of early humans, from the highlands of the Great Rift Valley to the Eden of South Africa’s Western Cape, in the company of one of National Geographic’s top experts on human origins.

Donald Johanson has produced some of the field’s most groundbreaking discoveries, including the most widely known and thoroughly studied fossil of the 20th century, the 3.2-million-year-old “Lucy” skeleton.
Although the 20th century has been peppered with important early-human fossil finds, it was Johanson’s 1974 discovery in Ethiopia that added a crucial link, prompting major revisions in our understanding of human evolution. “Lucy” possesses an intriguing mixture of ape-like features such as a projecting face and small brain, but also characteristics we consider human, such as upright walking, marking an important step on the path to Homo sapiens.

In 1981, Johanson founded the Institute of Human Origins, a non-profit research institution devoted to the study of prehistory. In 1987, the IHO was given permission to conduct an expedition to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania, and found a partial skeleton, OH 62, which is generally attributed to Homo habilis. The discovery and description of this species is credited to both Mary and Louis Leakey, who also uncovered the tools and fossils of ancient hominines. Mary Leakey also discovered the Laetoli footprints. Members of their family staid also earlier at Onsea House to celebrate the anniversary of their discoveries.

Since 2010, National Geographic Expeditions selected Onsea House as top accommodation in Arusha. Check out the National Geographic Expeditons to Africa and ask for an upgrade to stay Onsea House or Machweo.