The presidential Rolls Royce
The fanciest car from the Sixties
When Tanzania gained its independence in December 1961, the British government gave the president of this brand-new country a Rolls Royce as a gift. The model was a Phantom V State Landaulette, of which only 5 were made. It had a retractable roof so President Julius Nyerere Kamba and his guests could wave to the people in the street. The next 2 presidents also made good use of the luxury car which, as a national heritage, was later donated to the museum in 2000.
Fossils from the Olduvai Gorge
Olduvai Gorge, a 50-kilometre-long canyon in northern Tanzania, is known as the cradle of humanity and is one of the most important paleoanthropological sites. British archaeologists Louis and Mary Leakey and their family uncovered a large quantity of fossils of human origin. The oldest ones are 2 million years old and form the basis of our understanding of the evolution of humankind. The most famous museum artefact is the discovery by Mary Leakey in 1959 of a skull of the Paranthropus boisei, an (extinct) hominid.
The city state of Kilwa
The island of Kilwa Kisiwani has played a key role in the history of Tanzania. From the 13th to the 16th century, Persian traders established a city state here. And it was here that the cultures of the traders and the Bantu tribes from the mainland melded together to form the Swahili culture which still characterizes Tanzania. The museum also displays many archaeological finds from this so-called Shirazi era. The guides are pleased to provide more information on the exhibits.