Ngaren celebrates the beginnings of all humanity. Dedicated to educating humankind on our shared past, Ngaren tells the story of our common ancestry, our epic journeys, and our future obligation to protect the planet that is our only home.

Ngaren is a museum that celebrates the African origins of all humankind.

For the first time, the scientific exploration of how humans came to exist will play a central role in a museum dedicated to the celebration of life and it's amazing biodiversity. This is a story in which Homo sapiens are a product of natural phenomena, like all other forms of life.

Ngaren finally tells our African story in Africa, where our evolutionary journey began.

Located in the Rift Valley, Kenya, this is where the world will come face-to-face with the forces of change that brought about our existence – and imagine the changes needed to sustain it.

Breaking ground in 2022.
Opening in 2024.

Our founder

Dr. Richard E. Leakey is an award-winning Kenyan paleoanthropologist, conservationist, and politician. The son of renowned scientists Louis and Mary Leakey, he has held a number of official positions in Kenya, mostly in institutions of archaeology and wildlife conservation. Leakey has been Director of the National Museum of Kenya and head of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, and founded the NGO WildlifeDirect, as well as the Turkana Basin Institute – a research institution supporting scientific projects in human prehistory, sustainability, climate change, and modern human culture & diversity in Northern Kenya.

“To arrive on this earth as a product of a biological accident, only to depart through human arrogance, would be the ultimate irony.” – Richard Leakey

Architectural design

Studio Libeskind creates architecture that is resonant, practical and sustainable. Renowned for their ability to create landmark structures using innovative and traditional building solutions, they work on a global scale – approaching every project individually with the goal of communicating each client's story through the power of design. Their team is composed of thought-leaders, innovators, and experts in the field who speak widely on architecture, design and urban planning. Their network of professionals spans the globe, as they actively build on every continent. Studio Libeskind's office headquarters are currently based in New York City.

“To create a space that never existed is what interests me; to create something that has never been, a space that we have never entered except in our minds and our spirits.” – Daniel Libeskind


Board of directors

Richard E. Leakey, Founder

Marta Mirazón Lahr, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at The University of Cambridge

Ellen C. O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer

John Heminway, Documentary Filmmaker

Rachel Mbai, Attorney and Kenyan Advocate at Kaplan and Stratton

Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York

Tony Saxton, Founder and Managing Partner of Terra Group Holdings

Scott Miller, Curator of Lepidoptera at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Annette Williamson

Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher, Jr. University Professor, Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University

Our team

Ellen C. O'Connell, Chief Executive Officer

Federica Crivellaro, Museum Design Team

Otto Mruttu, Project Management for Building and Construction


Our vision

Ngaren will engage state-of-the-art technology, cutting-edge research, and immersive experiences to explore lines, experiments, and failures of evolution.

Exhibits will take participants on a transformational journey through the origins of life, the age of dinosaurs, extinction and survival, and beyond – allowing people to experience a never-before-told story of life’s journey through time and toward an evolving future.

Ngaren answers the question of why humans evolved in Africa. What we learn from the past is key to our future.

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