Scientists say they've pinpointed the homeland of all humans alive today to a region south of the Zambesi.
The area is now dominated by salt pans, but was once home to an enormous lake, which may have been our ancestral heartland 200,000 years ago.
Our ancestors settled for 70,000 years, until the local climate changed, researchers propose.
They began to move on as fertile green corridors opened up, paving the way for future migrations out of Africa.
"It has been clear for some time that anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa roughly 200,000 years ago," said Prof Vanessa Hayes, a geneticist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Australia.
Photo Source: CNN.com
"What has been long debated is the exact location of this emergence and subsequent dispersal of our earliest ancestors."
Prof Hayes' conclusions have drawn scepticism from other researchers in the field, however.