The NCA is not a national park but it is a pioneering experiment in multi-purpose land use.
Ngorongoro Conservation Area is a Protected Area (PAs) and a Mixed World Heritage Site in Northern Tanzania, covering 8,292 square kilometres and sheltering the finest blend of landscape, wildlife, people, and archaeological sites in Africa.
It is located 180km West of Arusha in the Crater Highlands area of Tanzania, extending from the plains of Serengeti National Park and Maswa Game Reserve in the West, to the Eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley.
This Protected Area was named after Ngorongoro Crater, world’s largest unbroken and unfilled volcanic caldera, which is 610m deep and host over 25,000 large animals including some of Africa’s last remaining black rhinos.
Outside the big crater, wildlife in Ngorongoro Conservation Area co-exist with the semi-nomadic Maasai, who practise traditional livestock grazing. The Maasai are a pastoral tribe that has managed to preserve its culture over hundreds of years, living in harmony with the wild animals.
Apart from the Crater and its wildlife and people, the other significant features in Ngorongoro Conservation Area include Olduvai Gorge (also spelt Oldupai) and Laetoli, which contain important palaeontological records related to human evolution. Indeed, Ngorongoro has been a place for extensive archaeological researches in the past 100 years, revealing evidence of human evolution and human-environment dynamics, collectively extending over a span of almost four million years.