Ngorongoro Crater is set in northern Tanzania, sharing partly with the Serengeti plains to the north-west and forms part of the unique Serengeti ecosystem. A major ecological survey of the Serengeti Reserve (which at the time included the Ngorongoro) by Dr. Bernhard Grizmek and his late son in the 1950’s resulted in the establishment of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in 1959.
Serengeti and Ngorongoro were formerly Maasai lands until when the Maasai, pastoralist, were moved out of Serengeti. They were settled partly in Ngorongoro which was already occupied by fellow Maasais, while some were resettled out of Ngorongoro.
To this day, unlike many of Africa’s conservation areas, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) manages a complex mix of wildlife, vegetation, water, Maasais and their livestock.
The oversight and management of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is provided by the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority. It pioneers experiment in multiple land use where pastoralism, conservation and tourism coexist under agreement.
Ngorongoro aims to maintain the historic balance of people and nature in a way which has not been possible in parts of Africa. A stake is the rich biodiversity and ecology of the Serengeti Plains and Ngorongoro Highlands, the major palaeontological and archaeological sites and the vital water catchments areas.
Within all this, man and wildlife have to coexist without harming or destroying each others habitats. Tourism which is vital to provide revenue for the area, has been encouraged and developed, with a respect for culture, and without damaging the environment.
Ngorongoro Crater provides an opportunity to learn about the African contribution to global culture and to understand, its values in today’s world, educational visits are encouraged. Man and his ancestors have lived in the Ngorongoro ecosystem for more than three million years. Evidence of a regional hunter-gatherer culture dates back 17,000 years and it is clear that various tribes have migrated in and out of the area, just as they have done in relatively recent times. By careful management and continuing research, the fragile balance between man and nature is successfully maintained.