NCA was established in 1959 by the NCA Ordinance No 413 of 1959 as a multiple land use area, designated to promote the conservation of natural resources, safeguard the interests of NCA indigenous residents and promote tourism..


NCA is a unique protected area in the whole of Africa where conservation of natural resources is integrated with human development.
Reputed to be one of the wonders of the world and included in the list of Mixed World Heritage Sites in 2010, this 8,292sqkm Conservation Area named after its central feature - the Ngorongoro Crater which is about 20km wide, is the one of the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. The 260sqkm and 600m deep crater provides an extraordinary natural sanctuary to some of Africa’s densest population of large mammals. Its habitat is very diverse including Serengeti plains that support about 2.0 millions migratory wildlife species of the Serengeti Mara-ecosystem and  the Northern Highland Forest Reserve (NHFR) which is a the catchment forest known as ‘Entim Olturot’ in Maa language.
Other important features found in the NCA are the archaeological and paleontological site located at Oldupai Gorge which is reputable as the cradle of mankind where Hominid fossils have been found dating back to 3 million years and the early human foot-prints that were discovered at Laitole in Ngarusi area. Because of these particular features and the harmonious co-existence between wildlife and people that has existed for many years, NCA was accorded the status of a  Mixed World Heritage Site and listed as one of the International Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme. Ngorongoro Conservation Area has a high archaeo-anthropological potential. 
Ngorongoro Conservation Area offers a 100% sighting of the “Big Five. Most of the game viewing is done on the Ngorongoro crater floor where there is the densest population of animals. While the Lake Magadi area and pools at the Mandusi swamp offer the best opportunity of birding in the Area. With high concentrations of wildlife offering close-range viewing opportunities, Ngorongoro is one of Tanzania’s most visited destinations. Within the walls of the crater you are likely to see lions, ele¬phants, buffaloes and flamingos; and there’s also a chance of seeing black rhinos. Local Maasai have grazing rights and you may come across them tending their cattle. No hunting is permitted in Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA)