The conservation area covers 8,280km sq (3,196 square miles) and stretches from Lake Eyasi in the Rift Valley north to the Serengeti Plains. The conservation area also contains at least seven extinct volcanoes and is probably one of the most varied terrains in East Africa. The plains in the north are critical for the wildebeest migration. This area was established in 1959 to cater for tourists, protect the forest to the south and guard unique archaeological sites like Ol duvai Gorge and Laetoli especially after the Masai complained that they were being pushed out of their grazing land which was Serengeti by then. The altitude varies from Lake Eyasi at 1,000m (3,280 feet) to the Peak of Lolmalasin Mountain at 3,640m (11,940 feet).