The Mara River Exploration

Situated in Mara region, River Mara is at border between Tanzania and Kenya just strategically across the migration path of ungulates in the Maasai Mara or Serengeti protected area. Remarkably, if you are interested in witnessing the gigantic wildebeest and zebra migration then this is one of the best spots you should consider a must to visit for this lifetime experience.

The wildebeest migration is usually experienced around June and August and they return to Serengeti around October but of course October usually doesn’t come with clear views like it can be during June. The movement of these remarkable creatures is influenced by rains. Its basin covers surface area of about 13504 square kilometers with over 65 percent of it lying in Kenya and the other remaining portion to Tanzania.

From its main source in the Kenyan highlands, this waterbody runs for over 400 kilometers and originates from the Mau Escarpment and discharges its water into Lake Victoria. Its basin is separated into 4 land use units.
River Mara emerges from Napuiyapi swamp about 2932 meters and its major perennial tributaries include Nyangores and Amala. These drain this river from the western Mau Escarpment. This area however features forests and supports medium and small scale farming.

The Nyangores and Amala River flow out of Mau escarpment and converge to make up River Mara. It then winds further via the open savanna grasslands which are managed by Maasai group ranches and mostly utilized for pasture purposes for livestock. The basins of 4 tributaries to the Mara include the Engare, Sand, Engito and Talek River are also situated within this region with upland area including the hills of Loita.

The nearby conservation areas around this waterbody include the popular Maasai Mara National Reserve where it features about 3 tributaries. Along the border between Tanzania and Kenya, this River empties its water to Serengeti National Park and later joined by River Sand. The major activity in this park is mainly game viewing. The other protected areas include Ikorongo game reserve that also lies at the border with Serengeti National Park and this river winds northwards. Its basin has altitudinal range of 2932 meters in the Mau Escarpment and 1134 meters along Lake Victoria.

The rainfall amount received here ranges between 1000 and 1750 mm per year and around Lake Victoria it ranges between 700 and 850 mm.
The unfortunate side of it is that this waterbody is highly threatened by human activities especially mining, livestock rearing, farming, fishing and many more. Tanzania itself considers this river as its major source of water for its wildlife especially in the dry season and given the proposed dam project higher chances are that Tanzania will definitely be affected. The gateway to Mara River is Kogatende.

In conclusion, Mara River is a stunning water body and remarkably one of the significant tourist sites especially if you are interested in witnessing the great wildebeest migration in reality as they cross between the Maasai Mara National Reserve and Serengeti National Park.