Geology of the Masai Mara

Geology of the Masai Mara : Masai Mara national reserve is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas on the Africa continent and a world renowned for its exceptional populations of lions, African leopard, cheetah and African bush elephant. Masai mara national reserve is also famously known for the annual wildebeest migration the world’s largest migration of animals ever witnessed on earth, over 1.5 million wildebeest thousand millions of gazelles and zebras take part in this annual which takes place in Mara- Serengeti eco system. These animals are said to move in search for water and green pastures.

Maasai Mara national reserve is a popular destination for Kenya wildlife safaris and a wonder of the world, it has been named 7th Wonder of the world in a poll which was conducted by ABC Television’s Good Morning America.

Masai Mara national reserve is located in the Southwest of Kenya along the border of Kenya and Tanzania, the reserve shares borders with Serengeti national park, the stretches over an area of 1,510 square kilometers comprising of breathtaking vistas, abundant wildlife and endless plains, rough nd rugged rivers and towering cliffs. The reserve is part of the Great Lake Victoria Basin, to the east the landscape is dominated by the Ngama Hills, granite and quartz rock formations created by volcanic activity. The natural northwest boundary of the Masai Mara national reserve is made up the Oloololo Escarpment, once was wooded and cliffs were left barren after fire and elephant damage and are currently mostly covered by grasses.

Geology of the Masai Mara
Geology of the Masai Mara

 This article details the geology of Masai Mara national reserve as bellow

A tale of two rivers

Masai Mara national reserve has two major rivers which flow through the endless plains, these rivers are The Mara River which is the largest and most famous river in Masai Mara. The Mara river flows straight through Masai Mara and into the Serengeti national park found in Tanzania, the river has a length of 395 kilometers with approximately 65% of the river flowing through Kenya and the 35% of the river flowing in Tanzania. The source of Mara River lies in the Napuiyapi Swamp at the Mai Escarpment in the Kenya Highlands, the river has perennial tributaries and the main ones are the Amala and the Nyangores, these two rivers meet and form the Mara River. The Mara River flows for approximately 395 kilometers until it finally it drains its waters into Lake Victoria, the second river flowing through the plains of Masai Mara is the Talek River which is a tributary of the Mara River. The Mara River is fed by the Engaro, sand and Engito tributaries.

Rivers as borders

The plains of Masai Mara national reserve is divided by two rivers into three sections, right in between the Talek and the Mara River lies the Musiara Sector. The Mara Triangle lies in between the Oloololo Escarpment and the Mara River, the Sekenani Sector lies to the southeast of the Talek and Mara Rivers.

In Masai Mara national reserve, there are very few locations where you can cross these rivers. Also most safari lodges in the reserve only offer game drives in their own sectors of the reserve.

 Mara-Serengeti ecosystem

The Mara – Serengeti ecosystem stretches over an area of approximately 1,520 square kilometers, Masai Mara national reserve is part of this much larger Mara –Serengeti ecosystem which include the Serengeti national park in Tanzania which neighbors it in the southern.  The Towering Oloololo Escarpment lies at the western border sprawling wide – open grassy savannah lies to the north and the east of the Masai Mara reserve, this area is also known for its rolling hills and seasonal riverlets.

Geology of the Masai Mara
Geology of the Masai Mara

The Masai Mara national reserve lies at an altitude range of 1,480 – 2,280 metres.

Masai Mara soil

Masai Mara national reserve lies in the Great Lake Victoria Basin which is made up of ancient igneous and metamorphic rock that dates back to the Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian age. This means, the ground beneath the Mara is more than 600 million years old, the surface of this ancient land was heavily eroded and the covered by the younger rocks and lava from when the volcanoes were active in the Great Rift Valley. In addition to the Lava, the ground is covered by sedimentary deposits of sand, gravel and other lacustrine sediments.

 Are you planning on visiting Maasai Mara national reserve for a memorable and thrilling Kenya adventure, enquire about our package Kenya safaris today.

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