The Mara River is a river in Africa, flowing through Kenya and Tanzania, and lies across the migration path of ungulates in the Serengeti/Masai Mara game reserves.
The Mara River basin covers a surface of 13,504 km2, of which approximately 60% is located in Kenya and 40% in Tanzania. From its sources in the Kenyan highlands, the river flows for about 395 km and originates from the Mau Escarpment and drains into Lake Victoria. The basin can be roughly divided into four land use and/or administrative units:
The Mau Escarpment: The Mara River originates from the Napuiyapi swamp (2932m), with the main perennial tributaries being the Amala and the Nyangores, which drain from the western Mau Escarpment. This part of the basin supports besides forests, both small scale agriculture (less than 10 acres) and medium-size farms (often tea farms up to 40 acres).
The Kenyan Rangelands: In this area, the Amala and Nyangores rivers flow out of the Mau Escarpment and converge to form the Mara River. The River then meanders further through open savannah grasslands that is mostly governed by Maasai group ranches and used as pasture for livestock and for both small — and large-scale agriculture.
The Protected areas: Eventually the river flows into the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve, where it merges with three of the four mentioned tributaries. On the Kenyan-Tanzanian border, the river flows into the Serengeti National Park and is joined by the fourth major tributary.
Downstream Tanzania: Just after the Mara River flows out of Ikorongo Game Reserve (which borders Serengeti National Park) it meanders sharply northwards.