Masai Mara geology is part of the Lake Victoria basin comprising hills, escarpments, and rivers that have stood the taste of time. The landscape of Masai Mara is made up of open savannah grassland which covers the larger part of Masai Mara. The Masai Mara landscape is categorized into four parts and these are the open plains, the Siria escarpments, grasslands and woodlands, and the soils.
- The soil which is mainly made up of sand and eroded stones make up the Eastern side of the Masai Mara Game Reserve.
- The Siria Escarpments take the larger part of the western side of the Masai Mara and it also has a plateau.
- The grassland and woodlands are mainly found along the Mara River banks. This is also the best place to watch the wildebeest migration because it is located right at the center of the migration.
- The open plains can be seen in the Centre of the Masai Mara Game Reserve. The open plains are the best destination for game drives because of the wide range of animals found in the area and the many activities that you can engage in while here.
The different types of landscapes that are found within the Masai Mara Game Reserve act as homes to the different animals offering tourists a good game drive through the different parts of the Masai Mara and participation in other activities like nature walks.
The East African Rift valley formed over 1000 years ago led to the formation of the Masai Mara Game reserve and the surrounding areas. A rift valley refers to two tectonic plates which were formed moving away from each other and the cracks that were formed during this movement led to the led to the termination of various features like the Mountains, lakes, and escarpments. The eruption of the volcanoes within the rift valley which are now dormant led to the change in the soil composition of the Masai Mara.
The Masai Mara soil
The soil found in the Masai Mara is part of the Lake Victorian basin making which is made up of igneous rock dating back to over 600 million years. The igneous rocks at the moment can only be found deep beneath the Masai Mara ground because they were eroded and replaced with lava and rocks from the different volcanoes that were active within the Great Rift Valley. The soil is composed of eroded lava rocks, gravel, and deposits of sand at the moment and since the erosion of the topsoil is still taking place, expect the soils within the Masai Mara to keep on changing their texture.
The Serengeti ecosystem
The Serengeti ecosystem covers both the Serengeti National Park and the Masai Mara National Park giving both Parks similar climates and weather. Masai Mara lies at an altitude of over 2000m above sea level. The ecosystem has provided the Masai Mara with neighboring landscapes with the Oloololo Escarpment found in the western part of Masai Mara, Serengeti National Park in the south, and the wide savannah grasslands in the Eastern part of the Game Reserve.
The ecosystem experienced within the Masai Mara has enabled it to be home to many wild animals that live in the different parts of the Game Reserve. The ecosystem is also responsible for the two seasons that the Reserve experiences that is the wet season and the dry season.
- The dry season is experienced from July to October. This is also a peak season due to the many tourists that come to the Masai Mara in the dry season. Many activities are carried out during this season and these are hot air balloon rides, game drives, cultural walks to the Masai villages, nature walks, birding (on a small scale), and horse riding. There is also a short dry period that is experienced in January and February.
- The season is also known as the low season is experienced from November to December and then from March to June. Birding is best done during this period although you can also enjoy a game ride and nature walks but note that the roads will either be slippery or muddy.
You should note that a slight change in the ecosystem can greatly affect the weather and climate that is experienced in Masai Mara. The change can affect the animals, especially in their migration patterns.
The Rivers in Masai Mara
There are two main Rivers in the Masai Mara the Mara River and the Talek River. Two River tributaries are the Amala tributary and the Nyangores tributaries. These two tributaries met and formed the largest River in Masai Mara. The Mara River flows for an approximate 400 kilometers through Serengeti before pouring into Lake Victoria. The Talek River is a tributary of the Mara River and both Rivers act as waterholes for the animals during the dry season when the water is scarce.
The Talek and Mara Rivers act as boundaries and separate the Masai Mara Game Reserve into three sections. The first section is the Sekenani sector and which is found in the south-eastern part of the Mara and Talek Rivers, the second part is the Musiara sector which is found right between the Talek and Mara River and the Mara triangle is the third section and this is found between the Mara River and the Oloololo.
The Masai Mara geology has been greatly affected by global warming and the increased number of human settlements in the area. The Masai people have always lived in the Masai Mara for ages and unlike before when they were few and move from one place to the next, the Masai have started setting up permanent housing and villages around the Game Reserve which has led to the resources that were once enough for both the humans and the wild animals have become less hence affecting the geology of the Masai Mara. The Masai have become more settled because they now gain more from the tourists who pay entrance fees to gain access to their villages.