Landsacape & Vegetation of Masai Mara

Landsacape & Vegetation of Masai Mara : Masai Mara national reserve sometimes spelled as is an iconic Kenya wildlife safari destination located in Narok Kenya and contiguous with the Serengeti national park in Tanzania. This iconic national reserve is one of the most famous and important wildlife conservation and wilderness areas in Africa and world-renowned for its exceptional populations of wildlife species including lions, African leopard, cheetah, African bush elephants among others and hosts the Great Migration which is regarded as one of the 7 natural wonders of Africa and one of the 10 wonders of the world.

Maasai Mara covers an area of 1,510 square meters and it is composed of  Iconic African grasslands with a splash of riverine forests and towering escarpments.

Masai Mara national reserve is a very magnificent destination with endless golden grasslands, clear blues and occasional oddly shaped trees. Masai Mara has unspoiled nature offering ultimate Kenya adventures, Maasai Mara is more than just endless plains and this itinerary will highlight you more about this wonderland by offering more details on the landscapes, mara plains and riverine forests.


Maasai Mara national reserve lies within the Great Rift Valley a 5,600 kilometer fault line stretching from Ethiopia’s Red Sea and on through Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. Maasai Mara national reserve consist of four very unique and beautiful types of terrain in various regions, to the East of the reserve there are the Ngama Hills  which feature leafy bushes and sand soil and is a favorite among rhinos. To the west of the reserve there is the Olooloo Escarpment- a towering sheer cliff rock wall, along the Mara River there lies the Mara Triangle dominated by lush grasslands and acacia filled woodlands. The triangle is a home to a wide variety of wildlife including the migration wildebeests, Thomson and grant’s gazelles and zebra. In Maasai Mara national reserve there is the Mara plains – the rolling grasslands scattered with boulders, termite mounds and an occasional bush, Landsacape & Vegetation of Masai Mara

The Masai Mara plains

The mind-blowing vast wide-open golden – hued grasslands (Masai Mara plains) make up a large portion of Masai Mara national reserve, these plains are the kind of plains that seen to go on endlessly without a human-built structure in sight. The Masai Mara plains are the classic Savannah where you will have excellent view of the animals that spend their time grazing, lazy strolling along or perched on a termite hill staring out into the distance.

Landsacape & Vegetation of Masai Mara
The Masai Mara plains

The Masai Mara plains are also the best place in Masai Mara national reserve for an excellent view of a few high speed and dramatic predators chasing after their prey, the wide plains give you an excellent vantage point for spotting the animals inhabiting in the Masai Mara plains.

The Mara’s riverine forests

Aside from the plains, Maasai Mara national reserve features very unexpectedly green lush riverine forests, the plains large rivers in the reserve such as the Mara River overflow their riverbanks during the rainy season. During the dry season, these areas remain a source of water for all the creatures and the ecosystem in Masai Mara national reserve.

The presence of water enables the growth of broad-leaved ever green trees and the shade beneath the leafy green allow the soil and air to remain moist, this creates the ideal habitat for other vegetation to flourish thus providing food for insects, birds and animals in Masai Mara national reserve. The forest floor in Masai Mara national reserve is carpted with shade-loving plants and even the tree that hosts a multitude of orchids and creeping vines.

Loita Hills

Loita Hills are beautiful hills where you will encounter a fairy-tale indigenous forest known as the “Forest of the Lost Child”, at the highest point the hills reach an altitude of 2,150 meters.  The Loita Hills – the low-lying mountain range to the northeast of the Masai Mara national reserve is one of the most traditional corners of Masai County, this region is so remote and difficult to access that is sparsely populated and received very few visitors. Because of the remoteness, the region has maintained a very authentic feel. This area is ideal for adventurous travelers as they can embark on walking safaris along the various trails that wind along the mountainside through the dense jungle, Landsacape & Vegetation of Masai Mara.

The entire area of Loita Hills is inhabited by a wide range of extraordinary animals rom buffaloes and bushbucks to forest pigs and colobus monkeys, the area experiences the lesser known little migration where thousands of wildebeests embark on their epic annual trek and the predators that hunt them.

Landsacape & Vegetation of Masai Mara
Loita Hills

Masai Mara versus the Serengeti

The most visible difference between the Masai Mara and the Serengeti is the size of these two famous safari destinations, the Serengeti (Serengeti national park) is much larger of the two areas covering an area of 30,000 square kilometers. On the other hand, the Masai Mara covers an area of 1510 square kilometers which makes it much smaller than its neighbor Serengeti.

However, as it is said – small things come in small packages. Masai Mara (Mara ecosystem) regardless of its size that is making up 0.01% of Africa’s total landmass, it is a home to over 40% of Africa’s large mammals.

The further north you travel from Serengeti towards the Masai Mara border, the more similar the landscape of the two regions gets. However, one of the areas Masai Mara is greener and has higher density of trees.  Also Masai Mara is known for having a more undulating, hilly landscape in comparison to its southern neighbor the Serengeti.

Both the Masai Mara and the Serengeti have extensive river systems, the Mara River is one of the two rivers in these areas flowing from Masai Mara into the Serengeti. It is this river (Mara River) where the breathtaking and the most anticipated stage of the annual migration (The River Crossing) occurs, during the migration millions of wildebeests, zebras and gazelles cross the river countless migration during the great migration. The Mara crossing stage is the most anticipated and deadly stage of the migration where millions of wildebeests, gazelles and zebras faceoff the deadly Nile crocodiles in the waters of the river and the predators along the banks of the river.

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