The Mara River is a river that provides lifeblood to the surrounding ecosystem. Without the essential water it provides there would be no wildebeest migration and the ecosystem would look very different. The river is also the main source of water for many communities, businesses and local farmers nearby. The water levels and quality have changed significantly over the past few decades because of expanding agriculture, industrial activity and population growth.
However this river still offers a spectacular area as the site of the world’s greatest wildlife migration. Every year, from July to October, almost two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle travel from the Serengeti in Tanzania up to the Maasai Mara (and back again), feeding on the lush grass that springs up after seasonal rains.
The spectacle is a sight to behold, it can bring viewers to their edge. There are huge crocodiles in the river! Don’t they see the danger? You may ask, or you may even even want to warn them, But they have to cross, and by this point, the herd is already leaping into the water, the crocodiles have grabbed a few by their throats and are logrolling to rip away limbs. In no time, the hoofs of hundreds of dead wildebeests are pointing skyward.
Talk of the balance of nature! Its the creatures’ carcasses that feed more than a bunch of fat crocodiles. They nourish an entire ecosystem — river fish, plants, microorganisms, hyenas, birds and even hippopotamuses. Actually, if you are lucky, you could observe the hippos snacking on the dead bodies of wildebeests.