The Mara River basin covers a surface of 13,504 km2, of which approximately 65% is located in Kenya and 35% 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 (2932 m), 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).