A brief History : “How Maasai Mara was formed” (From Saturday Nation(Kenya), 28 July 2012, Page 21)
In 1942, a Briton named Mr Tempol visited the Mara with the intention of seeing the Maasai people who were living at an area known as Mara Olpurkei, which is now known as Mara Triangle. About six years later, in 1948, Mr Tempol, then the Narok DC, created the Maasai Mara National Reserve as a wildlife sanctuary. He again visited the area in 1957 to see Maasai. He told this community that the area was infested with tsetse fly (etorobo) and ordered the Maasais to leave the area since the etorobo was very harmful and could wipe out everything from the land. When he visited the area for the third time in 1959, Mr Tempol created boundaries after meeting with the Maasai drawn from Enkiu and Olchoro Lolaineng to Kenya-Tanzania boundary. He once again came back in 1961 and produced an aerial photograph of the area. In August of that year, he ordered all the Maasai to leave the area. They refused to leave saying that it was their ancestral land. Today, the Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the best wildlife parks in Africa and is famous for the abundance of lions and the spectacular wildebeest migration. Other than hosting over 95 species of animals and 570 recorded species of birds, the Mara ecosystem has one of the highest lion densities in the world and over two million wildebeest, zebra and Thompsons gazelle migrate annually. Maasai Mara National Reserve stretches 1,510 square kilometers and rises 1,500 – 2170 meters above sea level. It is managed by Narok and Trans Mara councils.
Here are known Geological facts (From Serengeti-Maasai Mara Ecosystem Transboundary Protection and Monitoring Plan Report)
The underlying strata in the Basin is composed of very old igneous and metamorphic rock of Cambrian and Pre-Cambrian age (>600 million years old) which form part of the ‘Basement Complex’. The surface of this ancient landform was heavily eroded and then covered by younger rocks, including lava and other igneous extrusions released during the Tertiary period when volcanoes were active in the Great Rift Valley. The youngest rocks include sedimentary deposits of sand and gravel and other lacustrine sediments.
Here are the Less Known (Economic) Facts
I’ll tell you about what is of economic importance. If the Mara didn’t exist the next big thing in Nandi county would be gold.Lots of it. The Mara is home to one of the largest gold vein deposit in the country, second only to one In Migori county where numerous illegal mines are found, and is believed to be an extension of the the same gold belt-Lolgorian belt- found in Migori. Read The extent of it is not properly known because proper surveys have yet to be done but it is believed to be in the range of 4,000 ounces an year and should last for around 20 years. At the current Gold prices (1300 USD per ounce in 2014) that would be 5.2 million dollars per year (You can do the Kenyan version by yourselves).
Did you know there’s a pink hippo in the Mara and no its not an Albino Read about it here
Mining or The Mara?
So the question arises. Mining or The Mara? The Mara would be me. I’m a geologist yes, but I’m a conservationist and environmentalist as well and as one I’ve also been taught that the resources we look for are non-renewable in the long run. Why sacrifice 20 years of profit for a lifetime of beauty? The current mining bill, inked in the 40’s has provisions where the president can de-gazette a conservancy, park or any heritage site for that matter, if he deems it economically or otherwise necessary for the country. With the level of awareness we have today I don’t envision this happening. however if the draft law on mining is passed it would ensure no such provisions exist.
So that said Who wants to go to the Mara?!
Photos courtesy of Burrard-Lucas. To See more photos of the Great Migration click here (P.s check out the video first! )
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