A diverse area west of the Rift Valley, with hot semi-desert in the north, expanses of cool highlands, grasslands in the south, rain forest in the west, and payrus beds on an inland sea.

Masai Mara National Reserve (373,000 acres) is the northern extension of Tanzania's Serengeti Plains and is usu. called 'the Mara.' Two rivers run through the land: the Mara and the Talek. Over 1 million herbivores (esp. wildebeests and zebras) migrate to this area between July and October for dry-season grazing.

The Mara hosts resident populations of elephants, hippos, topis, hartebeests (like gazelles), buffalos, giraffes, impalas (Chevy Impalas?), Kirk's dik-diks, and a few black rhinos. Predators like cheetas, leopards, and lions are plentiful. 450 species of birds have been recorded, including 54 raptors. The pastoral Masai (Maasai) people live a semi-nomadic life outside the preserve.

National Audubon Society, with some of my editing...

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