Mara Region

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Mara Region
Mkoa wa Mara (Swahili)
Ballonvaren over de Serengeti (6693818375).jpg
Crocodile in the Mara river (29230436717).jpg
Musoma Aerial View.jpg
From top to bottom:
Ballooning over the Serengeti in Mara, crocodile on the Mara River and Musoma city view.
The land of the Serengeti; Nyerere's homeland
Location in Tanzania
Location in Tanzania
Coordinates: 1°46′31.44″S 34°9′11.52″E / 1.7754000°S 34.1532000°E / -1.7754000; 34.1532000Coordinates: 1°46′31.44″S 34°9′11.52″E / 1.7754000°S 34.1532000°E / -1.7754000; 34.1532000
Country Tanzania
 • Regional CommissionerSuleiman M. Mzee (CCM)
 • Total21,760 km2 (8,400 sq mi)
 • Rank7th of 31
 • Total1,743,830
 • Rank9th of 31
 • Density80/km2 (210/sq mi)
Ethnic groups
 • SettlerSwahili, Luo & Sukuma
 • NativeZanaki, Kurya, Ngurimi, Ikoma, Ikizu, Kwaya, Jita, Suba, Kerewe, Sizaki & Simbiti
Time zoneUTC+3 (EAT)
Area code028
ISO 3166 codeTZ-13 [1]
HDI (2018)0.522[2]
low · 15th of 25
WebsiteOfficial website
Sagittarius serpentarius Sekretär.JPG
Secretary bird
Pundamilia (Haplochromis) nyererei male.jpg
[[Haplochromis nyererei ]]
Yellow pansy (Junonia hierta cebrene) male.jpg
Yellow pansy
Vachellia drepanolobium aka Whistling Thorn on the western slopes of Kilimanjaro Jan 2017.jpg
Whistling thorn

Mara Region (Mkoa wa Mara in Swahili) is one of Tanzania's 31 administrative regions. The region covers an area of 21,760 km2 (8,400 sq mi).[3] The region is comparable in size to the combined land area of the nation state of El Salvador.[4] The neighboring regions are Mwanza Region and Simiyu Region (to the south), Arusha Region (to the southeast), and Kagera Region (across Lake Victoria). The Mara Region borders Kenya (to the northeast).The regional capital is the municipality of Musoma. Mara Region is known for being the home of Serengeti National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site and also the birth place of Tanzania's founding father Julius Nyerere. Under British colonial occupation, the Mara Region was a district called the Lake Province, which became the Lake Region after independence in 1961.[5]


The Mara Region is located in the northern part of mainland Tanzania. It is located between latitudes 1° 0’ and 2° 31’ and between longitudes 33° 10’ and 35° 15’. It contains 30,150 sq kilometers total, 10,584 sq kilometers of such being water area. To the north the Mara Region borders Uganda and Kenya. It is also bordered by the Arusha Region to its east, Simiyu Region to its south, as well as the Mwanza Region in the southwest and west. 15% of Lake Victoria's water body—10,854 square kilometers—is submerged in the Mara Region. [6][7]


The maximum temperature of the region is 29.32℃ and minimum of 27.68℃, with an average of 28.50℃. The Mara Region experiences a bimodal rainfall pattern, consisting of two rainy seasons and two dry seasons. The long rainfall period last between February until June. The short rainfall period last between September and June.[6]

The Mara Region can be divided into 3 climatic zones. The northern zone resides in the Tarime District as well as parts of the Serengeti District. On average, it receives annual rainfall of 1,250-2,000 mm/year. The central zone includes much of Musoma District and eastern parts of Serengeti. It receives an annual rainfall of 900–1300 mm/year. The Lowland zone covers much of Bunda and the lake shores. This zone receives 700–900 mm/year.[8][6] Lake Victoria borders the Mara Region of Tanzania. The lake has a surface area 68,800 square km, and its coastline expands over 3,220 km. It is the Nile's principle water reservoir. Lake Victoria has numerous archipelagos, or groups of islands. Islands found in Mara territory are numerous, in the Bunda District Council, there are Bulamba, Nafuba, Sozia, Sata, Namguma, Machwele, Ilela, Igali, Chalika, Nyakalango, Bugulani, Nachenyele, and Guyanza; in the Musoma Municipal Council, Rukuba, and Iriga; and in the Rorya District Council, Towa, Kinesi, and Bugwambwa Island. There are a plethora of over 200 species of fish, however economically tilapia and nile perch are important.[9]


The Mara Region is mostly covered with natural vegetation, but there are also large areas of cultivation that are underutilized. The most prevalent landscape seen in the natural vegetation is the “savannah type” most commonly found in areas that receive annual rainfall between 900 and 1200 mms/year. The Serengeti plains consist of savannah type vegetation with predominant forest vegetation, but mostly scattered woodlands and wooded grasslands. The northern zone, receiving high annual rainfall, is composed of the humid forest. The lowland zones with less annual rainfall consist of wooded grassland and bushland of dense thickets.[8] 14,750 sq kilometers of land is occupied by the Serengeti National Park. It is located at the border of the Arusha and Mara Region. It was established in 1951, and contains the vast and astonishing concentration of plain animals left anywhere in Africa.[8]


Mining, fishing, tourism, cattle raising, crop farming, and cross-border operations are the mainstays of the Mara Region's distinctive and alluring economy.[7]


About 80% of the region's workforce is employed in agriculture, which accounts for about 60% of the region's GDP. Cassava, rice, maize, sorghum, finger-millet, bulrush millet, sweet potatoes, potatoes, beans, Bambara nuts, ground nuts, green gram, chickpeas, banana, cotton, coffee, sunflower, sesame, onions, tomatoes, watermelon, oranges, avocados, pawpaw, pineapples, and lemons are some of the crops grown in the area. However, the region's critical crops include bananas, coffee, cassava, horticulture, and cotton. The estimated amount of fertile land in the region is 2,500,000 hectares, however only 500,000 hectares, or around 20% of the arable land, are typically used for crop production.

The Mara Region is one of the eleven cotton-growing regions in the Western Cotton Growing Area (WCGA), and when compared to other regions, it produces an average of 220 kg of cotton per acre. Mara was the pioneer of the cotton contract farming model in Tanzania.[7] Out of the potential area of 22,632 hectares suited for the crop, the region is predicted to cultivate 3,065 hectares of Arabica coffee. In the Mara region, coffee is grown in four districts. These districts are Tarime, Serengeti, Rorya, and Butiama. Small-scale farmers, with average plot sizes of 1 acre and 800 kilograms of production per acre, are the principal producers. In Tarime District, tea is mostly farmed by small-holder farmers, who have land plots ranging from 0.2 acre to 2 acres and produce 600 kilos per acre each month.

Air service to the Mara region is provided by Musoma Airport, the airstrips at Seronera and Fort Ikoma in the Serengeti National Park, and Magena Airstrip near Tarime.[7]


Fishing in the Mara region is primarily done on Lake Victoria, which has 49% of its total area within Tanzanian territory. Along Lake Victoria, the Mara River, and its streams, fishing is done. It is rated as one of the region's top economic objectives. About 379,707 individuals are employed in fishing as a source of income, which accounts for 40% of the labor force in the area.[7] The most common methods of processing sardines in the area include sun drying, frying, and, in rare instances, smoking. When compared to sardines from other regions, Mara Region sardines (dagaa), especially those from Kibuyi in Rorya District, are the best and have the most weight per gallon or per bucket. A monthly average catch of 3,452.25 metric tonnes is thought to be marketed both inside and beyond the Mara Region. [7]

Nile perch is a valuable source of food and nourishment for families, as well as a raw material for fish processing factories. Bunda, Musoma, and Rorya districts saw a quantity of catch locally. Fisheries in Rukuba Makoko, Nyakarango, Nafuba, Namguma, Machwera, and Sozia. Musoma Fish Processors do processing in the area in the beaches of Ryamakabe, Toa, Ngonche, Msasani, and Bugambwa. The majority of the processing of the Nile perch that is brought into the area. Roughly 72%, or 13,373.07 metric tonnes—takes place in Mwanza.[7]

Wildlife, Tourism and Reserves[edit]

The Serengeti National Park Sign

The Mara Region is home to the Serengeti National Park, one of the world's most famous national parks. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the national park occupies a large area of grasslands and woodlands and is home to a diverse range of wildlife. It attracts close to 150,000 tourists every year. The sanctuary is home to more than a million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, and 300,000 Thomson's gazelles. Additionally, Mara is also home to The Mwalimu Nyerere Museum, which houses historical facts on the country's independence. The museum is situated in Butiama Village, the final resting place of Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere, the country's founding father.

Legally protected forests are thought to cover 9,541.2 hectares in the Mara Region. 2,927 of these are within the jurisdiction of the Central Government, 3,593.3 are under the control of district councils, and 2,980 are not. Village governments control 5 hectares, while the private sector is in charge of 40.4 hectares.

The Bunda and Serengeti Districts' Ikorongo and Grumeti Game Reserves, with a combined area of 993.4 km2, were established in 1993. Ikoma Wildlife Management Area (IWMA), which spans 242.3 km2, is present in addition to the Reserves. There are many different wildlife species there. The Mara ecosystem is renowned for its yearly migration of more than 1.5 million wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. The second-largest migration of terrestrial mammals in the world takes place in the Serengeti.[10][7]


The Mara Region is the ancestral homeland to the following people groups:Zanaki, Kurya, Ngurimi, Ikoma, Ikizu, Kwaya, Jita, Suba, Kerewe, Sizaki and Simbiti. In 2016 the Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics report there were 1,924,230 people in the region, from 1,743,830 in 2012. For 2002–2012, the region's 2.5 percent average annual population growth rate was the thirteenth highest in the country. It was also the twelfth most densely populated region with 80/km2 (210/sq mi).[11]: 152 [12]: 2-6  Julius Nyerere is a member of the Zanaki people group in Mara(1965)

Administrative divisions[edit]


Mara Region is divided into one city coucil, two town councils and four distric councils.[11]: 182 

Districts of Mara Region
Map District Population
Mara-Region.svg Musoma Municipal 134,327
Bunda Town 134,327
Tarime Town 134,327
Bunda District 335,061
Butiama District 241,732
Musoma District 178,356
Rorya District 265,241
Serengeti District 249,420
Tarime District 339,693
Total 1,924,230


For parliamentary elections, Tanzania is divided into constituencies. As of the 2022 elections the Mara Region had ten constituencies:[13]

  • Bunda
  • Bunda Urban
  • Butiama
  • Musoma
  • Musoma Urban
  • Mwibara
  • Rorya
  • Serengeti
  • Tarime
  • Tarime Urban

Notable persons from Mara Region[edit]


  • Ibrahim Juma- Tanzanian High Court judge
  • Prof. Philemon Sarungi- Tanzania's first Orthopaedic Surgeon


  • Dickson Marwa Mkami- Tanzanian long-distance runner
  • Mbwana Samata- football athlete (Simba, TP Mazembe, and national team)
  • Bitta John Musiba, football athlete (Simba and national team)
  • Amri Kiemba- football athlete (Simba and national team)
  • Elias Mfungo Sulus- Former President of the Tanzania Amateur Athletics Association ( TAAA) now known as AT, East Africa Athletics Federation and the First Tanzanian to become a Technical Committee member of the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF)and former National Athletic Team in 1950s and 1960s.
  • Suleiman Nyambui Tanzanian Olympic Silver medalist and athlete from Musoma, Mara.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IS0 3166". ISO. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  2. ^ "Sub-national HDI - Area Database - Global Data Lab". Archived from the original on 23 September 2018. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  3. ^ "Mara Region Size".
  4. ^ 21,041 km2 (8,124 sq mi) for El Salvador at "Area size comparison". Nations Online. 2022. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  5. ^ Ndembwike, John (2008). Life in Tanzania. Godfrey Mwakikagile. pp. 38–40.
  6. ^ a b c "Tanzania] National Sample Census of Agriculture 2007/2008 Mara Region" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 18 February 2022. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Mara Investment Guide 2020 (PDF) (Regional Guide). Mara Region: United Nations, Mara Region. 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on 11 June 2022. Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Tanzania., & Mara Regional Commissioner's Office. (2003). Mara Region: Socio-economic profile. Dar es Salaam: The Bureau.
  9. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, T. E. (2016, November 10). Lake Victoria. Retrieved from
  10. ^ "". Archived from the original on 4 February 2012. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
  11. ^ a b 2016 Makadirio ya Idadi ya Watu katika Majimbo ya Uchaguzi kwa Mwaka 2016, Tanzania Bara [Population Estimates in Administrative Areas for the Year 2016, Mainland Tanzania] (PDF) (Report) (in Swahili). Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: National Bureau of Statistics. 2016-04-01. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-12-27. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  12. ^ 2012 Population and Housing Census - Population Distribution by Administrative Areas (PDF) (Report). Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: National Bureau of Statistics. 2013-03-01. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-03-26. Retrieved 2022-07-03.
  13. ^ "Historia ya Mkoa wa Mara". Mkoa wa Mara (in Swahili). Mara, Tz: Mkoa wa Mara. Archived from the original on 15 June 2022. Retrieved 17 August 2022.

External links[edit]