The objective of this study was to analyze patterns, dynamics and processes of
land-use/cover changes in the transboundary Mara River Basin in East Africa. We specifically focused on deforestation and expansion of agriculture in the watershed. The intensity analysis approach was used to analyze data from satellite imagery-derived land-use/cover maps. Results indicate that swap change accounted for more than 50% of the overall change, which shows a very
dynamic landscape transformation. Transition from closed forest to open forest was found to be a dominant landscape change, as opposed to a random change. Similarly, transition from open forest to small-scale agriculture was also found to be a dominant transition. This suggests a trend (pathway) of deforestation from closed forest to small-scale agriculture, with open forest as a transitional land cover. The observed deforestation may be attributed to continuous encroachment and a series of excisions of the forest reserve. Transition from rangeland to mechanized agriculture was found to be a dominant land-use change, which was attributed to change in land tenure. These findings are crucial for designing strategies and integrated watershed management policies to arrest further deforestation in the forest reserves as well as to sustainably control expansion of agriculture.