Mkomazi National Park
The park lies below the slopes of the spectacular Usambara and Pare mountain ranges. The savannah and grasslands are home to 2 endangered species, the black rhino and the African wild dog.
- High diversity of birds and insects
- Scenic beauty of the Pare Mountains
- Large populations of gerenuk in Tanzania
- Spectacular views of Kilimanjaro and a range of the Usambara Mountains
- 450+ species of birdlife
- A good chance of seeing one of the worlds 3000 remaining black rhino
- Game drives
- Walking safaris
- Trekking safari
- Wildlife rehabilitation - Learn more about conservation of the rhinoceros at Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary
- Aerial safari
- Bush dinners
- 3,500 sq km
- Located in north eastern Tanzania, bordering Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park to its north. Occupying Kilimanjaro and Tanga Regions, Mkomazi is 112kms(69 miles) from Moshi Town and 550kms(341miles) from Dar es Salaam The National Park forms part of the northern circuit of Tanzania.
Mkomazi National Park is a spectacular wilderness. Within sight to the northwest is Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest summit. To the south, the Pare and Usumbara Mountains form a dramatic backdrop, and to the north, Kenya’s vast Tsavo National Park shares a border with Mkomazi, making common ground for migratory herds of elephant, oryx and zebra during the wet season.
Mkomazi is a classic dry country reserve of grey-green nyika bush, ancient baobab trees and isolated rocky hills. Elsewhere, the seas of bush give way to open savannah woodlands of umbrella acacias and mbugas(shallow valleys of grassland).
The animals are typical of the arid nyika. Giraffe, oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest, lesser kudu, eland, impala and Grant’s gazelle share the reserve with elephant, buffalo and numerous predators, including lion, leopard and cheetah. In all, 78 species of mammal have been recorded. The birds of Mkomazi are even more numerous with over 400 species being recorded.
Mkomazi is also the focus of an intensive breeding program to save the endangered black rhinos. While the park is perfect for rhino, it is dry and dusty most of the year. When the frequented waterholes dry up, game becomes elusive and hard to find. Wild dogs have recently been introduced to the region and the park does have a wide variety of indigenous snakes.
Common animals that are to be found in Mkomazi are elephant, giraffe, Grant’s gazelle, lesser kudu, Coke’s hartebeest, buffalo, gerenuk, zebra, warthog, reedbuck, waterbuck, impala, eland, oryx, , silver backed jackal, wild dog and wild cat.
Mkomazi is also rich in birdlife. It is estimated that there are between 450-500 bird species making it one of the richest areas in terms of bird species. The park, therefore, is an ideal place for visitors and study groups interested in birds. You can expect to see doves, hornbills, weavers and guinea fowl, who are all present in large numbers. You might even catch a glimpse of the rarer martial eagle and violet wood-hoopoe.
Reptiles are also found here and notable species are crocodiles, python, minor and blue headed agama lizards.
The main physical features are the Pare Mountains and their foothills. The highest peak is Kinondu, rising to approximately 1600 metres above sea level. The north Pare mountains are formed of metamorphic rock. The open plains are underlined by Precambrian rocks covered with superficial alluvial deposits. The plains vegetation is characterized by acacia. The seasonally flooded plains and valley bottom have grey to black soils typically known as black cotton or ‘mbuga’ soils.
The climate is characterized by semi-arid areas. Long rains occur between February and May and short rains from September through to November. Accordingly, the mean rainfall in the Mkomazi area is 500mm per annum with temperatures varying from 18 to 29 degrees celsius. July and August are the coolest months.
WHEN TO VISIT
The best time to visit is June through to January. Within this period June through to early September is the best time to observe large mammals and birdlife, while March through to June is the best time to visit if you would like to take scenic photographs of the park.
Accommodation at Mkomazi National Park
Babu’s Camp is a new intimate tented camp in Mkomazi National Park and is the only permanent tented camp in the park.