Mkomazi National Park is located in northern Tanzania, in the Tanga region, and is surrounded by Kenya’s famous Tsavo National Park, resulting in elephant, Oryx, and zebra movement between the two parks. The Umba Game Reserve in the east and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in the west have been combined to form Mkomazi National Park.
It was first designated as a game reserve in 1951 and then elevated to a national park in 2006. Mkomazi National Park covers 3234 square kilometers and is dominated by the snow-capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. Mkomazi National Park is part of the Mkomazi-Tsavo ecosystem, which is East Africa’s second largest transboundary ecosystem after the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
The dry season, from June to October, is the best time to visit Mkomazi National Park for exceptional game viewing and birding opportunities. Animals can also be seen migrating into Mkomazi from Tsavo National Park. The park is also open during the rainy season, offering stunning vistas of the lush foliage and migratory birds.
Location of the park
Northern Tanzania is divided into two administrative regions: Kilimanjaro and Tanga. The park has a western boundary with Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. The Zange entrance gate is 112 kilometers (69 miles) from Moshi, 550 kilometers (341 miles) from Dar es Salaam, 142 kilometers (88.7 miles) from Kilimanjaro International Airport, 120 kilometers (75 miles) from Kilimanjaro National Park, and 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from same.
Climate and weather
The dry season in Mkomazi (June to September) is typically sunny and warm. Only at night, and at the park’s higher elevations, do things start to get a little chilly. The rainy season (October to May) is unable to find a consistent climate. It starts with the “short rains,” then subsides for two months before the “long rains,” which are stronger downpours.
Why should you visit Mkomazi National Park?
- Because the park is not well known and hence it retains its allure, It is not overcrowded, and the animals are behaving normally.
- Almost every species is present here, and are easy to be seen in your safari tour to this park.
- Mkomazi is home to two critically endangered species: the charismatic black rhino and the gregarious African wild dog.
- It’s a less expensive option for visiting the northern national parks.
Wildlife in Mkomazi national Park
Elephant, buffalo, and various predators, including lion, leopard, and cheetah, cohabit the reserve with giraffe, Oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest, lesser kudu, eland, impala, and Grant’s gazelle. A total of more than 78 mammal species have been identified in the park. The park’s wildlife is sparsely populated and cautious. Giraffe, dik-dik, zebra, wildebeest, gazelles, eland, and topi are some of the animals that can be easy observed on safari game drive to Mkomazi.
For security reasons, wild dogs and black rhinos have been reintroduced, but both are kept in captivity. Other wild dog packs are occasionally seen in the area. The strange-looking gerenuk is sometimes seen browsing on its hind legs. The lesser kudu is an antelope that can be found in dense bush.
Birds of Mkomazi National Park
For birdwatchers, Mkomazi is an excellent birding site, It is a designated important bird area. It is home to about 450 bird species, including dry-country endemics like the cobalt-chested vulturine Guinea fowl, huge ground birds like the ostrich, Kori bustard, secretary bird, and ground hornbill, and migratory species like the European roller. From November to April, migrant workers are present and it can be the best time for bird watching safari to this park.
The Best Time to Go/ visit Mkomazi
Mkomazi has such a low tourist season because there are so few visitors. The weather in the park usually determines when people visit. During the rainy season (October to May), it may be difficult to see wildlife due to the dense vegetation. In the afternoon, you’ll have to contend with rain. During the drier months, you’ll have a better chance of seeing wildlife around water sources.
How to get there
Mkomazi is easily accessible by car via same, which is located on the paved highway that connects Arusha and Dar es Salaam. Njiro, Kivingo, and Umba gates provide easy entrance to the park by special arrangement. The park is also conveniently accessible from adjacent tourist destinations such as the Eastern Arc Mountains, the Coast, and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tourist Attractions in Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi National Park does not contain a diverse range of fauna, yet it is home to endangered African wild dogs and black rhinoceros. Common elands, hartebeest, lesser kudu, impalas, dik-dik, topi, and fringe-eared Oryx are among the other creatures that can be seen during your safari visit to this park. From Tsavo National Park, elephants and zebras can be seen moving/migrating between these two Kenya and Tanzania parks.
More than 450 bird species live in Mkomazi National Park, including hornbills, weavers, Guinea fowl, Kori bustard, Von der Decken hornbill, Martial eagle, ostrich, and migratory birds such as the European roller making it one of the best birding safari destination.
Tourist Activities in Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi national park, being adjacent to different national parks such as the Tsavo national park and Kilimanjaro national park, it has some of the best things to do and make your safari to Tanzania exceptional and real enjoyable. Some of the tourist activities/ things to do in Mkomazi includes the following
Several creatures, including elephants, impala, dik-dik, rhinoceros, topi, lesser kudu, and others, can be seen during a game drive in Mkomazi National Park. All of this may be viewed when driving around the park’s paths and taking in the rich vegetation surrounding it. Animal viewing in Mkomazi can be done through game drives either early in the morning game drive, late afternoon game drive and night game drives for encountering nocturnal animals.
With over 450 bird species, Mkomazi National Park is a top destination for birding safaris. Birds such as the Martial eagle, the ostrich, the weaver, and the Kori bustard can easy be spotted in your birding safari tour to Mkomazi national park.
Explore the park on foot with an experienced ranger to ensure your security from predators, and get up close and personal with some of the park’s wildlife and bird species while taking photos. Walking safari gives you a chance to spot animals up close while they are on their daily schedules and without disturbing them.
Mkomazi National Park features a number of campsites that provide a one-of-a-kind and unforgettable camping experience in the outdoors. Camping is one of the few way to make your safari experience real magical and feel the real true nature of the African bush. It is one of the experience to never miss do in your safari tour if you want to make your holiday remarkable and unforgettable.
Hiking is best done early in the morning or late in the evening to allow for adequate recuperation. Hiking the mountain ranges in Mkomazi National Park is best done in the dry season, when the pathways are dry and the park offers spectacular views. During your hiking safari to Mkomazi, you can opt also to go to the nearby Kilimanjaro national park and get more test to your physical ability by hiking to this roof of Africa.
Accommodation facilities/where to stay in your Mkomazi National Park safari
One semi-permanent tent camp is located near the park headquarters. There are a few authorized basic campsites where campers must bring their own equipment and food. The nearby Same town is home to a number of small hotels and guest rooms were to can enjoy your night if you prefer not to stay inside the park. Other accommodation to stay at during your safari holiday to this park includes Mambo Viewpoint Eco Lodge, Babu’s Camp, Pangani River Camp, and Orlando Lodge.