Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi national park is located in the northeastern part of Tanzania on the Kenyan border in Kilimanjaro and Tanga region. The national park was first established as a game reserve in 1951 and later gazetted as a national park in 2008. The park covers a total area of 3,500 square kilometers which is comprised of scattered grey green scrubby bushes, savannah woodland and grassland. Mkomazi national park is set below the verdant slopes of the stunning Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc mountain ranges and overseen by the iconic snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro. The national park shares its northern border with Kenya’s Tsavo national park and offers refugee for the endangered black rhinos and wild dogs which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. During your safari in the park you will be able to view migratory animals from Tsavo national park such as elephants, zebras, beisa oryx, giraffes, hartebeests, buffaloes, elands other animals like gerenuk, lesser kudu among others.
Attractions in Mkomazi National Park
- Animals, Mkomazi national park harbors various animals including elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, gazelle, elands, impala, buffaloes, topi, fringe eared oryx, beisa oryx, black rhinos, gerenuk, lesser kudu, predators like wild dogs, lions, leopards, hyenas, cheetahs among others which are rarely seen during the game drive and nature walks.
- Birds, the national park is a home of over 450 bird species including migratory and endemic birds which makes Mkomazi national park one of the important birding areas in Tanzania. Bird species that can be viewed include ostriches, Kori bustard, secretary birds, ground hornbill, cobalt chested vulturine guinea fowl, European roller, shelley’s starling, hunters sunbird, black bellied sunbird, martial eagle, pink breasted lark, violet wood hoopoe among others.
Top things to do in Mkomazi National Park
Game drives, the national park offers interesting game drives which is best done very early in the morning so as to be able to view predators before going back to their hiding areas and in the afternoon to view animals grazing in the open grasslands. game drives in Mkomazi national park are carried out in a 4WD pop up safari vehicle with an experienced guide and during the activity you will be able to spot animals like elands, Oryx, Dik Dik, topi, zebras, hartebeest, gerenuks, lesser kudu, view colorful bird species, different vegetation types among others.
Bird watching, Mkomazi national park harbors over 450 bird species ranging from endemic and migratory species which makes it one of the best birding destinations in Tanzania. bird watching in the park is best done early in the morning and late evenings with an experienced bird guide who will help you to spot different bird species including shelley’s starling, three streaked tchagra, Kori bustard, secretary bird, European roller, ostrich, striking vulturine guinea fowl, bare eyed thrush, black bellied sunbird, hunters sunbird, martial eagle, Pringles puffback, red fronted warbler, scaly chatterer, southern ground hornbill, white headed mousebird among others.
Guided nature walk, Mkomazi national park is one of the few destinations in Tanzania that offer guided nature walk and adventurous activity that allows visitors to get out of the safari vehicle and explore the park on foot. Guided nature walks are best done in the morning and evening with the help of an armed park ranger who will protect you from any danger and also show you trails to follow while trekking. During the nature walk you will get close and personal with wildlife species in the park including animals like giraffes, elephants, zebras, elands, view birds flying up in the air, different plant and tree species, listen to birds singing in the trees, enjoy the cool breeze, relax and breath fresh air, take good photos among others.
Where to stay on your safari in Mkomazi National Park
There are a number of accommodations ranging from luxury, midrange, budget and camping sites in Mkomazi national park where you can stay during your safari and they include Mambo view point eco lodge, Babu’s camp, Pangani River camp, Tona lodge, Mambo Cliff Inn, Elephant Motel, Mambo guest house, Casa lodge, Holy Night guest house, Orlando lodge, Hotel Kindoroko, Tumaini guest house, Zebra camp among others.
Best time to visit Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the dry season in the months of June to October. During this time there is less rainfall in the park therefore access roads will be passable, vegetation will be thin and animals will gather around the water bodies to drink water which gives you an opportunity to have clear views of animals and take great pictures.
The national park can as well be visited in the rainy season in the months of March to May and November because this is the best period for birding in that bird lovers will be able to view different migratory birds.
How to get to Mkomazi Park
Mkomazi national park can be accessed by both road and air transport means, when travelling by road you will drive from Arusha or Moshi town to the park headquarters through Njiro, Kivingo or Umba gates. The park can also be accessed from the Eastern Arc Mountains and Kilimanjaro Mountain.
Air transport, Mkomazi park can also be accessed by air transport means whereby you will book scheduled and chartered flights from Arusha airport to Kisima airstrip.
Mkomazi national park is a natural treasure in Tanzania with spectacular views of wildlife species including the endangered black rhinos and charismatic wild dogs, predators, birds, beautiful scenery among others.