Mkomazi National Park is located in northern Tanzania, in the Tanga region, and is surrounded by Kenya’s renowned Tsavo National Park, resulting in the migration of elephants, oryx, and zebras between the two parks. The eastern Umba Game Reserve and the western Mkomazi Game Reserve have been merged to create Mkomazi National Park.
In 1951, it was designated as a game reserve, and in 2006, it was elevated to national park status. Mount Kilimanjaro towers over Mkomazi National Park, which spans 3234 square kilometers and is dominated by its snow-capped peak. Mkomazi National Park is a component of the Mkomazi-Tsavo ecosystem, the second largest transboundary ecosystem in East Africa after the Serengeti-Mara ecosystem.
The ideal time to visit Mkomazi National Park for exceptional game viewing and birding is from June to October, during the dry season. It is also possible to observe animals migrating from Tsavo National Park into Mkomazi. The park is also accessible during the rainy season, providing breathtaking views of the verdant vegetation and migrating birds.
Location of the park
Kilimanjaro and Tanga are the two administrative regions of northern Tanzania. The park’s western boundary is shared with Tsavo National Park in Kenya. The Zange entrance gate is located 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 Kilimanjaro National Park.
Climate and weather
From June to September, the dry season in Mkomazi is typically sunny and mild. Only at night and at the park’s upper elevations does the temperature begin to drop. The climate during the monsoon season (October to May) is inconsistent. The “short rains” precede the “long rains,” which are heavier precipitation, by two months.
Why visit Mkomazi National Park?
The park is not congested, and the animals are acting normally, because it is not well-known and thus retains its allure.
Almost every species is present in this park, and they are simple to spot on a safari tour.
Mkomazi is home to two species on the verge of extinction: the charismatic black rhinoceros and the sociable African wild dog.
It is a less expensive option for visiting the national sites in the north.
Wildlife in Mkomazi national Park
In addition to giraffe, Oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest, lesser kudu, eland, impala, and Grant’s gazelle, elephant, buffalo, and numerous predators such as lion, leopard, and cheetah inhabit the reserve. More than 78 species of mammals have been identified in the park. The park’s fauna are few in number and wary. On a safari game drive to Mkomazi, giraffe, dik-dik, zebra, wildebeest, gazelles, eland, and topi are among the animals that can be easily observed.
Wild canines and black rhinos have been reintroduced for security purposes, but both are kept in captivity. Other groups of wild dogs are occasionally spotted in the region. The odd-looking gerenuk is occasionally observed browsing on its rear legs. The lesser kudu is an antelope located in dense vegetation.
Mkomazi National Park’s Birds
Mkomazi is a designated Important Bird Area, making it an outstanding birdwatching location. It is home to approximately 450 avian species, including dry-country endemics such as the cobalt-chested vulturine Guinea fowl, enormous ground birds such as the ostrich, Kori bustard, secretary bird, and ground hornbill, and migratory species such as the European roller. Migrant laborers are present from November to April, making this the optimal time for a bird-watching safari in this park.
The Best Time to Visit Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi has a low tourist season due to the small number of visitors. Typically, the park’s weather dictates when people visit. Due to the dense vegetation, it may be difficult to see fauna during the rainy season (October to May). In the afternoon, you will have to deal with precipitation. During the drier months, there is a greater likelihood of spotting fauna near water sources.
How to get there
Mkomazi is readily accessible by automobile via same, which is situated on the paved road connecting Arusha and Dar es Salaam. By special arrangement, Njiro, Kivingo, and Umba gates provide convenient access to the park. Additionally, the park is easily accessible from neighboring tourist destinations, including the Eastern Arc Mountains, the Coast, and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Attractions within Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi National Park is home to endangered African wild canines and black rhinoceroses, but it lacks a diverse fauna. During your safari visit to this park, you may also observe common elands, hartebeest, lesser kudu, impalas, dik-dik, topi, and fringe-eared Oryx. Elephants and zebras can be observed migrating between these two Kenyan and Tanzanian parks from Tsavo National Park.
More than 450 bird species, including hornbills, weavers, Guinea fowl, Kori bustard, Von der Decken hornbill, Martial eagle, ostrich, and migratory birds such as the European roller, inhabit Mkomazi National Park, making it one of the finest birding safari destinations.
Tourist Activities in Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi national park, being adjacent to other national parks such as Tsavo national park and Kilimanjaro national park, has some of the finest activities that will make your Tanzania safari exceptional and truly enjoyable. The following are some of the tourist activities and things to do in Mkomazi:
During a game safari in Mkomazi National Park, it is possible to spot elephants, impala, dik-dik, rhinoceros, topi, and lesser kudu, among others. All of this can be seen by traveling around the park’s paths and observing the lush vegetation that surrounds it. Early morning game drives, late afternoon game drives, and night game drives for confronting nocturnal animals are all available for animal viewing in Mkomazi.
With more than 450 species of birds, Mkomazi National Park is a prime location for birding excursions. The Martial eagle, the ostrich, the weaver, and the Kori bustard are easily observed during a birding safari in Mkomazi national park.
Explore the park on foot with a knowledgeable ranger to ensure your safety from predators, and photograph some of the park’s fauna and bird species. Walking safari allows you to observe creatures up close while they are going about their daily routines without disturbing them.
Mkomazi National Park contains a variety of campsites that offer a unique and unforgettable camping experience in the great wilderness. Camping is one of the few ways to make your safari experience truly enchanted and to feel the authentic African forest. It is one of the safari tour activities you should never neglect if you want your vacation to be remarkable and unforgettable.
Hiking is best performed early in the morning or late at night to allow for sufficient recuperation. The ideal time to hike Mkomazi National Park’s mountain ranges is during the dry season, when the trails are dry and the park offers spectacular views. During your Mkomazi hiking safari, you have the option of visiting the nearby Kilimanjaro national park and putting your physical abilities to the test by ascending to Africa’s roof.
Accommodation facilities and where to stay during your safari in Mkomazi National Park
There is a semipermanent tent camp close the park headquarters. A few primitive campsites are permitted, but campers must supply their own equipment and food. If you would rather not spend the night in the park, there are a number of small hotels and guest rooms in the adjacent town of Same where you can spend the night. During your safari vacation to this park, you can also remain at Mambo Viewpoint Eco Lodge, Babu’s Camp, Pangani River Camp, and Orlando Lodge.