Mkomazi National Park (NP) is a 3.200 sq km park in the north east of Tanzania, near the Kenyan border. Herds of migratory species can be found in an area dominated by Acacia vegetation and with mountains rising in every direction.
Upgraded from a game reserve to national park in 2006, Mkomazi is a dry-country reserve of grey-green nyika bush, ancient baobab trees and isolated rocky hills. The sea of bushes then give way to open savannah woodlands of umbrella acacias and mbugas – shallow valleys of grassland
Safari at Mkomazi National Park
is the main activity in the park where we visit different areas of attraction inside the Park using vehicles throughout the day, a peaceful activity at Mkomazi, one of the quieter Tanzania national parks compared to the busier Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Set below the verdant slopes of the spectacular Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain Ranges and overseen by iconic snow – capped peak of Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi is breathtaking beautiful and unique treasure with an immense sense of space, a bridge between the northern safari circuit and coastal attractions.
On safari we will have the opportunity to view these spectacular slopes and more including the park’s two outstanding picnic sites with breathtaking park views at Dindira and Vitewini. This is the best way to relax at the park during a game drive especially in the afternoon with a park lunch meal.
For who are looking to make the safari more experimental, we can do a hiking safari, seeing the ‘big 5’ mammals from high up, offering a unique perspective.
The best hiking trail is through the Mbula Hill trail which takes about three to four hours.
It is possible to spot the ‘Big 5’ here however it may be difficult.
Mkomazi is a wet-season sanctuary for elephants coming from neighbouring Kenya’s Tsavo National Park and seeing elephants is a rare sight.
The park has a rhino sanctuary for black rhinos, but is not easily possible to visit.
The rhinos spend their days and nights grazing and only sleep during the hottest parts of the day. When they aren’t eating, they like a cooling mud soak.
The park does have quite the variety of other wildlife and is home to the lion, buffalo, African wild dog, eland, Hartebeest, Grant’s Zebra and Spotted hyena, dik-diks and topi.
Giraffe, oryx, gerenuk, lesser kudu, eland, impala and Grant’s gazelle share the reserve with numerous predators including the cheetah. In all, 78 species of mammals have been recorded.
Mkomazi NP is quite an interesting park as we will find different animals here that you won’t find in many other locations in Tanzania as they are usually seen further north in Kenya. Such animals include the gerenuk, the vulturine guineafowl, and the fringe-eared oryx.
The birds of Mkomazi are numerous, with over 400 recorded species. Towards the western mountains the vegetation changes to a dry land forest attracting go away birds, ostriches, long crested eagles and bustards, European roller and the golden-breasted starling.
Doves, hornbills, weavers and guinea-fowl are all present in large numbers as well as such shrinking species including the martial eagle and violet wood-hoopoe.
More activities during visit to Mkomazi NP:
Nature walk in the stunning Nilo and Amani Nature Reserves near Muheza town as well as hiking through Chome Nature Forest Reserve in Same.
Walking safari in Mkomazi gives us an opportunity for bird watching and walk around the beautiful Park with a trained Park Ranger.
There are two picnic sites at Dindira and Vitewini areas where we can stop-off for a peaceful lunch whilst enjoying the wildlife on the plains from afar.
The best time to visit is June to October for watching wildlife in Mkomazi NP.
This is the Dry season; vegetation is thinner and animals gather near water.
However, elephants and some other herbivores migrate to the park from neighboring Tsavo NP during the Wet season months from November to May.