Mkomazi National Park
Mkomazi is a virgin breathtaking beauty exhibiting unique natural treasures and an immense sense of space – which adds to the fulfillment of high visitor enjoyment expectations – a much-needed bridge between the northern circuit and coastal attractions.
Thousands of people pass through Mkomazi on one of Tanzania’s busiest highways every day. Visitors to these and the northern circuit safaris are now especially welcome to discover the treasures of this wedge of hilly semi-arid savannah, which is home to large herds of giraffe, eland, hartebeest, zebra, buffalo, and elephant.
Mkomazi is an important haven for two critically endangered species: the charismatic black rhino and the sociable African wild dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Wild dogs, by nature nomadic, can be found almost anywhere in the park, but black rhinos are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, ensuring their survival for the enjoyment and prosperity of future generations.
Mkomazi is home to several dry-country specialists that are uncommon elsewhere in Tanzania, such as the magnificent fringe-eared oryx with its long back-sweeping horns and the handsome spiral-horned lesser kudu. The gerenuk, a gazelle distinguished by its slender neck, strange alien-like head, and habit of standing tall on its hind legs as it stretches for acacia leaves that other browsers cannot reach, is the oddest of all.
This new National Park takes its name from a Pare tribe word that means “scoop of water,” referring to a small amount of water. More than 450 avian species have been recorded, including dry-country endemics such as the cobalt-chested vulturine guinea-fowl, large ground birds such as ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, ground hornbill, and some migratory species such as the Eurasian roller.
Northern Tanzania is divided into the administrative regions of Kilimanjaro and Tanga. The park is bounded on the west by Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. The Zange entrance gate is 112 kilometers (69 miles) from Moshi, 550 kilometers (341 miles) from Mwalimu J. K. Nyerere International Airport – Dar es Salaam, 142 kilometers (88.7 miles) from Kilimanjaro National Park, and 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from the town of Same.
How to get there
Mkomazi is easily accessible by road, as it is located on the surfaced highway connecting Arusha and Dar es Salaam. The Park is also easily accessible by special arrangement through the gates of Njiro, Kivingo, and Umba. The park is also easily accessible from nearby tourist attractions such as the Eastern Arc Mountains, The Coast, and Kilimanjaro Mountain.