Extraordinary Journeys

Destination Overview

Located in North Eastern Tanzania, Mkomazi National Park is bordered by Tsavo West National Park in Kenya to the north-east and by the Pare Mountains to the south-west. The park lies at the southern edge of the great arc of the Sahel region, between the Sahara to the north and a more humid zone (Sudan) to the south. The 3,701 km2 Mkomazi Park is predominantly dry and vegetated mostly by savanna vegetation. The nature is dry open savanna dominated by acacia-commiphora vegetation, which is an ideal habitat for elephant, African buffalo, lion, leopard, lesser kudu, fringe-eared oryx, aardwolf, and gerenuk. In addition, the park is a refuge for two highly endangered species, the captivating black rhino and the African wild dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Just over 390 species of birds have been recorded in Mkomazi, making it an ideal destination for birdwatchers. It was recently in 2007 that Mkomazi was upgraded to a national park.

A game reserve since 1951, this new National Park takes its name from a word from Pare tribe denoting “scoop of water”, referring to little water. It is a fantastic destination for birdwatchers, with more than 450 avian species recorded, among them are the dry – country endemics such as the cobalt – chested vulturine guinea-fowl, other large ground birds such as ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird, ground hornbill and some migratory species including the Eurasian roller.

What to see and do

Mkomazi is a vital refuge for two highly endangered species, the charismatic black rhino and the sociable African wild dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Nomadic by nature, wild dog might be seen almost anywhere in the park, however the black rhino are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, ensuring their safe keeping for the enjoyment and prosperity of future generations.

Mkomazi supports several dry – country specialists’ species that are rare elsewhere in Tanzania; these include the spectacular fringe – eared oryx, with its long back – sweeping horns, and the handsome spiral – horned lesser kudu. Oddest of all is the gerenuk, a gazelle distinguished by its slender neck, bizarre alien – like head, and having the habit of standing tall on its hind legs as it stretches for acacia leaves that other browsers cannot reach.

Where to find Mkomazi National Park

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