MKOMAZI NATIONAL PARK
In the foothills of the spectacular Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain Ranges and with Kilimanjaro in the distance, Mkomazi is a beautiful place filled with nature and scenery. An unexpected jewel set between the well-known parks of the Northern circuit and the spectacular coastline of the Tanga- Pangani area.
Minutes from a major highway, that connects Tanzania's North to Dar Es Salaam and the South, this little gem is not well known and therefore seldom visited. It is an unexpected surprise that within half an hour of driving from this highway, one can be viewing herds of giraffe, zebra, hartebeest, eland, elephant, buffalo, and more.
Mkomazi is a vital refuge for two highly endangered species, the black rhino and the African wild dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Nomadic by nature, wild dogs might be seen almost anywhere in the park, however the black rhinos are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, with a smaller fenced enclosure having just been completed for use by tourism.
Mkomazi is home to a few species that are difficult to find in other parts of Tanzania. The three in particular are the lesser kudu, the fringe-eared oryx, and last but not least the gerenuk - known as swala twiga in Swahili meaning the gazelle giraffe.
Bird watchers also have a field day in this park. The location of the park, its proximity with the Tsavo ecosystem in Kenya allows for more than 450 bird species to be recorded - vulturine guinea-fowl probably being the most famous of this lot and of course, there are countless others including quite a few ground birds such as ground hornbill, kori bustard, ostrich, and secretary bird. Mkomazi is also a migratory path for many bird species. Finally, Mkomazi is the first transfrontier national park in Tanzania.