mkomazi national park tanzania africa

Mkomazi National Park

It is part of a protected area for the protection of migratory movements of elephants, oryxes and zebras.
Its name derives from the words mwiko "wooden spoon" and mazi "water", the union of these words should give the idea of the scarcity of water in the area.

Mkomazi is the only park in Tanzania where there are seven artificial ponds created to considerably increase the amount of water available for the wildlife.

The Park is characterized by a semi-savannah vegetation, with herbs and shrubs, ancient baobabs and isolated rocky hills.
The expanse of bushes gradually gives way to the prairies, mixed with acacia trees and grassy valleys.
Most of the park is occupied by pastures, some of which, during rainy periods, turn into marshes.
On the Pare and Usambara hills the land is covered with lush vegetation, typical of the rainforest.
The park inhabited by the "big five": elephant, black rhino, buffalo, lion and leopard.
The area is rich in herds of giraffes, zebras, antelopes, wildebeests, warthogs and other predators such as the cheetah and the wild dog. In addition, jackals, hyenas and many other animals also can be observed.

In Mkomazi live some species that are considered rare: the Orice (with very beautiful and long horns) and the minor Kudu (with the characteristic spiral horns).

The park is an ideal destination for ornithology lovers because it is home to over 450 species of birds, such as the vulturina guinea fowl and large terrestrial species such as ostrich, Kori bustard, secretarybird, southern ground hornbill, cormorants, pelicans, flamingos , kingfishers, waders, ducks, the steppe eagle, Wahlberg's eagle and many others.

In the park of Mkomazi you can observe a wide range of local reptiles: pythons and various species of snakes, Agama and other lizards. In the Umba river lives a population of crocodiles.

What to do

Bird watching, mountain bike excursions, wildlife safaris, camping.

Position

It is located in the north-east of the country, on the border with Kenya and occupies land in the provinces of Kilimanjaro and Tanga.
The park covers a total area of 3,245 km² with a varied topography and an altitude that goes from 230 to 1,620 m.
The Zange entrance is located 112 km from Moshi, 120 km from the Kilimanjaro National Park.

Getting There

Mkomazi is easily accessible from Same, which is located on the main road connecting Arusha to Dar es Salaam.
The park is also easily accessible, by agreement, through the Njiro, Kivingo and Umba doors.
The park can also be easily accessed from nearby tourist attractions in the mountains of the eastern arc, the coast and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Charter flights are available for the Kisima airstrip.

When to Go

The climate of Mkomazi is characterized by two seasons: the dry one and the rainy one.
The best period for observing large mammals and birds is between the end of June and the beginning of September.

Where to Stay

There is a semi-permanent tented camp near the park's headquarters.
There are few campsites where you can camp with your own tools and food.

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