The multifaceted gem of the north
The Mkomazi National Park is a magnificent, 3,500 square kilometre national park in northern Tanzania. Remote and initially inaccessible, it was established in 1951, but never attracted the financial support provided for the better known wildlife strongholds such as the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Parks. Only since 1989, when the Tanzanian Government re-examined the reserve’s status and designated it a National Priority Project, has its true significance and importance been recognized. Nowadays it is easily accessible.
The Mkomazi National Park is a spectacular wilderness. Within sight to the northwest is Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest summit. To the south, the Pare and Usambara Mountains form a dramatic backdrop and, to the north, Kenya’s vast Tsavo National Park shares a border with Mkomazi, making common ground for migratory herds of elephant, oryx and zebra during the wet season. Together with Tsavo, it forms one of the largest and most important protected ecosystems on earth.
When is the best time to visit?
You can visit the park anytime of the year but you might have a better chance of seeing more bigger game in the dry season between July and October.
What is there to do?
Day time game drive is the main acitvity in the park, night drives are not allowed.
Mkomazi is excellent for birding, specially in the wet season, with over 400 recorded species. Doves, hornbills, weavers and guinea-fowl are all present in large numbers – as well as such striking species as the martial eagle and violet wood-hoopoe.
How about accomodation?
For accommodation inside the park is Anasa Collection’s Babu’s Camp is your option. If you are looking for a more down scaled and less expensive accommodation, there are options outside the park. Elephant Motel is the closest and best place to stay if you are only planning on spending one or two days in Mkomazi; comfortable rooms, nice simple meals and a very good rate. Another option is Zebra Camp, 1 hrs drive from the gate; a simple campsite with both a public camping site and self-contained simple huts.
Your other option is a bit further away, 1,5-2 hrs drive from the park, set on the northern edge of the Usambara Mountains in Lushoto. But this option gives you the opportunity to explore this beautiful area with a breathtaking view hard to find anywhere else.
There is also a public campsite if you are interested in a camping safari.
Images of Mkomazi