Destinations | Mkomazi National Park

Mkomazi National Park is in northern Tanzania in the districts of Same -Kilimanjaro Region and incorporates the former Umba Forest Reserve. The National Park is located North Eastern Tanzania, bordering Kenya's Tsavo National Park and the south Pare, North Pare, and west Usambara mountains.

The name Mkomazi comes from the Pare language and means the source of water , referring to the Umba River, which arises in the Usambaras and provides permanent source of water to the area.

Established by the Tanzanian Government in 1951, the Mkomazi Game Reserve encompasses over 3,276 sq. km in northeast Tanzania. Adjacent to Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, together they comprise one of the largest protected wilderness ecosystems in Africa. In 1988, with Mkomazi on the brink of ecological disaster due to overgrazing, burning, indiscriminate hunting and poaching, the Tanzanian Government initiated a program of habitat rehabilitation and endangered species reintroduction, with the goal of re-establishing a viable ecosystem directly linked to Tsavo. The Mkomazi Project achieved National Priority Project status.

In 1989, a request came from the Tanzanian Government to the Tony Fitzjohn/George Adamson African Wildlife Preservation Trust and Tony Fitzjohn to work in partnership with them in the rehabilitation of the reserve and to initiate crucial endangered species programs at a later date. The Trust has funded much of the reserve rehabilitation, all of the endangered species programs, flying patrols and outreach programs.

In 2005, the Mkomazi Game Preserve was declared a national park by the Tanzanian government in Parliament, and the process is underway for TANAPA to take over Mkomazi. This is great boost for its continued survival as a protected ecosystem well into the future and is the highest protection an area can be afford in Tanzania. Birdlife: Over 400 birds species has been recorded in the Park. At least 8 species not previously recorded in Tanzania.

Wildlife: Most of the large mammals Species found in Tsavo are either resident in Mkomazi or else regularly migrate there from Kenya. These include the Lion, Cheetah, Elephant, Giraffe, Buffalo, Zebra, Impala, Leopard. It is the only protected area in Tanzania with a large and visible population of Gerenuks, an antelope with a habit of getting up on its hind legs, selecting new leaf growth, buds, fresh twig tips and the flowers of a wide variety of trees and bush species. Also African Hunting Dog were recently reintroduced into the Game. As well as the black Rhino has be brought here.

About the park:
Size: 3.276sq Km

Getting there:
By road Mkomazi National Park is easily accessible via Same town it is about 6 km from the Moshi-Dar Es Salaam Highway. Its 112 km from Moshi town and 550km from Dar Es Salaam. 142 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport. Charter flights are available to the Zange, Same, Kisima and Ibaya airstrips.

What to do:
Game drives, Walking Safari, mountain hikes in the hills, and bird watching which is Unique as the Park is not over crowded by tourists.

Best time to visit:
Late June –early September is best for large mammal and bird watching sanctuary beauty is at its peak March-June place to see large mammals. Learn more about conservations and Rhinoceros at Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary, which can be visited.

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