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Mkomazi National Park

Set below the verdant slopes of the spectacular Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain ranges and overseen by iconic snow – capped peak of Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi a virgin breathtaking beauty exhibiting unique natural treasures and immense sense of space – adds to the fulfillment of high visitor enjoyment expectations – a much needed bridge between northern circuit and coastal attractions.

Everyday, thousands of people pass within a few kilometers of Mkomazi on one of Tanzania’s busiest highways. These and northern circuit safari – goers are now most welcome to discover the treasures of this wedge of hilly semi – arid savannah – home of large herds of giraffe, eland, hartebeest, zebra, buffalo and elephant.

Mkomazi is vital refuge for two highly endangered species, the charismatic black rhino and 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, but black rhino are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, ensuring their safe keeping for future generations enjoyment and prosperity.

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 habit of standing tall on its hind legs stretch for acacia leaves that other browsers cannot reach.

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

You Will See

Buffalo

Buffalo

100%
Giraffe

Giraffe

80%
Lion

Lion

80%

Fox

30%
Wildebeest

Wildebeest

100%
Elephant

Elephant

100%
Zebra

Zebra

100%
Leopard

Leopard

80%
Hippo

Hippo

90%
White Rhino

Rhino

15%

When to go

Mkomazi is open year around and offer tourists more flexibility in planning for

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Mkomazi is open year around and offer tourists more flexibility in planning for their trip to Mkomazi as it experiences very little rainfall when compared to other parks. But game viewing of this park is best between mid-May to October. Around September animals from Tsavo migrate into this park which enhances game viewing experience.

But heavy rainfall occurs in this park around the month of April, which should be avoided.

Art & Culture

For long the forgotten park of Tanzania, the remote and barely inaccessible Mkomazi

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For long the forgotten park of Tanzania, the remote and barely inaccessible Mkomazi National Park is gradually making its presence felt on the safari scene. With 78 mammal species and over 400 bird species, it is a habitat of breathtaking wilderness. Mkomazi takes its name from Pare tribe’s word for “scoop of water”, referring to little water; and if there is a tribe then there is a culture to experience too. Experience the traditions and culture of the Pare tribe who have made the forests on the Pare Mountain their home for six hundred years. The lush, green Usangi village on the Northern Pare Highlands is a treasure to behold and a rewarding experience. Know about the medicinal use of traditional plants, the beliefs, customs, rituals, myths, and magic. Learn about their farming and pottery works and unravel the mystery behind the preservation of the skulls of the dead chiefs and the importance of Mghimbi caves and Malameni Rock. The Pares are a friendly and welcoming bunch so don’t hesitate to satisfy your curiosity.

Culinary

A trek through the Pare Mountains among the fruits and vegetable plantations would

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A trek through the Pare Mountains among the fruits and vegetable plantations would give an idea of the culinary pleasures that the region beholds. A predominantly agriculture-based economy, cultivation of maize, bananas, cassava, and cardamom is a common sight with rice finding favours in swampy lands. The widely popular Makande, a stew of maize, red beans, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and chicken stock is the Pare tribe staple. Kishumba is another traditional food which has bananas cooked together with red beans and being crushed to make something like hard porridge. Vughai, a hard porridge from banana, cassava or maize flour, or a mixture of both is served with vegetable, beans (or beans family) or meat/fish/chicken stew or both if available. When served with meat/chicken it is considered as a welcoming dish for guests.

How to go

Mkomazi is nearest from the city of Arusha or Moshi. From Arusha

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Mkomazi is nearest from the city of Arusha or Moshi. From Arusha, Mkomazi is about 186 km in distance. It is accessible both via car and airplane.

Roadways:

A drive from the town of Arusha to Moshi via Same (a small town near the park) will get you to Mkomazi. The drive time is about 2-3 hours.

Airways:

For international tourists, they can fly to Kilimanjaro National Park and take a charter flight into Mkomazi. Flight time is less than an hour.

Activites

Safari-goers visiting Mkomazi will get to enjoy tons of activities inside

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Safari-goers visiting Mkomazi will get to enjoy tons of activities inside the park which are in parallel to those offered in other parks of Tanzania. Some of them are:

What to see?

It is located in the slopes of Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain Range.

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It is located in the slopes of Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain Range. Thus, mountains and hills are in abundance to watch in admiration. The park sees little rainfall and hence accommodates mainly dry season specialists like fringe-eared oryx, wild dog, eland, lesser kudu, gerenuk (an antelope with an unusually long neck), hartebeest, elephant, zebra etc. Tourists are also encouraged to visit the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary.

Moreover, there are upwards of 450 avian species to be spotted which includes ostrich, kori bustard, secretary bird etc.

The Uniqueness of Mkomazi National Park

  • Mokmazi National Park is the newest National Park of Tanzania.
  • Together with Tsavo National Park it is 24 245 km² in size and it forms one of East Africa´s most important savannah ecosystem
  • It is the only Park in Tanzania with large and visible population of gerenuk.

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