Mkomazi National Park safaris, tours & holiday packagesA forgotten park set below the endemic-rich Usambara Mountains.
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Notable for its untrammelled surroundings more than its wildlife, Mkomazi is a little-visited park best explored in conjunction with the lush Usambara Mountains to its south.
A southern extension of Kenya's vast and semi-arid Tsavo ecosystem, this 3,234-square-kilometre national park supports a great many dry-country species rare or absent elsewhere in Tanzania. For birders, it is the only place in the country where the lovely vulturine guineafowl is likely to be seen, along with other dry-country specials such as Shelley’s starling, Yellow-vented eremomela and Friedmann’s lark. However, while most large mammal species present in Tsavo are resident in Mkomazi, including lion, cheetah, elephant, giraffe, buffalo, zebra, impala and gerenuk, populations are very low. The park is also known for its reintroduced population of African wild dogs and black rhinoceros, but neither is likely to be seen on an ordinary safari.
The Western Usambara offers some of the finest views in all of Tanzania, with Irente, Mtae and Mombo being particular favourites. I can’t quite make up my mind about Mkomazi: I enjoyed my last safari there, but it's not one for Africa neophytes!
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Perhaps the most compelling feature of Mkomazi is its remote atmosphere and wild scenery – it is surrounded by mountains in all directions, with Kilimanjaro often visible to the northwest at dawn and dusk. Here, the odds of seeing another tourist are minimal.
A short drive south of Mkomazi, and easily combined with it in a twinned visit is the Western Usambara, one of the dozen ranges that comprise the Eastern Arc Mountains. With its forested slopes famed for their wealth of endemic plants and animals and its lush montane climate, the Western Usambara is a very popular destination with hikers. Highlights include the lovely time-warped town of Lushoto, the spectacular views from vantage points such as Irente and Mambo, and the opportunity to glimpse endemic birds such as Usambara weaver and Usambara akalat in the Magamba and Shagayu Forest Reserve.
Mkomazi's location on Google Maps
Frequently Asked Questions about Mkomazi
June to October is the best time to visit Mkomazi National Park. During the dry season - when the wildlife viewing is at its prime. go there.