Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of many Bradt guidebooks to African destinations, including the guide to Tanzania.
Philip is a renowned Africa expert and author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.
Philip is the author of the Bradt guidebook to Tanzania.
Although Mkomazi doesn't offer as much wildlife viewing when compared to other parks in Tanzania, the wild scenery compensates for it with mountains rising in every direction. The park shares its northern border with Kenya’s vast Tsavo West National Park and migratory herds of elephant, zebra and oryx travel between these parks depending on rainfall patterns.
Topi, eland, giraffe, zebra and gazelle are likely to be seen. Wild dog have been re-introduced, but are rarely seen. Black rhino has also been re-introduced but is kept in an enclosure for safety. Several dry country species can be spotted such as fringe-eared oryx, lesser kudu and the odd-looking gerenuk. With more than 400 species recorded, the birding is good, with many dry-country specials present.
Set below the slopes of the spectacular Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain ranges, and overseen by the snowcapped peak of Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi has particular scenic appeal and a sense of immense space. It is a classic dry-country reserve consisting of scattered grey-green scrubby bushes interspersed with savannah woodland and grassland.
Weather & Climate
Typically, Mkomazi’s Dry season (June to September) is delightfully sunny and warm. It’s only at night that conditions start to get a bit chilly, as well as in the park’s higher altitudes. The Wet season (October to May) can’t seem to settle on one climate. It begins with the ‘short rains’, then the precipitation eases off for two months before the heavier downpours of the ‘long rains’.
So few tourists come to Mkomazi that it’s always low season here. What generally dictates when people come is the park’s weather. Visit in the wetter months (October to May) and it’ll be difficult to spot wildlife within the thick vegetation. You’ll also have to deal with showers in the afternoon. Visit in the drier months and you’ll have a good chance to see some wildlife near available water sources.
Brian is an award winning travel writer, author of safari books and regular contributor to magazines such as BBC Wildlife and Travel Africa.
Tanzania’s Newest National Park
Twenty years ago Mkomazi was a clapped-out game reserve on the point of collapse. Today it is a magnificent, 1,500 square mile wilderness raised to full national park status due to the hard work and determination of a dedicated team of...