Expert Reviews – Mkomazi NP
Philip is an acclaimed travel writer and author of many guidebooks, including the Bradt guides to Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.
In the shadow of Kilimanjaro
Despite its close proximity to Moshi and Kilimanjaro, this 3,700 sq km extension of Kenya’s vast Tsavo National Park ranks among the most neglected of Tanzania’s protected areas. In truth, it doesn’t really offer a game viewing experience to compare with most other parks in Tanzania, but it will appeal to relaxed safari-goers who really want to escape the tourist treadmill. Among the animals most likely to be seen are elephant, giraffe, dry-country antelope such as gerenuk and lesser kudu, and several dry-country birds at the southern extent of their range. Scenically, the park comes into its own when nearby Kilimanjaro emerges from its cloudy shroud, usually in the late afternoon and early morning.
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 Tanzanians led by Tony Fitzjohn, who formerly worked with in Kenya with George Adamson and his lions. Mkomazi means “place of no water” – a perfect description of this classic dry-country park whose thornbush, baobabs and rocky hills share a common frontier with Kenya’s vast Tsavo national park, forming one of the largest ecosystems on earth.
Elephant, gerenuk and lesser kudu find refuge here, together with well over 200 bird species including the martial eagle and golden-breasted starling; but game is still scarce and big cats seldom seen. In short, this is a park for lovers of space and solitude and truly wild landscapes with huge views extending all the way to Kilimanjaro.