The Uniqueness of Mkomazi National Park

By ~ Lindo Travel

The Uniqueness of Mkomazi National Park

MKOMAZI NATIONAL PARK Formerly the National Park was commissioned as a Game Reserve in 1951 following the degazettment of the much larger Ruvu Game Reserve. It was declared as Game Reserve to preserve both flora and fauna and utilize them sustainability through tourism, game hunting and wildlife viewing. Mkomazi ‘comes from the Pare vernacular: one of the biggest tribes in the Kilimanjaro Region in Northern Tanzania, meaning ‘The source of water’. The name Mkomazi is the combination of two words from the Pare ethnic languages, ‘Mko and Mazi’. (MKO means a traditional tiny wooden spoon used by the Pare people for eating and MAZI means water.) Where by this implies that water in the park is hardly enough to fill up the wooden spoon. Indeed as the name befits, the only permanent and reliable source of water in Mkomazi National Park is the Umba River which also forms the boundary to the South-East of the protected area.

LOCATION The National Park is located on the Northern Tanzania within two Regions of Kilimanjaro and Tanga, stretching within two District namely (Same) and (Lushoto) respectively. It’s 6KM from Same town, covering an area of 3245 square kilometers, (1,240 sq. Miles). It can be reached by both road and air. For charter flights and other lights aircrafts, one can land on one of the airstrip located in and around the protected area such as Zange, Same, Kisima and Ibaya. Park can also be easily accessed for nearby/close existing tourist attractions in Eastern Arc Mountains, coast and Kilimanjaro Mountain.

CLIMATE The climate is semi- arid with bimodal rainfall pattern. Short rains start from late September through November and long rains occurs between February and May. Dry season is from late June to early September. The best time to visit from late June through early September is the best time for large mammals and birds watching. Scenic beauty is at its best in the wet seasons.

TOURIST ATTRACTIONS • Diversity of Fauna and Flora, the only protected area in Tanzania with large and visible population of Gerenuk. • Large population of big and small mammals including Wild Cats, Silver Backed Jackals, Lions, Cheetah, Leopards, Lesser Kudu, Giraffes, grant’s gazelle, Hyenas, Hartebeest, Warthogs, Buffaloes, Elephants and Zebra. • Hiking Mbula Hill Trait (5KM) which takes about 4hours to ascend and descend. The best time to conduct the activity is early morning and late afternoon. • Short walking Safari Dindira trait (4KM) which takes about 3hours. • Reptiles; Crocodiles in Umba River, Python and Agama lizards. • Birdlife; More than 450 Species of birds, including the Tawny Eagles, Go away birds, Ostriches, Parrots, Pelicans, Cormorants, Flamingos, Kingfishers, Plovers, Ducks, Hoopoes and more other species. • Science beauty of Landscape including Kilimanjaro, Eastern Arc Mountains (Pare and Usambara) and associated hills. Acacia commiphora woodland.

Activities to do are; Game viewing, birds watching; site seeing, Camping, Hiking (up hills) and walking safaris.

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