Wednesday 30th, January, 2019
The Uniqueness of Mkomazi National Park
MKOMAZI NATIONAL PARK
Formerly the National Park was commissioned as a Game Reserve in 1951 following the gazettement 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.) Whereby 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.
The National Park is located in Northern Tanzania within two Regions of Kilimanjaro and Tanga, stretching within two Districts namely (Same) and (Lushoto) respectively. It’s 6KM from the 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 aircraft, one can land on one of the airstrips 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 the Eastern Arc Mountains, Coast, and Kilimanjaro Mountain.
The climate is semi-arid with bimodal rainfall patterns. Short rains start from late September through November and long rains occur between February and May. The 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 bird watching. Scenic beauty is at its best in the wet seasons.
- Diversity of Fauna and Flora, the only protected area in Tanzania with a large and visible population of Gerenuk.
- A 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) 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) 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, bird watching; site seeing, Camping, Hiking (up hills), and walking safaris.