Mkomazi is the newest Tanzania National Park encompassing an area of 3234 sq km (1249 sq miles). Incorporating the former Umba Forest and Mkomazi Game Reserves, the park shares a border with the Tsavo National park in Kenya forming a greater ecosystem, and stands as a common ground for the migratory herds of elephants, and zebras and oryxes in the wet seasons.
The park got its name from the Pare tribe’s word, for ‘water source”, referring to the Umba River on Mkomazi’s south eastern border. The river and other water holes keep the park teemed with small and large mammals, including Silver backed Jackals, Lions, Cheetahs, Leopards, Lesser Kudu, Giraffe, Crocodiles, Pythons, Steenboks, among others. Herds of the tall slender – necked Gerenuks, with their bizarre alien – like heads, are also amazingly seen in this park.
Gerenuks stand on their hind legs to stretch for the tiny leaves of thorny bushes and trees. Bird – watchers delight in spotting any of Mkomazi ‘s 450 avian species from the rare Violet wood hoopoes to Tawny Eagles, Parrots to Kingfishers. Plant and Insert life of Mkomazi is probably the most diversified in Tanzania.
Within the park , Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary has attained international renown for rehabilitating rhino population thus offering limitless game viewing and educational opportunities for travelers. Endangered Painted dogs have also found refuge in the Mkomazi National Park. Every day thousands of people pass near Mkomazi’s gates at “Same Town “, on one of Tanzania’s busiest highways but only few knows of its rugged acacia – covered beauty beside the Usambara and Pare Mountains, with Mount Kilimanjaro in the distance undoubtedly, Mkomazi National Park is potentially a glorious sanctuary where travelers can explore more of Tanzania’s hidden natural treasures through game drives walking safaris, mountain hikes, camping and bird watching.