Day Trip Mkomazi National Park
Day Trip to Mkomazi National Park: A Hidden Gem in Tanzania
Tanzania is a land brimming with natural wonders, from the vast Serengeti plains to the majestic Kilimanjaro. Yet, among its treasure trove of wild beauty lies a less trodden path to an exceptional wilderness experience: Mkomazi National Park. For those yearning for an adventure away from the crowded tourist spots, a day trip to Mkomazi offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of Tanzania’s savage beauty. Here’s your guide to making the most out of your day in this hidden gem.
Why Day Trip to Mkomazi?
Nestled between the Pare and Usambara Mountains, Mkomazi National Park is a sanctuary for some of Africa’s most iconic wildlife and a critical conservation area for endangered species. This park is a continuation of Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park, forming a vital part of the Tsavo-Mkomazi ecosystem. Despite its significance and beauty, Mkomazi remains relatively untouched by the tourism wave, offering a serene and intimate encounter with nature.
Mkomazi is accessible via road from Moshi or Arusha, with the journey taking approximately 3 to 4 hours. The drive itself is an adventure, offering scenic views of Tanzanian countryside and the towering peaks of Kilimanjaro and the Usambara Mountains. For those pressed for time, chartered flights can be arranged to the park’s airstrip.
What to Expect on a Day Trip to Mkomazi National Park
Flora and Fauna
A day trip to Mkomazi unveils a landscape that is strikingly diverse, ranging from savannah and woodland to thorn scrub and rocky outcrops. This varied habitat is home to a plethora of wildlife, including elephants, giraffes, zebras, and lions. Perhaps more exciting is the chance to spot the rare black rhino and African wild dogs, both of which are part of successful conservation programs within the park.
Bird enthusiasts will also find Mkomazi a haven, with over 450 species recorded. The park’s diverse ecosystems make it a perfect spot for bird watching, especially during the migratory seasons.
The essence of any visit to Mkomazi is the safari drive. Early morning or late afternoon drives offer the best opportunities for wildlife sightings, as animals are most active during the cooler parts of the day. The park’s landscape, with its open spaces and sparse vegetation, provides excellent visibility for wildlife viewing.
Guided safari drives are available, offering the expertise of local guides who can share insights into the park’s ecosystem and the behaviors of its inhabitants. These guides are instrumental in tracking down the park’s more elusive species and providing a deeper understanding of the conservation efforts in place.
One of the highlights of Mkomazi is its Rhino Sanctuary, a fenced area dedicated to the protection and breeding of the critically endangered black rhino. A visit to the sanctuary offers a rare opportunity to observe these magnificent creatures up close and learn about the efforts to save them from extinction.
Itinerary for A Day Trip To Mkomazi
Your adventure days Trip / Safari in Mkomazi begins early in the morning by picking you up from the hotel in Same and drive for a distance of about 7 kilometers to the park entrance gate. As you enter the park, you’ll be greeted by vast savannahs dotted with acacia and baobab trees. Keep your eyes peeled for giraffes, zebras, and elephants roaming freely. The park is also home to lesser-known species like the oryx and the gerenuk, which you won’t find in many other Tanzanian parks. Game drives during morning hours is the best as animals are most active during the cooler hours.
Your driver guide will also take you to the Rhino sanctuary which is the main highlight of the tour. In the sanctuary you will get an opportunity to see these magnificent creatures up close and learn about conservation effort to save them from extinction
Lunch and Relaxation
After a morning filled with wildlife sightings, enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the park’s designated areas. This is a great time to reflect on the morning’s experiences and recharge for the afternoon. The park’s scenic landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for a peaceful lunch in the wild.
Afternoon Game Drive and departure
As the day cools down, embark on another game drive to explore different parts of the park. The afternoon light provides excellent conditions for photography, especially for capturing the dramatic landscapes. This is also a good time to spot predators such as lions and leopards, as they become more active in the late afternoon. After a satisfying game viewing experience you will then drive out of the park back to your hotel for overnight.
Price For A Day Trip to Mkomazi
Solo traveler: US $ 350
2-3 people: US $ 210 per person
4-6 people: US $ 160 per person
If you will require a pick up service from Mkomazi Lodge & Camp an Extra $ 100 will be charged in addition to the cost.
Transport in a 4WD safari vehicle
Park entrance fees
Service of the driver guide
Accommodation before and after the tour
Drinks and beverages
Any expenses of the personal nature
Planning Your Day Safari To Mkomazi
Best Time to Visit
The dry season, from June to October, is the best time to visit Mkomazi for wildlife viewing. During this period, animals congregate around water sources, making them easier to spot. However, the park is beautiful and accessible all year round, with each season offering a unique experience.
What to Bring
For a day trip to Mkomazi, it’s essential to come prepared. Here are a few must-haves:
- Binoculars and a camera for wildlife viewing and photography.
- Sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses for protection against the sun.
- Plenty of water and snacks for the journey.
- Comfortable, durable clothing and footwear suitable for safari drives.