The scoop of water that makes up Tanzania’s youngest National Park is simply breathtaking in her pristine, untouched beauty. The Mkomazi National Park is a hidden treasure just a stone’s throw away from one of Tanzania’s busiest highways. Yet everyday thousands pass this rare little gem without even noticing the hilly slopes and abundance of wildlife that sit beneath the capped peaks of Kilimanjaro.
The Mkomazi National Park is the perfect place for spotting black rhino, wild dogs and a spectacular array of birds. The virgin fresh park is also home to herds of long necked giraffes, frolicking eland, striped zebra and large wrinkly elephants that roam in the tall grasslands.
The rocky hills and iconic baobab trees’ decorating the traditional African landscape of the Mkomazi National Park provides visitors a glorious chance to explore this open sea of bush and shrubbery without getting caught up in the tourist influx of the larger National Parks. This park originally opened in 1951 but due to lack of funding it proved to be almost too inaccessible and remote to pull in any interest. However in 1989 the Tanzanian government saw the potential of these gorgeous grasslands and finally invested some time and money into making it a national priority project.
The main draw of this remote and often overlooked park however is for visitors hoping to catch sight of the endangered and stern looking black rhino charging through the bushes and the nomadic wild dogs that roam the fringes of the park. The Rhino Sanctuary within the boundaries of the National Park is home to a handful of Black Rhinos and visiting this little spot allows visitors a great chance to learn more about the habits and turbulent life of the rare Black Rhino.
Being a relatively new National Park you really get the chance to explore unchartered wildlife zones and sleep beneath the stars like safari goers of old. Here in the Mkomazi National Park there is yet to be luxury lodges and tented camps erected. This is the perfect place for those who are more than happy to throw up a tent, roll out a sleeping bag and boil coffee over a campfire. With the earth as your pillow and the expanse of space as your ceiling, you can enjoy unrivalled close encounters with nature in the Mkomazi National Park.
For those who don’t want to camp out beneath the stars there are a range of hotels and guesthouses in the nearby Same Town. Same town is the closest town to the Mkomazi National Park and makes for an interesting stay for those wanting to explore the traditional African markets and drink a homebrewed beer with the locals. Close to Same Town and the Mkomazi National Park you can also enjoy an experience with the Maasai village of Marwa, here you can witness the rich and vibrant culture of ancient Maasai traditions such as initiation ceremonies and traditional dancing.
As the fresh faced national park starts to gain momentum with tourists wishing to explore some of Africa’s unchartered territory and hear the howls of wild dogs, the amenities and activities for tourists are starting to gather speed. Now you can take an early morning hike through the wilderness, enjoy a sunset hot air balloon ride above the sweeping plains and explore the park as the stars come out with a night game drive.
Despite not having all the modern luxuries and advanced amenities of the larger safari parks the Mkomazi National Park is an enriching experience and a rare chance to see a softer side of the wilderness before the big game drive takeovers. For a piece of virginal and untouched serenity why not try Mkomazi.