Mkomazi National Park? Where is that?
You probably ask yourself this question, because only few people know this park. In this article you will learn why this park is worth a visit, even if it is not as famous as its counterparts in the north of Tanzania, such as the Serengeti National park, the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire or Lake Manyara. Even though it is less well known it is just as breathtaking.
In June we were lucky enough to get to know the Mkomazi View Camp. To have some more time to experience the park, we arrived the day before at the African View Lodge, near Arusha and took part in a very interesting day tour through villages and the local forest. There we learned a lot about rural life, the evolution from a coffee bean to the popular drink coffee, hiked through the Usa River Spring Forest and also saw some black and white colobus monkeys jumping through the treetops.
The next morning our safari guide picked us up at our accommodation, and by lunch time we were already at the park entrance. Then we started the game drive through the park, where we could easily observe many different bird species, such as lilac-breasted rollers, brown eagles, herons, yellow-billed hornbills and many more in their natural environment. A really impressive experience.
In the afternoon we headed to the rhino
sanctuary located in the park. This sanctuary with it's breeding program is supported by the Leonardo Di Caprio Foundation.
We changed into an open safari jeep and drove with the ranger into the fenced off area. The first animal we met was Jabu, born and raised in a zoo, he is used to being close to humans and was not disturbed by us.
We could watch him chewing long acacia thorns. He came so close to our jeep that we could have touched him. A very impressive experience, considering how eluvise and rare a rhino can be. It will be a moment we will never forget.
The second rhino we observed was born and raised in the Mkomazi National Park and was therefore rather skeptical and shy when we showed up. So we observed it only from a distance.
On the way back at dusk we saw another small elephant family.
With a drink around the campfire, a delicious dinner and finally a relaxing night in the spacious walk-in tents we started the next day with only a coffee on our morning game drive.
We were able to see a lot of animals: Giraffes, zebras, kudus, finally even a lioness with her cubs. And more and more elephants. At the dam, a whole herd had just finished drinking and was making its way back into the thicket. Hippos, buffalos, vultures and many more animals made our morning an unforgettable experience.
After breakfast we made our way back to camp and the animals also disappeared one by one into the thicket of Mkomazi National Park.
A visit to Mkomazi National Park is a great experience if you want to visit a national park that is not very visited by tourists. You will have the feeling of being alone in the park and can especially experience rhinos up close, giving a truly authentic safari experience. In addition, a safari with an overnight stay at Mkomazi View Camp can be perfectly integrated into a round trip through Tanzania letting you enjoy all the best each park,with their differences, can offer.
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