Mkomazi National Park has a spectacular wilderness with its typical dry bush land with ancient baobab trees, isolated rocky hills, acacias and shallow valleys of grass land. It shares its northern border with the more famed Tsavo in Kenya, allowing huge herds of elephant to migrate during the rainy season. Mount Kilimanjaro rises within sight to the northwest and the southern border runs on the foothills of Pare and Usambara mountains.

Mkomazi was established in 1951 but didn’t get the financial support provided for the better known parks, since it is remote and was pretty inaccessible at that time. By the end of the 80s Mkomazi was in steep decline and at danger of being deprived of its status as a national park. Poachers had totally wiped out its 250 black rhinos and the elephant population was down to 11. Then, the Tanzania Government designated Mkomazi a National Priority Project and the negative trend was broken. Today (2009), close to 1000 elephants wander freely in the park. With the help of the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust, the Black Rhino has returned. The Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary has so far (2009) had 8 individuals translocated from South Africa.

The park also has a breeding programme for the endangered African wild dog. It started in 1995 by capturing and relocating 25 pups from the Maasai Steppe. Both projects form part of the Tanzanian Governments policy on endangered species.
                                                                                  Photo by John Metzger