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Mkomazi National Park
130 Kms from Northwest to Southeast
230 - 760 m (the land rises from East to West). Some small mountains in the west rise over 1,500 m a.s.l. (Kinondo 1,594 m, Maji Kununua 1,620 m)
Two well defined seasons - dry season from mid-May to the end of October, wet season from November to mid-May (less rainy in January - February, the heaviest rains in April on average). Severe bushfires occur in the dry season.Best season to visit is June - September (dry season). Migratory animals from Tsavo arrive in Mkomazi in the west season, when the roads are mainly difficult to negotiate.
Lowest mean annual rainfall in Tanzania c. 550 mm, but some variation between areas, 250 - 1,000 m/yr. Practically rainless in June - September (< 20 mm/month), highest rainfall in March - May (peak in April, c. 120 mm).
Monthly average 22 - 26°C. Daytime 28 - 36°C, sometimes up to 40°C. At night 17 - 18°C, occassionaly as low as 20°C (June - July).
Game drives, walking safaris, visit the Black Rhino Sanctuary, hiking, biking and bird watching.
About Mkomazi National Park:
Pare and Usambara Mountains which significantly influence the climate and vegetation in the reserve. It borders the Tsavo National Park in Kenya to the North making common ground for migratory herds of elephant, oryx and zebra during the wet season. Together, these reserves form one of the most important protected ecosystems on earth. Mkomazi Game Reserve is the focus of an intensive breeding program to save the endangered black rhinos, after they were wiped out in the 1980's.
The Mkomazi Game Reserve gets its name from the Pare language meaning 'where the water comes from', the only permanent and reliable source of water being the Umba River which forms its Southeastern border.
The reserve, rich in fauna and flora, is characterized by wild and scenic stretches of baobab studded savannah and grassland, these being perfect for black rhinos. You can spot them best at their water holes. The reserve is home to the big five (lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard). As well as being a wet season sanctuary for the elephant, Mkomazi also holds populations of lesser kudu, gerenuk, oryx, eland, giraffe, zebra, hyena, dik dik and gazelle. The reserve has a wide variety of indigenous reptiles including snakes, lizards and crocodiles. The African wild dogs have recently been introduced to the region.
For bird watchers, more than 400 species of birds have been identified at the reserve including sunbird, tawny eagle, the go-away bird, ostrich, kestrel, buzzard, starling, weaver birds, kingfisher, hornbill, and herons.