2-Day Safari: Mkomazi National Park & Usambara Mountains

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Immerse yourself in the captivating narrative of Mkomazi National Park, a name derived from the language of the Pare people – “Mko and Mazi.” Imagine “Mko” as a symbol of a wooden cooking spoon and “Mazi” translating to water, collectively painting a poignant portrayal of the park’s essence: water so scarce it barely fills that cherished wooden spoon.

Surrounded by the grandeur of the Pare and Usambara mountains, this 3,245 km² park is a canvas of beauty. On clear days, even the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro makes a guest appearance. Mkomazi shares its northern border with Kenya’s expansive Tsavo National Park, forming a shared sanctuary for migrating herds of elephants, oryx, and zebras during the wet season. Together, Mkomazi and Tsavo constitute one of the largest and most crucial protected ecosystems.

Mkomazi also serves as a vital sanctuary for two highly endangered species: the Black Rhino and the African wild dog. It is also a haven for bird enthusiasts, boasting numerous bird species. Step into Mkomazi – where every spoonful of water tells a story of resilience and natural wonder.

Itinerary

Day 1Mkomazi National Park

7:00 AM: Depart from your accommodation in Arusha.

9:00 AM: Arrive at the entrance gate of Mkomazi National Park.

9:30 AM – 12:30 PM: Embark on a morning game drive in Mkomazi National Park. Explore the park’s vast savannahs, woodlands, and rugged landscapes. Keep an eye out for iconic African wildlife such as elephants, giraffes, zebras, and endangered species like the African wild dog and the black rhinoceros.

Lunch:

12:30 PM – 1:30 PM: Enjoy a picnic lunch at a scenic spot within the park. Take in the breathtaking views and listen to the sounds of nature surrounding you.

1:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Continue your game drive in Mkomazi National Park, focusing on areas where you haven’t explored yet. Visit the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary, which is dedicated to the conservation of the critically endangered black rhinoceros. Marvel at the diverse birdlife and keep watch for other wildlife species that call the park home.

4:30 PM: Exit Mkomazi National Park and head towards the Usambara Mountains.

6:30 PM: Arrive at your accommodation in the Usambara Mountains, where you can relax and unwind after a day of safari adventures.

Day 2Usambara Mountains

7:30 AM: Have breakfast at your accommodation.

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Embark on a guided hike in the Usambara Mountains. Explore the lush forests, picturesque villages, and panoramic viewpoints of this scenic mountain range. Learn about the local flora and fauna from your knowledgeable guide and immerse yourself in the rich culture and traditions of the local communities.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant or guesthouse in the Usambara Mountains. Sample delicious Tanzanian cuisine made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Visit a nearby village or cultural center to learn more about the history, customs, and way of life of the Usambara people. Engage in hands-on activities such as traditional dance performances, handicraft demonstrations, or cooking classes.

3:00 PM: Depart from the Usambara Mountains and begin your journey back to Arusha.6:00 PM: Arrive back at your accommodation, end of tour.