Mkomazi Game Reserve Travel
Visited by few, Mkomazi Game Reserve encompasses over 1,200 square miles in northeast Tanzania and lies between Mt. Kilimanjaro and the Indian Ocean. Mkomazi is adjacent to Kenya’s Tsavo National Park and together the two areas comprise one of the largest protected wilderness ecosystems in Africa.
In 1988, with Mkomazi on the brink of ecological disaster due to overgrazing, burning and indiscriminate hunting and poaching, the Tanzanian government asked renowned conservationist Tony Fitzjohn to reclaim the reserve. Since then, there has been a remarkable recovery in the numbers of elephant, lion, hyena, leopard, cheetah, impala, eland, oryx and lesser kudu, with steady increases in the buffalo, zebra, giraffe and kongoni populations. The park boasts 78 kinds of mammals and over 400 bird species. The endangered wild dog or African wild dog has also been introduced to the reserve.
Mkomazi is a unique area, both for its density and variety of wildlife, and upgrading of its status to a national park has been proposed as early as next year. The reserve is currently maintained by the Tony Fitzjohn/George Adamson African Wildlife Preservation Trust, which also helps maintain Kora National Park in Kenya. The trust founded and manages a 30 square mile rhino sanctuary, home to a founder population of eight rhinos. The sanctuary is the first of its kind in Tanzania. The trust also manages a captive breeding and translocation program for African hunting dogs, established in 1995, the first of its kind in East Africa. The dogs are separated into four breeding compounds to yield maximum and viable genetic diversity. Additionally, an extensive veterinary program is underway to establish their immunity to disease. Together with the Tanzanian government a planned reintroduction program is now in progress.
Mkomazi Game Reserve Highlights
- African wild dogs
- game drives
- bird-watching tours
- nature walks
- camping tours