Overlooking Mount Kilimanjaro to the north and Tsavo West National Park in Kenya in the east, the lesser-known Mkomazi National Park in Northern Tanzania is set to become the first wildlife park in Africa specialized for black rhino tourism.
When planning their African safari, tourists from Europe, America, and Asia would add to their visiting itineraries, a few days’ tour of Mkomazi National Park to see the rare African black rhino, now on the verge of disappearing from Earth.
Looking to diversification of tourism and wildlife safaris in Tanzania, Mkomazi National Park will introduce rhino tourism in July this year as a new attraction to attract tourists who are interested to see and learn more about the African black rhino
He said that a special program has been launched to conserve then protect and breed rhinos in Mkomazi aiming to make this Tanzanian park special for tourists who are interested to see the black rhino which is now counted as an endangered species on the verge of extinction.
TANAPA is expecting to gain over US$200,000 from about 7,680 visitors per year.
Covering an area of 3,245 kilometers, Mkomazi National Park is one of Tanzania’s newly-established wildlife parks where wild dogs are protected together with the black rhinos. Tourists visiting this park may see wild dogs which are counted among endangered species in Africa.
More than half of northern frontier is a step away from Kenya’s Tsavo West National Park allowing Mkomazi a in the rich wildlife pickings of Tsavo ecosystem including some 12,000 elephants as well as migratory herds of Oryx and zebra.
Through the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust, the black rhino was reintroduced into a heavily-protected and fenced area within the Mkomazi National Park under the Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary which is now conserving and breeding more than 12 black rhinos. Relocation of rhinos took place about 20 years ago.
Black rhinos in Africa have over the years been hunted nearly to their extinction due to a high demand in the Far East. Although rhino horns are also sometimes sold as trophies or decorations, more often they are ground up and used in traditional Chinese medicine.
Save the Rhino, an international organization for the protection and conservation of rhinos, estimates that 500,000 rhinos lived across Africa and Asia 100 years ago. Today, Save the Rhino says less than 29,000 rhinos exist in the world, mostly in Africa.
Some 78 species of mammals have been recorded, including elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, cheetah, black-backed jackal, hyena, warthog, aardwolf, giraffe, Oryx, gerenuk, hartebeest, lesser kudu, eland, impala. and Grant’s gazelle.
Birdlife includes hornbills, weavers, martial eagles, and violet wood hoopoes.
Mkomazi is located some 112 kilometers east of Moshi town in the Kilimanjaro region between the northern and southern safari circuits of Tanzania. Visits here are also easily combined with hiking in the Usambara or Pare mountains and a few days relaxing on the Indian Ocean beaches of Zanzibar.