Local tourism has been getting popularity in Tanzania in the recent years, it is now a norm for individuals and tour companies to arrange group trips to National parks, game reserves and other attractive areas of the country. Through these arrangements many citizens are able to connect with nature.
The cost of the tour goes down dramatically when you embark on group tourism. Most of the time these tours ranges from 1 to 3 days to keep the cost minimal. Personally I have been engaging in local tourism and I have been enjoying it.
With other local tourists we visited Mkomazi National Park on 10 April 2021. Mkomazi National Park is located in Kenyan border in Kilimanjaro region and Tanga region. The Park is popularly known as the home of black rhino.
The one thing that I enjoyed the most in Mkomazi is the Rhino sanctuary. These are rare animals but while in Mkomazi it is a guaranteed to see them. The sanctuary covers more that 25 square kilometres. We saw a group rhinos on the open space with a few trees around, it is a place where they go to drink water.
At Mkomazi they also breed wild dogs. The group arrived at the wild dogs breeding area at the time of feeding, it was very interesting seeing them feed. The way they scramble for food is totally different from animals I used to see.
We were a group of 33 local tourists travelling from Dar es Salaam to the entry point Same district in Kilimanjaro region. All of us with the same goal “to connect with the nature”. The trip started mid night and arrived at Same district 7am. At 9am we started a 6km drive to Mkomazi gate, and hence ascended to the park offices. Few minutes later the paperwork was complete and we were free to enjoy our new environment that we traveled more than 400 km to get into.
Our tour guide (namely “Happy”) a charming lady and very informative about the park, she was happy to explain, inform and she handled the group very well.
Apart from Rhinos and Wild dogs, we saw zebra, buffalo, some species of antelopes, monkeys to mention a few. The Mkomazi National Park is very dry and dominated by acacia trees.
In the trip I met people with different background, from tour operators that know a lot about tour business and have been in many national parks to the new tourists. The experience was massive, in our mini bus you could feel like everyone knows each other, but the reality is just a few have met in person.
A trip back to Dar es Salaam was quite, people were tired, the usual discussions were minimal, you could find some sleeping. We arrived safely on 11 April 2020. It was a weekend well spent.