Mkomazi is the only national park in Tanzania where you can see all the rare antelope species of the Sahel Biosphere, the semi-arid zone stretching south from the Sahara Desert. These include the lesser kudu, the gerenuk, and the beisa oryx. Mkomazi’s wide open plains, bordered by the Pare and Usambara Mountains, offer the opportunity to view large herds of ungulates in this strikingly beautiful, vast landscape.

Checklist: Mammals of Mkomazi National Park

A female Lesser kudu


  • Aardvaark Orycteropus afer
  • Rock hyrax Procavia sp
  • Bush hyrax Heterohyrax brucei
  • Tree hyrax Dendrohyrax validus
  • Elephant Loxodonta africana
  • Zebra (Burchelles) Equus burchelli
  • Black rhinoceros Diceros bicornis (in two enclosed reserves)
  • Bush pig Potamochoerus porcus
  • Common warthog Phacochoerus africanus
  • Giraffe Giraffa camelopardalis
  • Bufallo Syncerus caffer
  • Bushbuck Tragelaphus scriptus
  • Lesser Kudu Tragelaphus imberbis
  • Greater Kudu* Tragelaphus strepsiceros
  • Eland Taurotragus oryx
  • Bush duiker Sylvicapra grimmia
  • Harvey’s duiker Cephalophus harveyi
  • Suni* Neotragus moschatus
  • Steinbuck Raphicerus campestris
  • Klippspringer Oreotragus oreotragus
  • Kirk’s dikdik Madoqua kirkii
  • Bohor reedbuck Redunca redunca
  • Waterbuck Kobus ellipsiprymnus
  • Grant’s gazelle Gazella granti
  • Gerenuk Litocranius walleri
  • Impala Aepyceros melampus
  • Kongoni Alcelaphus buselaphus
  • Sable antelope* Hippotragus niger
  • Fringe-eared oryx Oryx beisa

*no confirmed sightings for a few years

A Gerenuk stretches to reach the leaves of an Acacia tree.

A very rare Black serval (melanistic) seen at Ibaya plains in November 2019


  • Side-striped jackal Canis adustus
  • Black-backed jackal Canis mesomelas
  • Bat-eared fox Otocyon megalotis
  • Wild dog Lycaon pictus
  • Zorilla Ictonyx striatus
  • Honey badger Mellivora capensis
  • Egyptian mongoose Herpestes ichneumon
  • Slender mongoose Galerella (herpestes) sanguinea
  • Dwarf mongoose Helogale parvula
  • Somali dwarf mongoose Helogale hirtula
  • Banded mongoose Mungos mungo
  • White-tailed mongoose Ichneumia albicauda
  • Striped hyena Hyaena hyaena
  • Spotted hyena Crocuta crocuta
  • Aardwolf Proteles cristata
  • Common genet Genetta genetta
  • Blotched genet Genetta tigrina
  • African civet Civettictis civetta
  • Wild cat Felis sylvestris
  • Serval cat Felis serval
  • Caracal Felis caracal
  • Leopard Panthera pardus
  • Lion Panthera leo
  • Cheetah Acinonyx jubatus

The vast Tsavo/Mkomazi Ecosystem in Kenya and Tanzania is well known for it’s diversity of animals, rather than large numbers of single species. Sightings may include lion, cheetah, leopard, serval cat, wild dog, hyena, jackal, buffalo, zebra, eland, giraffe, elephant and many more.

A group of hartebeest better known as kongoni in Tanzania
Giraffes are a frequent sighting


  • Yell0w baboon Papio cynocephalus
  • Olive baboon Papio anubis
  • Angola pied colobus** Colobus angolensis
  • Vervet monkey Cercopithecus pygerythrus
  • Sykes’ monkey Cercopithecus mitis
  • Small-eared galago Otolemur garbetti

** Formerly quite common, last possible sighting 1995


  • Rousette bat Rousettus aegyptiacus
  • Epauletted bat Epomophorus sp.
  • Slit-faced bat Nycteris thebaica
  • Leaf-nosed bat Hipposideros caffer
  • Guana bat Tadarida aegyptiaca


  • White-toothed shrew Crocidura hirta
  • Musk shrew Suncus lixus
  • Lesser elephant shrew Elephantulus rufescens
  • Chequered elephant shrew Rhynchocyon cirnei
  • Scrub hare Lepus saxatilis
  • Cape hare Lepus capensis
  • Unstriped ground squirrel Xerus rutilus
  • Ochre bush squirrel Paraxerus ochraceus
  • African dormouse Graphiurus murinus
  • Silky blesmol Heliophobius argenteocinereus
  • Porcupine Hystrix galeata
  • Bush rat Aethomys chrysophilus
  • Spiny mouse Acomys cahirinus, A. ignitus, A. spinosissimus, A. wilsoni (possibly more)
  • Unstriped grass rat Arvicanthis niloticus
  • Taita pygmy gerbil Gerbillus pusillus
  • Narrow-footed woodland mouse Grammomys dolichorus
  • Zebra mouse Lemniscomys barbarus, L. griselda
  • Shamba rat Mastomys natalensis
  • Pygmy mouse Mus minutoides
  • Common mouse Mus tenellus
  • Meadow rat Myomys fumatus
  • Saccostomus campestris
  • Tatera nigricauda
  • Tatera gerbil Tatera gerbil
  • Taterillus osgoodi
Oryx and Zebra at Supabowl
This leopard was seen at Dindira in February 2021


Vulturine Guineafowls – a frequent sighting in Mkomazi

Mkomazi National Park is home to more than 400 species of bird, a number of which are endemic to this area of Tanzania. These endemic species include the Violet Wood-hoopoe, Friedmann’s Lark, the Somali Long-billed Crombec and the Yellow-vented Eremomela. Mkomazi being the most southern extension of the Somali semi-arid belt is believed to be the reason these species are recorded here and nowhere else in Tanzania.
Particularly birds of prey and ground birds are abundant in Mkomazi and some of the best sites for bird watching in Mkomazi are Zange, Dindira, Mbula, Babus, Norbanda, Ngurunga and Maore.

Common Ostrich – a group of youngsters

Black-bellied Sunbird
Paradise Flycatcher (white morph)

African Orange-bellied Parrot
Black-shouldered Kite

Eastern Chanting-Goshawk

Pangani Longclaw
Red-headed Weaver

White-browed Coucal

Brown-crowned Tchagra

Greater Honeyguide (juv)

Red-and-yellow Barbet

Long-crested Eagle

Heuglin’s Courser

Tawny Eagle (Juv)


Mkomazi National Park lies at the southern end of the sahelian Acacia-Commiphora savanna and the local flora is enriched by the area’s high physiographic diversity: in the West and South it is surrounded by the Pare and Usambara Mountains, and it is close to the coastal vegetation of northern Tanzania.

A Baobab tree (Adonsonia digitata) near Kamakota
A flower of Delonix elata (creamy peacock flower), the dominant large tree in the drier areas of Mkomazi

Checklist of common trees of Mkomazi National Park

  • Lannea Schweinfurthii (False Marula)
  • Lannea triphylla
  • Cordia monoica (snot berry)
  • Commiphora africana (African myrhh)
  • Commiphora habessinica (Abyssinian myrrh)
  • Commiphora holtziana
  • Commiphora shimperi (glossy-leaved corkwood)
  • Boscia salicifolia (willow-leafed shephard’s tree)
  • Maerua triphylla (small bead-bean)
  • Maytenus senegalensis (spike thorn)
  • Combretum exalatum
  • Combretum molle (velvet bushwillow)
  • Combretum zeyheri (large-fruited bushwillow)
  • Terminilia kilimandscharica
  • Terminalia prunioides (purple-pod terminalia)
  • Terminalia sambesiaca (river terminalia)
  • Terminalia spinosa (spiny terminalia)
  • Cassia singueana (sticky pod)
  • Delonix elata (creamy peacock flower
  • Tamarindus indica (Indian tamarind)
  • Acacia etbaica
  • Acacia mellifera (black thorn)
  • Acacia nilotica (gum arabic tree)
  • Acacia Senegal (gum acacia)
  • Dichrostachys cinerea (sickle bush, chinese lantern)
  • Craibia previcaudata
  • Dalbergia melanoxylon (African blackwood)
  • Lonchocarpus eriocalyx (broad lance-pod)
  • Ormocarpum kirkii (caterpillar bush)
  • Xeroclerris stuhlmannii (wing pod)
  • Apodytes dimitiata (white pear)
  • Hoslundia opposita (orange bird-berry)
  • Nuxia floribunda (forest elder)
  • Strychnos henningsii (red bitter berry)
  • Melia volkensii (Melia tree)
  • Turraea floribunda (honeysuckle tree)
  • Ficus bubu (sulphur-barked fig)
  • Ficus bussei (Zambezi fig)
  • Ficus glumosa (mountain rock fig)
  • Ficus ingens (red-leaved fig)
  • Ficus sansibarica (knobby fig)
  • Ficus Stuhlmannii (lowveld fig)
  • Ficus sycomorus (Sycamore fig)
  • Chionanthus battiscombei (small fruited ironwood)