Coming from the Usambara Mountains, we had decided to take a detour, which lead us east of the South Para Mountains on a gravel road, until we reached the Mkomazi National Park. We arranged a game drive for the next day with Juma and spent the night at the parking of his Elephant Motel in Same.
We had the crazy idea to buy a whole jackfruit, to be able to slaughter it by ourselves. Our little baby was travelling in the cabin while driving, exuding a strange smell. In the evening we cut it and enjoyed as much of the inside as we could, leaving still a big part of it untouched. Luckily a group of tourists at the motel was happy to take it over.
It was cheaper to go on a game drive with Juma, than to drive with our 5.5t camper into a Tanzanian NP. And with him, we saw so much more and had somebody who new all the animals, especially the birds. He was a great guide, and his car was much better suited for the rougher roads. If you want to go to Mkomazi, contact him on WhatsApp: +255 76 45 70 407.
We had asked for leopards, what we got were giraffes. There were for sure more than 50 giraffes in the area we visited. These Masai giraffes have a different pattern than their relatives and are the national animal of Tanzania.
Finally we thought, our wish to see leopards was finally coming through, when we spotted a cat walking along the road in front of us. When it turned to hide in the gras, it was a Serval, a cat we had not seen before, so we were very happy we had spotted one.
We had seen carmine bee-eater at the banks of the Kovango river in Namibia, where they breed in the cliffs along the river. At Mkomazi NP we spotted the Northern carmine bee-eater.
We had enjoyed our trip into the Mkomazi National Park very much. It was also a test for a new lens we had bought especially for game drives. As the area was a game reserve, where hunting was allowed, until 2008, the animals are not that relaxed with cars as we had experienced in other parks. The landscape of the park was fantastic, especially as the first rain for three years had brought so much green to the otherwise very arid area.
We will get to the Kilimanjaro next, which we don’t wish to climb, but want to explore the area around it.