The name of the park is derived from the ethnic Pare language Miko (traditional wooden spoon) and Mazi (water) signifying the lack of water in the area. The vegetation is semi-arid and is Tanzania’s newest National Park gazetted in 2008.
A history of poaching and lack of water has resulted in a scarcity of game and whatever little game there is being awfully skittish. While we were well aware of the game situation the main attraction was the Gerenuk which we are yet to see and what the park is known for.
|Roads around the park|
|White-bellied go-away bird|
Soon we came to the first cross road with the exit to the Nijiro gate. We decided to head towards Kavateta and but soon realized the road was a slow slog and decided to turn back and head towards the Kisima airstrip. On the airstrip we caught something and quickly reversed to find a first sighting after a few hours of driving – Impala!
|Finally - an animal that stood long enough to photograph!|
Arriving back at the camp site we had another very rare event – an empty campsite. There was no promised firewood either so we headed back to the game to get some from the huge pile at the gate.
|For the record - proof we saw wild dogs :)|
The dogs unfortunately ran on sight (without getting a good photo) and headed towards the village and we wondered what their fate would be. There were a couple of giraffes around and a lone wildebeest before we arrived at the folk on the road.
This time we took the left fork towards Dindara. The drive was a lot more spectacular on the flood plain with the mountains on all sides. Finally there was a herd of animals who were miles away but started running upon seeing us. It was a herd of wildebeest and soon we noted a few giraffes on the plain as well. We took a turn in to the flood plain and were soon back tracking due wet mud on the road.
We could see a small herd of Zebra and Waterbuck from the top of the view point and amazingly the animals seemed nervy even from miles away and we were on top of a hill! After checking out the Dindera waterhole to ensure nothing was hiding from us, we continued along the flood plain circuit which was now going through woodland before turning right towards Kaveteta.
Having now seen the part of the park that was closest to the gate and noting there was no sign of a Gerenuk or anything else it was decided we would head towards Maora on the Kenyan border where rangers said was the highest concentration of game. On route the car started to misbehave by cutting out unexpectedly. We decided that Kisima airstrip was as far as we would go with the cutting out car given there was hardly anyone around and we didn’t know what was going on with the car.
|Our campsite at Mkomazi|
|The orange-bellied parrots|
|Sunset over Pangani River Camp|
Birds seen on our trip
African orange bellied parrot*
African grey hornbill
White browed coucal
Red billed buffalo weaver
Lilac breasted roller
Eastern paradise whydah
Helmeted guinea fowl
Von der Decken’s hornbill
Red and yellow hornbill
White-bellied go-away bird
Black and white cuckoo
Zanzibar red bishop
Lesser striped swallow
Black shouldered kite
White-headed buffalo weaver
Taveta golden weaver
*First time sighting