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Mkomazi National Park promoting tourism with black rhinoceros | Coastweek

Black rhino (Diceros bicornis) have been successfully re-introduced to Tanzania's popular Mkomazi National Park, located in northeastern Tanzania on the Kenyan border, in Kilimanjaro Region and Tanga Region. The park covers over 3,234 square kilometres (323,400 ha), and is dominated by Acacia-Commiphora vegetation; it is contiguous with Kenya's Tsavo West National Park. Together with Tsavo, it forms one of the largest and most important protected eco-systems on earth. PHOTOS - GEORGEADAMSON.ORG, TUSK.ORG and HARALD ZIMMER

Mkomazi National Park looks to black rhino for promoting tourism

DAR ES SALAAM Tanzania (Xinhua) -- Tanzanian authorities said on Friday they have planned to spend some 651,000 U.S. dollars in launching a black rhino tourism that will enable visitors to watch the endangered wild animals at close range.

The tourism promotional stint using the black rhino will be the first of its kind to be done in Tanzania, said Abel Mtui, the assistant conservation officer in the Mkomazi National Park, northeastern of the east African nation.

Currently black rhinos are being used in South Africa for tourism promotional venture.

Mtui said the Mkomazi National Park was in final stages of erecting an electric fence with a 1,000-square km-area where the black rhino will be kept, adding that tourists will be able to watch rhinos at close range beginning July this year.

He said increased poaching of black rhinos in the 1980s forced Tanzania to transfer some of its black rhinos to South Africa and the Czech Republic for their safety.

"Most of the rhinos were returned to Tanzania after concerted efforts to fight poaching paid dividends," said the official.

"After we had realized that most of the tourists wanted to see rhinos at close range we came up with this arrangement," said Mtui.

The 3,500-square-km Mkomazi National Park is located in northeastern Tanzania on the Kenyan border, in Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions.

It was established as a game reserve in 1951 and was upgraded to a national park in 2006.

  Mkomazi National Park looks to black rhino for promoting tourism | Coastweek
The area commonly called 'Mkomazi' is actually the union of two previous game reserves, the Umba Game Reserve in the east (in Lushoto District, Tanga Region) and the Mkomazi Game Reserve in the west (in Same District, Kilimanjaro Region); in government documents they are sometimes called the Mkomazi-Umba Game Reserves.

Of the two, Mkomazi is larger, and has more diversity of relief and habitat, and a longer shared border with Tsavo West National Park.


Tourists will be able to view rhino at close range in Mkomazi beginning July this year

Mkomazi National Park is 3,500 square kilometre game reserve in northern Tanzania



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