Mkomazi gets its name from the Pare language of the Northern Tanzania's Pare Highlands meaning ‘where the water comes from’ or 'the water's source'. The main focus at the Mkomazi game reserve is an intensive breeding program to save the endangered threatened black rhinos. Compared to the large tourist traffic in the other northern parks in the country, Mkomazi has remained a hidden secret. This semi-arid savannah is a part of Africa's most important savannah ecosystems and represents a big contrast to the green and tempered highlands. The game reserve of Mkomazi hosts about 78 kinds of mammals including ‘the big five', hyena, impala, eland, oryx, lesser kudu and the endangered African wild dog with steady increases in the water buffalo, zebra, giraffe and kongoni populations. Over 400 different bird species can be found here making Mkomazi another bird watchers' haven.
Mkomazi Game Reserve is a truly unique area, both for its density and variety of wildlife, and upgrading of its status to a National Park has been proposed.