Tarangire National Park
Tarangire – Land of Elephants and Baobabs
Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania’s Manyara region is a mecca for wildlife enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike. A scenic 2-hour drive from the nearest domestic airport, Tarangire is an ideal add-on for a safari itinerary including Arusha, Serengeti National Park, or the Ngorongoro Conservation area. Accommodation options range from superb lodges with romantic bush dining experiences and game drives, to rustic tented getaways.
Although lesser-known, Tarangire park closely rivals the world-famous Serengeti National Park with an abundance of wildlife and over 500 species of birds, some of which are endemic to Tanzania.
The park’s 2,850 square kilometers of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps teems with traditional African animal varieties like zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, eland, antelope, warthogs, lions, and hyenas, but you might be fortunate enough to spot some of the region’s more unusual creatures like the rare fringe-eared oryx and curious long-necked gerenuk.
Marvel at the majesty of hundreds of elephants crossing the plains against an otherworldly backdrop of ancient towering baobabs, some of which reach an incredible 30 meters in height. Tarangire’s guided walking tours offer an up-close, but safe, immersive experience in this land of giants.
Tarangire park’s lower ratio of visitors offers a more serene and rewarding safari experience, particularly if your visit falls within the dryer months when the animals congregate around the Tarangire river, from which the park gets its name. Here, predator and prey drink side by side, and vast herds of elephants are a mass on the river banks.
Tarangire National Park is also known for its rewarding bird-watching potential with regular sightings of ostrich, hornbill, bustards, and secretary birds alongside more petite visitors like the woodpecker, superb starling, weaver bird, and yellow-collared love bird.
When visiting Tarangire, a 155 trip to see the hundreds of ancient rock paintings at Kolo on the eastern slopes of the Maasai escarpment is a spectacle well worth considering.
Best Time to Visit Tarangire
This area experiences wet seasons from March to May and November to December. While the park is enjoyable all year round, the dry season from late June to October is the best time for viewing wildlife at the Tarangire River. Not only are they congregated animals easier to spot amid the dryer vegetation, but there are also fewer mosquitos and reduced malaria risk.
While many of the animals migrate out of the park during the rains, birdlife is more prolific when the vegetation is lush and green.
Over 700 resident Tarangire lions make for frequent sightings. Unusually, these lions climb trees.
Offers a wilderness adventure with “fewer visitors, more animals’ flavor.
The only place in Tanzania to spot the Gerenuk, an unusual long-necked antelope.