The 2850 sq km sized park is dominated by huge Baobab Trees and the Tarangire River which has shriveled to a shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometers knowing that here, always, there is water. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry. The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.
Things to see and do in Tarangire
- Game drives both night and day game drives
- Guided walking safaris
- Bird-watching and balloon safaris
- Day trips are also possible on this park
Best time to visit
The park is accessible throughout a year but “The dry season”, from late June to October, is the best time for a Tanzania safari in Tarangire National Park. Most of the animals migrate out of the park during the wet season (November when there are possibilities or rains and from mid march to May) and wildlife viewing is not as good during that rain seasons.
Easy drive from Arusha (120 km) or Lake Manyara following a surfaced road to within 7 km of the main entrance gate.