Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is one of the little-known gems of Africa that ought to be included in any northern circuit itinerary for travellers on Tanzania safaris. The park is named after the Tarangire River which flows through Tarangire National Park, and is a great choice to visit it during the dry season for it is the lifeline of the park at this particular time feeding all the wildlife with its fresh water. Tarangire is the 6th largest Tanzania national park covering over 2600 square kilometres. The Park is 118km southwest of Arusha, is best known for hosting Tanzania’s largest population of African elephants, as well as a mini-wildlife migration.
The Park has diverse landscape, and is set against a backdrop of majestic baobab trees as well as twisted acacia. Tarangire National Park is a great water catchment area with the vast swamp network located in the eastern and southern regions of the park. These swamps also are a sanctuary to the many elephants of the park as well as cape buffaloes and well over 500 bird species. The Tarangire National Park swampland is seasonal, and therefore dries up during the dry season.
Wildlife, including four of the big five, is abundant in Tarangire National Park. The Park hosts most of Tanzania’s iconic animals including the dik-dik, African elephants that are well over 300 recorded to be in the park, giraffes, cape buffaloes, gazelles, elands, impalas, hartebeests and so many more. The Park is home to three endangered animals not found elsewhere in Tanzania that is the fringe-eared Oryx, the towering greater kudu, and the tiny ashy starling.
Bird life in Tarangire is another wonder of the park, for more than 500 species of birds have been recorded in the park, thereby making it one of the Important Birding Areas in Tanzania from where travellers keen on birding should visit for a wonderful birding experience. Some of the bird species travellers should expect to see in this birdwatcher’s paradise include hornbills, brown parrots, helmeted guinea fowl, yellow-necked spurfow, crested francolin, yellow-collard lovebirds, lilac-breasted rollers, plovers, Kori bustards, among so many others.
Another attraction in Tarangire is the giant Baobab tree, sometimes referred to as the Tree of Life. Baobab trees have a long lifespan of 300 years, and can store up to 1000 litres of water in its trunk. The baobab tree is a source of food to a number of wild animals, and a good place to see elephants sharpening their huge tusks on the bark.
Activities in Tarangire National Park
With so much to see and encounter, there are a number of activities in Tarangire that travellers can do while on a safari. These include;
Game drives are the top most done activity in Tarangire. Game drives are a great way to enjoy game viewing, and can be done throughout the day. For night game drives however, travellers staying in a selected few accommodation facilities are allowed to.
Birding in Tarangire
Birding in Tarangire is another common activity in the park, for it hosts over 500 species of birds that travellers can see while on a birding safari. Keen birders can see more than 100 bird species on a single day, be sure to have a bird guide and a good pair of binoculars.
Tarangire balloon safaris
The Tarangire ballooning safaris are an awesome way to view the park with a bird’s sight. Travellers soar over treetops of the park and get to enjoy seeing more of the park unlike when on ground. Carrying binoculars could be advised.
The best time to visit Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park experiences two seasons, both the wet and dry seasons every year. During the dry season which runs through June to October is considered by far the best time to visit Tarangire for the best game viewing experiences. During the wet season, game viewing is less rewarding but still doable and also gives travellers a less crowded encounter with other travellers. During the wet season too, birding in Tarangire is at its peak.
How to get to Tarangire National Park
Travellers can get to Tarangire by both road and air transport. By air, one is required to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport, 46km from Arusha, or fly into Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and then proceed on a domestic flight to Arusha Airport, from where you can get a charter flight to Tarangire. By road, travellers get to Tarangire in about 3 hours, covering a 140km distance from Arusha town, which is the starting point of most of the Tanzania safaris to the northern circuit.
Accommodation in Tarangire National Park
There is a variety of accommodation facilities in Tarangire from which travellers can choose to stay in while on a Tarangire National Park safari. These range from luxury to budget, thereby fitting every traveller’s budget. Some of the Tarangire accommodation travellers can choose from include Tarangire Safari Lodge, Tarangire treetops, Sanctuary Swala Camp, Sangaiwe Tented Lodge, Whistling Thorn Tented Camp, among so many others.
The Park is a beautiful Tanzania national park that can be visited alone for at least 2 days, or combined with the rest of the northern circuit Tanzania safari destinations like the world famous Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area or Lake Manyara National Park. Reach out to a trusted tour operator to help you pitch together your perfect Tanzania wildlife safari, or check out any of our Tanzania safaris packages.