Visiting Tarangire National Park in Tanzania: Tarangire National Park is one of the top wildlife areas on the safari circuit in Northern Tanzania. Tarangire National Park, an hour and a half drive from the safari headquarters town of Arusha, is Tanzania’s third biggest national park. This national park covers around 2,850 square kilometers and is known for its Baobab trees and big herds of elephants during the dry season.
During the dry season, the Tarangire River brings together the incredible enormous herd of elephants, as well as other larger mammals such as zebras, giraffes, buffaloes, smaller antelopes such as gazelles, elands, beisa Oryx, and predators.
What to expect from your visit to Tarangire National Park?
Tarangire National Park is nourished by the Tarangire River, which runs all year and serves as a lifeline during the dry season. Many animals use the river for water during the dry season, making the diversity of species observed in this park virtually equivalent to Ngorongoro Crater. Tarangire safaris can be paired with trips to Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park.
Tarangire has its own unique migratory pattern in which animals travel from the park to Lake Manyara regions or the Silalei Plains inside Tarangire’s limits. Most of the species that dwell in and around the park follow the migratory pattern.
Animals, particularly elephants, which are a prominent attraction in this park, migrate throughout the months of April and May (long rains season) from the park’s porous black cotton soil, which becomes muddy at this period. Animals prefer to relocate beyond the park where the soils are harsher and drier, making wildlife viewing during that season doubtful.
Tarangire’s elephant population is estimated to have the largest concentration in the world, with up to 3000 herds during peak season and single herds containing 300 to 500 elephants. Aside from elephants, expect to see zebras, buffalos, wildebeest Thompson gazelles, elands, cheetahs, lions, leopards, giraffe, buffalo, smaller and greater kudus, warthogs, and other creatures during peak season. Rare species that you could see if you’re lucky are the Oryx, gerenuk, and dwarf mongoose.
Tarangire national park is also well renowned for its large bird population. More than 500 bird species have been identified in the park, including the indigenous Ashy Starlings.
Game Drive Safaris
Tarangire National Park’s major safari activity is game drives for animal watching, and the park may be visited separately as a Tarangire safari Tanzania or as part of a longer Tanzania safari package.
Apart from typical Tanzania safaris, Tarangire National Park also offers walking safaris throughout the day, which are escorted by a qualified armed ranger who is also a naturalist. Night walking safaris are not permitted in Tarangire or any of Tanzania’s parks or reserves.
The walking safari must be scheduled long in advance; therefore, you must request it when booking your safari in Tanzania. The Tarangire walking trip cannot be booked at the park on the spur of the moment.
Can I do a night game drive in Tarangire National Park?
Yes, night game drives are permitted inside the limits of Tarangire National Park. You must, however, request this well in advance since we need to organize it through some of the lodges located within the park, such as Tarangire Safari resort, which only offers this to tourists staying at their resort. Lake Manyara National Park is another adjacent park that offers night game drives within the park’s limits.
When is the best time to visit to Tarangire National Park?
Due to water logging in the park during the rainy months of April and May, several elephant herds migrate out of the park to the Simanjiro plains and the Masai steppe. Other species, including as wildebeests, move to the Masai steppe for rooting and foaling, where mineral-rich grasslands are beneficial to mothers and infants.
However, there are resident species that remain in the national park all year, ensuring that the area may be visited at any time of year. Perhaps the most intriguing time to visit this national park is from June to October, when herds of elephants come into Tarangire, forming up to 300 large families of jumbos, cows, bulls, and calves. Impalas, hyenas, lions, cheetahs, hyenas, and the uncommon leopards are among the other creatures that may be seen in the national park.
The evergreen marshes provide an ideal home for birds. The park has been home to approximately 550 bird species, including lover birds, rofous-tailed weavers, and ashy starlings, among many more.
Walking safaris throughout Tarangire National Park may be organized, and tourists can experience the African wilderness on foot, escorted by a guide and an armed ranger or Masai warrior, in addition to the typical game drives. Visitors may see the rock art at Kolo and also visit the animal skin wearing Barabaig tribal settlements along the Dodoma Road, which is near to the park.
Tarangire is also noted for having a huge population of Tse Tse flies, which may be a nuisance from December to March. If possible, bypass this park and instead visit the Ndutu Plains and Southern Serengeti during the breeding and calving season.
During the ‘long rains’ season, March to May, the animals in Tarangire tend to move to the Great Rift Valley floor towards Lake Manyara, as well as the Masai Steppe grazing grounds in locations such as the Silalei Plains.