Named after the river that flows through it, Tarangire National Park is one of the lesser known Tanzanian parks, giving it a real air of undiscovered Africa.
Despite being one of Tanzania’s smallest national parks, Tarangire offers excellent game-viewing, boasting a density of wildlife matched only by the Ngorongoro Crater. Birding is particularly good here. The Tarangire swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties; the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.
As for the bigger game, Tarangire is perhaps most famous for its elephant, who roam the park in huge – albeit diminishing, on account of poaching – herds. Large antelope, including oryx, kudu and eland – not commonly seen elsewhere in northern Tanzania – are also regularly spotted in Tarangire, while sightings of hyena, leopard and even python, who have made a home of Tarangire’s iconic baobab trees, are not uncommon.
Equally notable is the park’s unique topography and flora. The Tarangire landscape is dominated by wide-boughed baobab trees, whose dramatic formations fascinate, while its rugged kopjes and year-round wetlands provide a marked contrast to the vast savannah plains of the Serengeti.
In and around Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Strategically located south of Lake Manyara and just over 100km from Arusha, Tarangire fits well into any northern highlights itinerary, alongside Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. It is best visited during the dry seasons (June – October & December – March), when the Tarangire River and adjoining swamplands act as a magnet for thirsty wildlife from across the region.
Outside of the dry season months, when the game disperses, game-viewing is more challenging, due to the dense vegetation and an absence of the flat savannah plains that make game-viewing so rewarding in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro at all times of year.
Tarangire walking safaris are a wonderful alternative to driven safaris. Please ask our office about the options for walking safaris on the Maasai Steppe south of Tarangire and on the private camping reserves.