Tarangire National Park is ranked the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania. This Tanzania national park covers an area of 2,600 square kilometers.
Tarangire National Park is most popular for its large elephant herds and mini-wildlife migration that takes place during the dry season which sees about 250,000 animals enter the park.
Tarangire National Park is one of the best national parks in Tanzania located in the word of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west.
The park occupies an area of 2,600 sq. km and is known to have a vast variety of wildlife species with amazing accommodation facilities for tourists to rest in when they are on a Tanzania Safari tour.
Tarangire national park is found in Tanzania and is one of the national parks in the northern Tanzania circuit. Located a short drive from Arusha, this destination is also found close to other wildlife viewing destinations such as lake Manyara national park.
The name Tarangire after which the national park is called comes from the Tarangire River which crosses through the park. Different wildlife species drink from the river which is a primary source of water for the animals especially during the dry season.
Where is Tarangire National Park Located
Tarangire national park is slightly off the popular northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. This park lies between the meadows of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west.
Within the northern part of Tarangire is the permanent River Tarangire also known as the life-line of the park particularly in the dry season when most of the region is totally dry.
This flows northwards until it exits the park in the northwestern corner to pour into Lake Burungi. There are a number of wide swamps which dry into green plains during the dry season in the south.
How to Get to Tarangire National Park
By air-The best way to get to Tarangire is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) which is just adjacent to Arusha town-the starting point of northern safari circuit tourism parks.
Another option is to land to Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) and then book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK). If you want to save money on your ticket, fly to Nairobi, Kenya, and then take one of the buses between Arusha and Nairobi.
If you take a morning pick-up, you can arrive in Arusha in the late afternoon. In most situations, your tour operator will pick you up from the airport and arrange for any additional transportation.
There are daily flights from Arusha and the Serengeti to Tarangire, but it’s also a pleasant two-hour drive from Arusha to the entrance gate of Tarangire. Moving on, Lake Manyara (100km/60mi in approximately two hours) and the Ngorongoro Crater (180km/110mi in about four hours) are both easily accessible.
Normally, your safari or tour operator would book these charter flights as part of your safari package. Domestic flights can be booked with any domestic airline, including Air Tanzania, Precision Air, Regional Air, ZanAir, Safari Air Link, or Coastal Aviation.
By Road-The trip from Arusha to Tarangire National Park is approximately 140 kilometers long and takes about two to three hours. Unfortunately, many people associate a Tarangire safari with solitude, but visiting this park during the dry season will reward you with spectacular wildlife vistas, particularly if you explore the park’s southern reaches.
Tarangire is part of the well-known northern safari circuit and should be explored in conjunction with the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro crater.
Top Attractions in Tarangire National Park
The distant Silale Swamp is one of the Tarangire ecosystem’s features. During the green season, the swamp behaves like a big sponge, soaking up water and slowly releasing it during the dry season.
Huge herds of herbivores flood the park in search of water, attracting lions, leopards, and wild dogs in turn. Silale-swamp lions, African wild dogs, cape buffaloes, and even elephants call these wetlands home.
Donaldson-nightjar, Smith’s Vulturine Guinea fowl some of the bird species that can be seen in this area
The giant baobab tree
The baobab tree, popularly known as the Tree of Life, is another distinctive feature that can be found in Tarangire National Park. The Baobab has adapted to its surroundings over time.
It’s a succulent, which means it collects and retains water in its massive trunk during the rainy season, allowing it to produce nutrient-dense fruit during the dry season when everything else is dry and barren. As a result, it was dubbed “The Tree of Life.”
It has a “gigantic” trunk that can hold up to 300 liters of water. They have a lengthy life expectancy and can live for up to 600 years. The edible seeds of this tree are a significant source of food for a variety of animals.
Elephants, on the other hand, sharpen their massive tusks on the bark of these trees. According to legend, these trees could easily roam over the African continent, but God was irritated by their aimless movement, so he chose to install them upside down to prevent them from moving again.
Birding in Tarangire
Enjoy seeing a diverse range of beautiful and rare bird species during your vocation in Tarangire national park. The marshes of Tarangire are home to around 550 distinct bird species. Tarangire is a well-known safari site for bird lovers who find themselves engrossed for an extended period of time.
Crested francolins, hoopoes, yellow-necked spurfow, hornbills, guinea fowl, steppe eagles, brown parrots, the enormous lappet-faced vulture, white-bellied go away bird, bateleur eagles, mouse birds, Kori bustards, yellow-collared lovebirds, bee-eaters are some of the bird species that can be spotted during your safari in Tarangire-tanzania.
The Wildlife Migration in Tarangire
Tarangire is one of northern Tanzania’s most seasonal parks, with a lot of migratory activity within the Tarangire environment. Tarangire is around 120 kilometers from Arusha, near the south-east corner of Manyara National Park.
During the dry season, from June to October, most of the Tarangire Region is completely dry, with only a few remaining water sources. Unimaginable vast herds of various animals migrate into the park due to the Tarangire River’s waters attracting them.
This massive wildlife migration, albeit not as well-known as the annual Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti, sees elephants, hartebeests, wildebeests, gazelles, and zebras, as well as predators like lions and leopards, enter the park in great numbers.
Make this park a part of your northern Tanzania safari since the vegetation is sparse and arid, making for excellent animal viewing.
Tanzania’s elephant population
Tarangire National park’s largest elephant population, which is regarded to be the highest in Tanzania, is one of the main attractions that has helped it become world famous.
As the dry season develops from June to October, and the terrain becomes increasingly dryer, you’ll encounter big elephant herds of up to 300 elephants mining the dry riverbed of the Tarangire River in search of underground streams of water to quench their thirst.
The arrival of the rains, on the other hand, provides plenty of pastures and water, causing the animals to disperse throughout the park; however, due to the large number of elephants that live here, these land giants can still be seen even during the rainy season.
Poacher’s hide in Tarangire National Park is a must-see attraction located southwest of Tarangire Hill, around a hundred meters west of the park’s main north-south road.
The Poacher’s Hide is a famous old baobab tree with a slightly hidden entrance and an inside chamber that was formerly utilized by poachers as a hideaway.
The Poacher’s Hide baobab has a diameter of around 10 meters and is thought to be over 300 years old, making it one of Tarangire National Park’s oldest trees.
This is yet another must-see attraction during your safari in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. Massive baobab trees and enormous flocks of red-billed quelea birds may be found in Lemiyon. This unspoiled location is nestled away in the park’s northernmost reaches, forming a triangle zone.
The enormous baobab trees that loom alongside the road with their colossal silver trunks and multitude of gnarled branches are the most outstanding form of vegetation here. Lemiyon is exceptionally wonderful for raptor viewing, and even non-birders will be surprised by the quantity of these strong aerial carnivores.
The Tarangire River is an important feature in Tarangire National Park, serving as a water source for the park’s eco system and a fantastic place to see wildlife as animals gather at the river’s banks to drink water, especially during the dry season.
In Tanzania’s wildlife viewing safaris in Tarangire National Park, the Tarangire River provides a haven for many animals, including a significant concentration of elephants, who come to the river banks to drink water and cool off from the scorching sun.
Elephants excavating on the sand near the Tarangire River in an attempt to get subsurface water have been spotted. Leopards, lions, wildebeests, zebras, buffaloes, and gazelles are among the creatures that can be observed along the Tarangire River’s banks.
Matete offers excellent leopard watching as well as the opportunity to glimpse the uncommon oryx antelope. The towering elephant grass and prickly reeds that grow along the river banks on the western side of the region give the place its name.
Matete is the best place in the park to see leopards on a regular basis. These secretive cats are frequently seen among the acacia tortilla trees’ branches.
Kitibong Hill is a stunning area in Tarangire National Park that is home to enormous herds of Cape buffalo and endangered wild dogs. While on a Tanzania safari in Tarangire National Park, you can see cape buffaloes tossing their huge bossed horns and surging across the acacia plains of the area.
Activities in Tarangire National Park
Game Drives and walking tours
The primary safari activity in this park is game driving however if you live outside the park boundaries you might be able to enjoy walking tours. Currently Oliver’s Camp organizes walking tours as well as fly camping safaris.
Game drives in Tarangire national park takes place at different times of day and includes morning game drives, afternoon or evening game drives and also full day game drives. This activity offers tourists different wildlife viewing experiences as they explore the wilderness and look out for wildlife species.
During morning game drives, tourists see various wildlife species which are very active at this time of day such as the elephants, giraffes, buffalos cheetahs, zebras, elands, waterbucks, impalas, wildebeests, hartebeest among others.
Afternoon or evening game drives also take place in Tarangire national park and it involves exploring the national park in search of the different wildlife species although the wildlife species many not be seen as many in number as compared to wildlife sightings during morning game drives.
Tourists can also engage in full day game drives as they experience wildlife viewing in the national park. This form of game drive involves driving around the national park and seeing its different attractions and searching for various wildlife species throughout the day starting in the morning.
Night Game Drives
One would wonder, are night game drives allowed in Tarangire? Well Night Game Drives are allowed in the park however, not all accommodations offer these tours.
Only those that have properly established all the requirements and regulations offered by TANAPA such as Swala and Oliver’s camp are allowed to conduct these walks.
Tarangire Balloon Safaris
Join a hot air balloon ride over the Tarangire as you soar over the treetops of the Tarangire to enjoy an exceptional perspective of wildlife like lions and ungulates right below you
Tthis is another common activity within the Tarangire during which devotees will be able to spot various bird species.
Bird watching is another activity which tourists can engage in during their safaris to Tarangire national park. There are various habitats for the different bird species which can be seen in the national park and this destination has about a third of the bird species in Tanzania.
The drier parts of the national park are a good location to see birds like ostriches, kori bustards, hornbills. Other bird species which can be seen in Tarangire national park include rufous tailed weavers, ashy starlings, and yellow collared lovebirds.
Migrant bird species in this national park can be seen around the swampy floodplains during birding excursions and they include hornbills, brown parrots, yellow necked spur fowls, guinea fowls, crested francolins, lilac breasted rollers, barbets, striped swallows, starlings, vultures, falcons, hammerkops, plovers and many others.
This unique form of wildlife viewing involves exploring the beautiful wilderness of Tarangire national park and getting a close interaction with the surroundings. This activity takes place in the company of a ranger guide as the tourists move around the destination.
Nature walks involve tourists treading across the vast savannah plains in the national park without interrupting the natural setting and interfering with the wildlife species. The guides and tourists follow different tracks as they encounter and track animals on foot.
Tourists also get to experience the breathtaking scenery during their nature walks and also enjoy close encounters with wildlife species such as zebras, waterbucks, impalas, elephants as well as bird species like ostriches.
A cultural visit is an amazing way to get to know more about the way of life of the local community through interactions between the locals and the tourists.
The Maasai interact with the tourists as they get to know about the nomadic way of life and also engage in various activities such as traditional dance performances, visiting the “manyattas” which are the traditional homesteads of the Maasai.
The Maasai are also known for their jewelry such as beaded necklaces, earrings, anklets made in different colors and patterns. The dress code of the Maasai also consists of “shukas” which are worn by the men as well as sandals and belts made by the local community.
These local arts and crafts made by the Maasai people supplement the income of the Maasai who are known to also benefit from their livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep that are kept in kraals surrounded with thorns to protect the livestock.
Accommodations in Tarangire National Park
For your Tarangire Park holiday accommodation, there are a variety of safari lodges and tented camps within the park as well as in the neighboring areas. Enjoy a great deal of affordable pricing for your comfortable stay while here.
Accommodation options in Tarangire range from affordable to mid-range to luxury lodges and luxury tented camps, so no matter what your budget, you’ll be able to find somewhere to stay. Some of accommodations in Tarangire national park includes
This is a fantastic camp right outside of this lovely park. Tarangire Treetops is a wonderful and unusual resort that we recommend for a stay in Tarangire’s upper reaches.
True, it is not located within the park and so does not offer as many games but it does provide outstanding service and the opportunity to sleep in a baobab tree house, which is incentive enough to stay a couple of nights here, with wonderful cuisine and service, is sure to make any trip unforgettable.
Each of the rooms is worth a mention in and of itself. They are well developed and managed in a way that you never fail to excite, having been carefully created within the branches of one of the indigenous baobabs or mahoganies. They’ve also been tastefully designed, with private balconies, open baths, and comfortable mattresses that look out onto the African sunrise.
This permanent tented lodge is nestled within a private reserve along the northern edge of Tarangire National Park and provides travellers with a non-restricted safari experience with plenty of comfort and charm.
Walking safaris and night game drives, which are not permitted in other northern Tanzanian national parks, are among the activities available while staying here. It has six luxuriously appointed tented bedrooms, each with a large private veranda from which guests can take in the surrounding countryside.
Swala Safari Camp
Swala Safari Camp is one of two Sanctuary facilities in Tanzania’s northern region, and it meets the company’s high standards across the continent. It has a central watering hole that attracts the game and white-washed interiors.
Swala is located in the park’s south-western corner, adjacent to Gursi Swamp, and is perhaps as far away from contemporary life as one can get in northern Tanzania these days. This is a zone where you will only see the property’s vehicles and nothing else.
Silali Swamp, which offers superb game viewing, is only an hour away. As described above, the rooms are of a fair size and are built on a permanent plinth with a verandah and a large tent. The rooms provide a welcome and comfortable respite from the day’s events, as well as an excellent position to watch what’s going on down at the watering hole in the heat of the day.
Sangaiwe Tented Lodge.
This facility is close to the park and Its 13 tent entrances have been built on a raised wooden platform, each with a specific Dickens to enjoy amazing views and sundowners. They are equipped with large, comfy beds, a writing desk and chair, and an in-suite bathroom.
Tarangire Safari Lodge
This is the oldest permanent lodge in Tarangire National Park, and it is situated atop a natural bluff with panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are tented rooms and bungalows available, as well as an outdoor dining area, a swimming pool, and a souvenir shop.
Tarangire Sopa Lodge
This is a leisure accommodation facility with over 75 rooms as well as various amenities such as Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, and a fine restaurant. It is unique in that it is one of the few accommodation facilities found within the national park’s boundaries, and it is also ideal for holidaymakers traveling with children as it accommodates them.
Maramboi Tented Camp.
This hotel has 38 rooms and is part of the well-known Tanganyika wilderness camps, such as the Serengeti’s Kati Kati. The rooms are built on a private patio and feature en-suite bathrooms as well as amenities such as a bonfire and a large swimming pool.
Best time to visit Tarangire national park
The dry season is recommended for amazing wildlife viewing activities in Tarangire national park which however is a good destination to experience wildlife viewing all year round. Tourists can also enjoy seeing wildlife during the wet season when they migrate to areas in the park with good vegetation.
The grass in the national park is longer during the wet season which may make it a little difficult to see the wildlife species as they graze. The roads are a little bit messy during the wet season which makes the dry season more favorable for wildlife viewing.
|Languages spoken||English, Kiswahili|
|Currency used||Tanzania Shillings (TSHS)|
|Area (km2)||2,600 SQ. KM.|