Tarangire National Park
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One of the least visited parks on the northern safari circuit, Tarangire is a land of giants, with huge herds of elephants trundling along the dusty plains beneath towering baobab trees. Wildlife is attracted by the permanent water source of the Tarangire River so even during the dry season there will be plenty to see. As a result, a tailor-made Tarangire safari is often the highlight of a holiday in Tanzania.
About Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is located in the Manyara region of Tanzania. It is the country’s 6th largest national park at 2,580 km² and is a well-known safari destination for some of Africa’s biggest elephant herds and iconic baobab trees. The Tarangire River is the life source of the park’s flora and fauna, and safaris in Tarangire often focus on the river where animals congregate along the banks.
Large quantities of wildlife in Tarangire are seasonal, and the park is characterised by annual animal migrations here throughout the year. During its peak season between June and September, Tarangire is a far superior safari destination than the neighbouring Lake Manyara National Park. It is not only far bigger and less crowded but a lot of Lake Manyara’s wildlife migrates to Tarangire at this time. In fact, the dry season in Tarangire sees the second-highest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania outside of the Serengeti eco-system. Despite this, Tarangire remains one of northern Tanzania’s least visited parks, which is all the more reason to visit.
Safaris in Tarangire National Park
Game drives in Tarangire are the main safari activity here, often focussing on the river in the northern section of the park where animals are easily spotted in the dry season. As a result, southern Tarangire is mostly empty making it a pleasure to explore. Within the national park and the neighbouring conservancy, it is also possible to enjoy walking safaris, night drives and fly camping during your luxury Tarangire safari adventure.
Tarangire National Park has the highest concentration of elephants in northern Tanzania. During the park’s drier months over 3,000 elephants can be found within Tarangire’s borders, often congregating by the Tarangire River and sometimes forming super-herds of over 500 individuals. Such an immense gathering of elephants is an incredible sight. In the wet season, many elephants remain in Tarangire National Park and so it is a great year-round destination for those wanting to see these majestic giants in their natural environment.
You can’t see the Big Five in Tarangire as sadly there are no rhinos, but lion and buffalo are numerous, with leopards sometimes spotted too. Cheetah sightings do occur but are rare, while finding hyena is more common. Tarangire also supports a huge variety of other mammal species, including high numbers of giraffe which don’t migrate out of the park during the wet season and are seen year-round.
Zebra, wildebeest, eland and impala tend to account for the vast majority of the migratory animals that leave the park when the rainy season arrives. When Tarangire dries, these animals return to the park and form northern Tanzania’s second-highest concentration of wildlife. Rare species such as the fringe-eared oryx, long-necked gerenuk, African wild dog and greater kudu can all be found in the park during these months.
Birding Safaris in Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is one of Tanzania’s best birding destinations, and large numbers can be found here year-round. However, birding is particularly impressive during the wet season from November to May with the arrival of migratory birds. Recorded species number around 500, and the northern pied babbler, the Rufous-tailed weaver and the ashy starling are all highlights of a bespoke Tarangire safari.
Best Places to Stay in Tarangire National Park
There are several excellent Tarangire safari camps and lodges to choose from. Accommodation inside the park includes luxury safari lodges such as Swala and Olivers Camp, both of which are ideally situated to explore northern and southern parts of the park. Activities include game drives, game walks, night drives and cultural visits to local Maasai communities.
In the conservancy to the north of Tarangire national park, there are fewer camps and lodges and so fewer visitors. Choosing to stay here allows you access to game viewing on both the private land and in the national park. Tarangire Treetops is a fantastic luxury lodge with treehouse-style rooms boasting incredible views. Situated close to the river the Mbali-Mbali Tarangire River Camp is another superb option in this part of Tanzania.
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Best Time to Visit Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is Tanzania’s most seasonal park, with the dry season between June and September being the best time to visit, making it ideal for family safari holidays in Tarangire. During these months animals migrate into the park from the greater northern-Tanzania eco-system and game is abundant, often localising at the river making game drives both easy and rewarding.
Between October and May rainfall in northern Tanzania creates ephemeral bodies of water outside of Tarangire National Park. These areas have a higher phosphorus content and animals utilise this for their nurturing their young. This means that there are fewer animals in Tarangire during this time, although there is still a decent amount of wildlife to see, including lions and elephants, with birdlife being especially prolific.
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How to Book a Tarangire National Park Safari Holiday
To discuss your Tanzania safari holiday, Tarangire safari packages and tailor-made itineraries, speak to one of our Tanzania experts today by contacting us.