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Tarangire National Park

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Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is in northern Tanzania, just south of Lake Manyara. It’s a protected area with giant baobabs, open grassy plains, and large herds of elephants. Even though it’s one of Tanzania’s hidden gems, it doesn’t attract as many visitors as the famous Serengeti, giving those who do come a more exclusive experience.

Abundant Wildlife and Serene Beauty

Tarangire competes with the Serengeti in the variety and number of animals it hosts. It’s an excellent choice for travelers who want to see more animals and fewer tourists on their safari. The park is also known for its exceptional birding opportunities, with a diverse range of bird species. During the dry season, the Tarangire River becomes the primary water source, attracting a plethora of game.

The landscape is remarkable, adorned with numerous picturesque baobab trees. Tarangire’s skyline, framed by the stubby branches of these iconic trees, provides a stunning backdrop for game viewing. In the winter months, when the peak season occurs, the marshes transform into lush grassy fields, attracting herds of elephants, buffalo, antelope, and other plains game. Predators like lions are frequently spotted in action.

A Hidden Gem in the Wilderness

Tarangire National Park boasts over 500 bird species, including some unique to Tanzania. Away from the bustling northern areas, the southern part of the park hosts camps specializing in walking safaris. These safaris allow guests to fully immerse themselves in the African bush experience, exploring on foot.

Activities in Tarangire National Park

Game Drives and Walking Tours

The primary activity in Tarangire is game driving. However, if you’re staying outside the park, you might also enjoy walking tours and night safaris. Currently, Oliver’s Camp organizes walking tours and fly camping safaris. Night game drives are allowed in the park, but only accommodations meeting TANAPA’s requirements, such as Swala and Oliver’s Camp, can conduct these walks.

Tarangire Balloon Safaris

For a unique perspective, you can join a hot air balloon ride over Tarangire. Soar over the treetops and witness wildlife like lions and ungulates from above, creating an exceptional safari experience.

Birding in Tarangire National Park

Birding is a common activity in Tarangire, allowing enthusiasts to spot various bird species in the park’s diverse habitats.

Choosing the Best Time to Visit Tarangire

The best time to visit Tarangire depends on your interests. The dry season from June to October is perfect for elephant and wildlife viewing as animals gather at the river. If you’re a birding enthusiast, November to March is ideal. The wet season transforms the landscape into lush greenery, adding to the park’s beauty.

Tarangire National Park

Getting There – Tarangire NP

Tarangire National Park is part of the popular Northern safari circuit, often visited alongside Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. Most safaris start from the town of Arusha. The easiest way to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is 50km/31mi from Arusha. Alternatively, you can fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam and then to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

There are regular flights from Arusha and Serengeti to Tarangire, but driving is also a good option. The drive from Arusha to the park entrance gate takes about 2 hours, with only the last 7km/4mi being untarred. From there, it’s an easy drive to Lake Manyara National Park (100km/60mi in about 2 hours*) or the Ngorongoro Crater (180km/110mi in about 4 hours*).