The fierce sun sucks the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red, the withered grass as brittle as straw. The Tarangire River has shriveled to a shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometers knowing that here, always, there is water.
Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest, and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephants are easily encountered, wet or dry.
The swamps, tinged green year-round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. On drier ground, you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys. More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colorful Yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber Rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.
Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting.
Tarangire’s pythons climb trees, as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.
About Tarangire National Park
Size: 2850 sq km (1,096 sq miles). Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.
An easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara following a surfaced road to within 7km (four miles) of the main entrance gate; can continue on to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. Charter flights from Arusha and the Serengeti.
What to do
Guided walking safaris.
Day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages, as well as to the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road.
When to go
Year-round but dry season (June – September) for sheer numbers of animals.
Two lodges, one tented lodge, two luxury tented camps inside the park, another half-dozen exclusive lodge, and tented camps immediately outside its borders. Several campsites in and around the park.
Tarangire National Park Itineraries
6 days Tanzania group joining safari
6 days Tanzania group joining safari Program Highlights Duration: 6 DaysItinerary: 6 days Tanzania group joining safariDestinations: Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National ParkMajor Attractions: Spots of Wildebeest Migration in Serengeti...
Day Tour to Tarangire National Park
Program Highlights These Tarangire Day tour safaris take you to Tarangire National Park a world-famous safari park for its unusual herds of elephants. Itinerary: Day Tour to Tarangire National ParkDestinations: Tarangire Tour Guides Language: English For other...
7 Days Serengeti Western corridor Wildebeest Migration
Program Highlights 7 Days Serengeti Western corridor Wildebeest Migration, tours, holidays, and travel packages, have been designed specifically to focus on and to increase your chance to see the great Serengeti wildebeest migration. We have designed the program to...
8 Days Tanzania Camping Safari & Nature Hiking Tour
Tour Overview This safari includes visits to Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Masai Village excursion, walking to the floor of the Embakhai Crater, hiking and trekking a volcanic mountain –...
5 Days Camping Safari to Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
Program Highlights 5 Days Tanzania Budget Camping Safari is an affordable Tanzania camping tour suitable for Tanzania game viewing and camping safari. This adventure takes you to the most famous wildlife areas in Northern Tanzania national park such as Tarangire...
3 Days Camping Safari to Tarangire, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara
Program Highlights 3 Days Camping Safari to Tarangire Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara package is the best tour starting in Arusha city and it includes three best parks of Tarangire national park with larger elephant population, Lake Manyara national park where you can...
2 Days Camping Safari to Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater
Program Highlights These 2 days of Tanzania Camping safari take you to the most celebrated UNESCO world heritage area in Tanzania; the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Tarangire National Park a world-famous safari park for its unusual herds of elephants. The Tarangire...
7 Days Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Group Join Safari
Program Highlights Group size: 6 People Space Left: Departure date: Daily Departure Duration: 7 Days Serengeti Wildebeest Migration Group Join Safari Destinations: ...
3 Days Tanzania Group Joining Safari
Program Highlights Group size: 6 People Space Left: Departure date: Daily Departure Duration: 3 Days Tanzania Group Joining Safari Destinations: 3 Days group Safari to...