Why Travel Here?
The Tarangire National Park is second only to the Serengeti ecosystem for concentrations of wildlife during the dry seasons. Herds of upto 300 elephant and teems of antelope crowd the dwindling waters of the Tarangire River and its shrinking lagoons. Tarangire is the only National Park in Tanzania’s northern Parks that one can see a large concentration of elephants year round. It one of the few protected areas in Tanzania where one can see Oryx, and it has an incredible 550 species of birds, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.
The Park is located in Northern Tanzania, 118 kilometres southwest of Arusha town, and 163 kilometres from Kilimanjaro International Airport.Tarangire National Park covers an area of 2 600 square kilometres and is the 4th largest Park in Tanzania.
Species found within the Tarangire National Park include African Hunting dog, Olive baboon, Bat eared fox, Bohorsreedbuck, buffalo, bushbuck, cheetah, eland, elephants, Fringe eared Oryx, gerenuk, impala, Coke’s hartebeest, hippo, lesser and Greater kudu, leopard, lion, Maasai giraffe, Black rhino, Rock hyrax, Spotted hyena, Striped hyena, waterbuck, White bearded wildebeest and warthog. Predator populations are a big attraction here. Tarangire’s pythons climb trees as do its lions.
More than 550 species of birds have been recorded here – the most breeding species in one habitat in the world. The Park is also home to the largest bird the ostrich, and the heaviest flying bird - the Kori Bustard. The bizarre Ground Hornbill is also a firm resident. Flamingos and pelicans are common at Lakes Manyara and Burungi. The Silale Swamp is one of the best bird life spectacles in Tanzania. The Acacia woodlands and the flood plains of the Tarangire River are also rich in bird life. Bird species found here include African hoopoe, bataleur, Brown parrot, Goliath heron, Helmeted guinea fowl, Hamerkop, long-toed lapwing, Madagascar bee-eater, Yellow collared lovebird, and White-bellied lourie. Also found here are various species of ducks, francolins, kingfishers, owls, doves, weavers, plovers, and sand pipers.
The Park is named after the River Tarangire that flows through the centre of the Park from the south to the northwest and empties its water into Lake Burungi. This river runs throughout the year providing a year round water source for the abundant wildlife. Lakes Burungi and Manyara are saucer shaped depressions with saline water.
The Tarangire National Park is located in wooded steppe with an arid acacia savanna belt that is dominated by Acacia and Commiphora species. Magnificent 1000-year-old giant Baobab trees punctuate the Park. The various types of woodland include: Acacia – Commiphora woodland, Acacia drepanolobium woodland, Combretum – Dalbergia woodland, Riparian woodland, and Acacia tortilis Parkland. Other vegetation types include wetlands and seasonal flood plains, riverinegrassland, deep gully vegetation and grasslands with scattered baobab trees. The swamps, tinged green year round attract the profusion of bird species.
The dry season occurs from July - September and temperatures are between 18 and 32 degrees Celsius. The wet season occurs from mid-October to mid-May and temperatures are between 21 and 27 degrees Celsius. Rainfall is usually in the region of 1600 mm per annum and is heaviest from November through to April.The Park is classified as year round but the dry season between June and October is considered the best time to visit due to the sheer numbers of animals.
Walking safaris can be arranged with qualified guides. Day trips to the Barabaig tribe’s ancient Kolo Rock Paintings are another good option. One can add on visits to Ngorongoro and Serengeti National Parks from here.
Chartered flights from Arusha take only 20 minutes while others can be taken from the Serengeti, Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro International Airports.
The Park is reached on the main Arush-Dodoma tarmac road, an easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara. Approximately 85 kilometres from Arusha at Makunyi, the main road up to the Serengeti and Ngorongorobranches off to the right. Continue along the Great North Road toward Tarangire, which is signposted. It is about 118 kilometressouthwest fromArusha town.