Facts about Tarangire National Park
Facts about Tarangire National Park: Tarangire national park is the sixth largest protected area located in the northern part of Tanzania after Ruaha National Park, Serengeti National Park, Mikumi National Park, Katavi National Park, and Mkomazi national parks. The national park was established in 1970 and covers a total area of 2850 square kilometers which is composed of huge baobab trees, swamps, open acacia woodlands, savannah vegetation, abundant wildlife, birds among others. Tarangire national park derived its name from Tarangire River which crosses the park and during the dry season it attracts a number of animals which come to drink water.
Attractions in Tarangire national park
Wildlife, the national park is known for harboring abundant wildlife including large herds of elephants, wildebeests, zebras, hartebeests, black rhinos, buffaloes, impalas, gazelle, giraffes, lions, leopards, hyenas, elands
Birds, Tarangire national park harbors more than 550 bird species including swamp birds, migratory, endemic species that are only found in Tanzania and near endemic species hence making the park a birders haven. Bird species that can be viewed in the park include crested francolin, helmeted guinea fowl, yellow necked spurfowl, bateleur eagles, kori bustard, white bellied go away bird, brown parrot, lappet faced vulture, secretary birds among others.
Tarangire river, Tarangire River is permanent water body in the park that provides refuge for large herds of elephants and other animals like buffaloes, lions, zebras which gather to drink water especially during the dry season.
Activities in Tarangire national park
Game drives, this is one of the popular activities in Tarangire national parks that is carried out in a 4WD pop up safari vehicle. Game drives are best done early in the morning when animals are still active or in the afternoon with an experienced driver guide. During the game drive you will follow different tracks in the park where you will have great views of animals such as wildebeests, buffaloes, elephants, elands, giraffes, zebras, impalas, gazelle, hartebeests among others grazing along the roads, view different vegetation types, beautiful views of the sunrise, view predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs if you are lucks among others.
Hot air balloon, Tarangire national park is one of the protected areas in Tanzania that offers the adventurous hot air balloon activity where you will have aerial views of the park, tree canopies, spectacular views of animals such as large herds of elephants grazing in the open plains, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, hartebeests, views of birds flying in the air, beautiful sunrise among others. Hot air balloon is an extra ordinary activity that shouldn’t be missed during your safari in the park in that after landing you will enjoy the bush breakfast with a bottle of champagne.
Guided nature walks, this is an interesting activity where visitors move around the park on foot with an armed park ranger. Nature walks are best done in the morning and late evening following different walking trails, during the guided nature walk you will have a close encounter with animals like elephants, zebras, waterbucks, impalas, buffaloes, giraffes among others in their natural habitat, have spectacular views of colorful butterflies, insects, scenery, listen to birds singing in trees, enjoy the cool breeze, take clear photos among others.
Cultural tours, this is an amazing activity where you will you will visit the Maasai community around Tarangire national park. During the community tour you be able to interact with the local people which gives you an opportunity to know more about their culture, nomadic life of Maasai, dressing code, way of living, listen to their ancient stories, enjoy their traditional entertainment inform of dance, music and drama, taste their local dishes, learn how to make crafts such as jewellery, bangles, necklaces, buy souvenirs like bags, sandals, baskets, visit their schools, health centers among others.
Bird watching, Tarangire national park is one of the top birding destinations in Tanzania in that it harbors more that 550 bird species including migratory, swamp, endemic and near endemic species. Bird watching in the park is done in the morning or late evening with an experienced birding guide who will help you to spot different bird species like kori bustard, ostrich, ashy starling, rufous tailed weaver, yellow collared lovebird, crested francolin, helmeted guinea fowl, bateleur eagles, pygmy falcon, giant lappet faced vultures, red billed teals, superb starling, white headed babbler, secretary bird among others.
Accommodation in Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park harbors a wide number of accommodations ranging from luxury, midrange, budget and campsites where you can stay during the safari and they include Nimali Tarangire tented camp, Acacia Tarangire luxury camp, Sanctuary Swala tented lodge, Tarangire Treetops lodge, Lemala Mpingo Ridge lodge, Maramboi Tented lodge, Kikoti tented camp, Sangaiwe tented lodge, Tarangire Osupuko lodge, Tarangire Safari lodge, Tarangire Sopa lodge, Angata Tarangire camp, Maramboi tented lodge, Kirurumu Tarangire lodge, Whistling Thorn tented camp among others.
When to visit Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park can be visited all year round though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to October because during this period vegetation is less therefore you will be able to clearly spot animals. During the dry season animals gather around Tarangire river to drink water which helps you to have views of abundant wildlife and take great photos.
Getting to Tarangire national park
Road transport, when using road visitors will either go on a self-drive or use a safari vehicle to drive from Arusha town to the park headquarters which takes about 2 hours drive. Tarangire national park can also be visited from Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro conservation area or Lake Manyara national park.
Air transport, visitors using air transport can fly to Julius Nyerere International airport in Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro international airport and then book scheduled or chartered flights to Tarangire airstrip. Flights can however be arranged by your tour operator therefore visitors who want to fly to Tarangire national park can contact Focus East Africa Tours.
Tarangire national park is less visited compared to other national parks in the northern circuit therefore visitors who like less crowded areas, Tarangire is the best destination to visit for breathtaking views and lifetime experiences.