Tarangire National Park
Tarangire national park is one of the most visited protected areas located in northern part of Tanzania and south of Lake Manyara National Park. The national park was established in 1970 and covers a total area of 2,850 square kilometers which is comprised of grassy plains, savannah and mixed woodland vegetation, baobab and acacia trees which make it the best destination for wildlife viewing. Tarangire national park is famously known for harboring large herds of elephants, other animals like greater and lesser kudu, bushbucks, impala, elands, gazelles, buffaloes, waterbucks, different bird species among others. The name Tarangire was derived from the name of the river which originates from Wambugwe tribe and means meandering the Tarangire River a permanent water source that crosses from south to north and provides refuge for different wildlife species.
Attractions in Tarangire national park
- Wildlife, Tarangire national park harbors abundant animals including large herds of elephants, zebras, elands, impalas, greater kudus, hartebeest buffaloes, gazelle, warthogs, wild dogs, long necked gerenuk, Fringe Eared Oryx, dik dik, giraffes, lions, gazelles, wildebeests
- Birds, Tarangire national park is a home of over 550 bird species which makes it one of the birding havens in Tanzania. bird species in the park range from migratory species, aquatic species, endemic species among others and they include helmeted guinea fowl, white bellied go away bird, yellow spurfow, crested francolin, striped swallows, kori bustard, bateleur eagles, lilac breasted roller, yellow collared lovebirds,
- Tarangire River, this is a permanent water body that crosses the park from south to north. The name of this river comes from Tara a Mbugwe word that means river and Ngire a Hadzabe word that means warthog. Tarangire River provide refuge for large herds of elephants, warthogs and other animals like wildebeest, zebras, buffaloes, gazelle, lions, leopards among others which gather around the river banks to drink water especially during the dry season.
Top things to do in Tarangire national park
Game drive, this is one of the major activities carried out because Tarangire national park is a home of abundant wildlife species. Game drive is done in the comfort of a pop-up roof safari vehicle and its best carried out early in the morning so as to catch up with predators before going back to their hiding places and late evening to view animals going back to their resting areas. during the game drive you will be able to spot large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, impalas, lions, wild dogs, waterbucks, bushbucks, elands, different bird species, view beautiful landscape, vegetation types, sunrise, take clear photos among others.
Guided nature walk, this is an adventurous activity where visitors get out of the vehicle and explore the park on foot. Nature walks in the park are commonly carried out in the morning and late evening with the company of an armed park ranger to protect you against any danger. During the nature walk you will follow different trails in the park which help you to get close and personal with different animals like zebras, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, impala, waterbucks, enjoy the cool breeze, view beautiful landscape, sunset or sunrise, view different plant and tree species, butterflies, listen to sweet birds singing among others.
Bird watching, Tarangire national park is a home of over 550 bird species including aquatic species, endemic and migratory birds which makes Tarangire one of the best birding destinations in Tanzania. There are best bird watching areas in the park such as swamps, acacia plains, woodlands, baobab trees, areas near Tarangire river among others and during birding you should look out for different bird species like northern pied babbler, vulturine guineafowl, yellow collared lovebird, rufous tailed weaver, ashy starling, African gey flycatcher, great white pelican, ostrich, pink breasted lark, slate colored boubou, Donaldson smiths nightjar, bare-faced go away bird, mouse colored penduline tit among others.
Hot air balloon, this is one of the exciting and adventurous activities that shouldn’t be missed on your Tanzania safari in Tarangire national park. Hot air balloon safari starts early in the morning at around 6:00am and takes about one hour, during the balloon flight you will have spectacular views of the park, tree tops, sunrise, animals like elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, colorful bird species among others. After the hot air balloon you will be awarded a certificate, a bush breakfast and then engage in other interesting activities.
Cultural tour, this is one of the interesting activities in the park where you will be able to visit the surrounding villages around the park. During the cultural tour you will visit the Maasai village where you will interact with the Massai people, get an opportunity to learn more about their culture of nomadic patrolism, tradition, lifestyle, dressing code, buy craft souvenirs from local people, enjoy traditional dances, music, listen to ancient stories, taste different local dishes among others.
Best time to visit Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park can be visited anytime throughout the year though the best time is during the dry season in the months of June to October. During the dry season there is less rainfall in the park therefore vegetation will be short which allows you to clearly view different animals.
Tarangire national park can also be visited in the rainy season in the months of March to May and November because the rainy season is the best time to see migratory bird species.
Where to stay on your safari in Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park has a wide range of accommodation facilities where you will stay on your safari and they range from luxury, midrange, budget and campsites. The accommodations include Tarangire Sopa lodge, Tarangire Simba lodge, Tarangire River camp, Maramboi tented camp, Eco science lodge, Sangaiwe Tented lodge, Tarangire Acacia luxury camp, Lake Burunge Tented camp, Angata Tarangire camp, Nimali Tarangire, Tarangire Safari lodge, Swala camp, Roika Tarangire Tented camp, Olivers camp Asilia Africa, Naitolia Eco lodge, Mawe Ninga tented camp, Lemala Mpingo Ridge lodge, Burunge Tented lodge, Balloon camp, Tarangire Kichuguu camp, Kikoti Tented camp, Mbali Mbali Tarangire River camp, Baobab Tented camp, Tarangire Osupuko lodge, Tarangire Kuro treetops lodge among others.
How to get to Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park is located in the northern part of Tanzania and can be accessed by both air and road transport means.
Air transport, when using air transport means you will book scheduled and chartered flights from Arusha, Dar es Salaam or Serengeti national park to one of the airstrips in the park such as Tarangire airstrip or Kuro airstrip. Flights to Tarangire national park can be arranged by your tour operator.
Road transport, when using road transport means the journey takes about two hours drive from Arusha town to the park headquarters, from Lake Manyara it also takes about two hours drive and about four hours drive from Ngorongoro conservation area on a tarmac road. Due to the fact that Tarangire national park is part of the northern circuit, it can be visited together with other parks such as Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro conservation crater among others.