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Home to some of Tanzania’s most iconic animals, Tarangire is surprisingly one of the most underrated national parks in the country and still under the radar for many safari circuits in the region.
Tarangire National Park is located in the Manyara Region in the north of Tanzania, between the Maasai Steppe meadows in the southeast and the Great Rift Valley lakes in the northwest. The area gets its name from the winding waters of the Tarangire River, which cuts through the land.
The park is known for the long-distance migration of wildebeest and zebra, as well as elephant migration and birdwatching. The diversity of wildlife at the river rivals that of the Ngorongoro Crater, though there are far fewer human visitors here.
If you’re looking for elephants, Tarangire is the place to come, as there are up to 3,000 roaming the park, moving in herds of up to 300. Other big names to look out for include giraffe, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, leopard, greater and lesser kudu, eland and cheetah. If you’re lucky, you may spot a rare dwarf mongoose, a generuk, or an oryx.
In the swamplands found in the east and south of the park, you’ll be able to see diverse species of birds, wallowing elephants, tree-climbing pythons, Silale swamp lions and perhaps even an endangered African wild dog.
Despite the big attractions, Tarangire has a much quieter, more authentic atmosphere than many of Tanzania’s national parks and reserves. The south of the park in particular is worth a visit if you’re looking for somewhere remote, where you’re unlikely to meet many other travellers.
Tarangire is host to various safari choices, including walking safaris, night safaris and even fly camping trips, where you stay out in the open overnight and fall asleep under the stars to the sounds of the wildlife around you.
A visit to Tarangire offers something special, with fewer tourists, plains filled with ancient baobab and twisted acacia trees, savannah plains, lively swamplands and a variety of activities on to enjoy.
Wildlife is present in Tarangire National Park all year round, however the game viewing is at its best between July and October (the dry season). For the rest of the year, much of the game migrates away and out of the park, so the concentration of wildlife is much lower.
December to March is when the pesky tsatse flies are at their worst, so Tarangire is best avoided, but the Serengeti is a good option at this time as it’s wildebeest calving season.
We include two nights stay Tarangire National Park as part of our Tanzania Great Migration Safari itinerary. However, there is plenty to see and do in and around this area, so if you’d like more time in the national park or if you’d like to add Tarangire to your tailor made Tanzania travel itinerary, then let us know and we can arrange this for you.
Of the camps we know intimately in Tarangire National Park some of our favourites are Kuro Tarangire, Tarangire River Camp and Tarangire Treetops. Kuro Tarangire has just six spacious safari tents right in the heart of the park, The River Camp is on a concession outside of the park and it features traditional canvas thatched-roof tents with incredible views of the plains of baobab trees and the Tarangire River. Treetops is on the border with Tarangire National Park and it has elevated safari lodges, providing epic views of the marula and baobab trees from your private verandah and spacious rooms with a luxury feel.