Tarangire National Park
See predator & prey side-by-side
Tarangire National Park
Why visit the Tarangire National Park
Most visitors to northern Tanzania are en route to the world-famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater; few are aware that the region also contains one of the country’s most rewarding reserves, Tarangire National Park.
Tarangire, despite its ease of access, is the least visited destination on the so-called Northern Safari Circuit. However, do not let this deter you: a Tarangire safari at the right time of year can provide some of the best game viewing in Tanzania.
Tarangire is best known for its elephant herds and tree-climbing lions, but it also contains all the classic African savannah species, as well as a few uncommon ones, such as the long-necked gerenuk, that are not found in the Serengeti. It’s home to all the big predators, and with 550 bird species on the tick list, it’s an excellent bird watching destination.
Tarangire’s dry season, on the other hand, will have you reaching for superlatives. Between June and October, the Tarangire River (which runs north-south through the park) attracts large herds of elephant, buffalo, giraffe, and a variety of antelope species. At this time of year, go on a Tarangire safari to see animal concentrations rivaled only by those in the Ngorongoro Crater, but in a largely crowd-free environment.
The arrival of the short rains in November and December causes animals, particularly grazers such as wildebeest and zebra, to disperse away from the river. January and February are generally dry, but rain returns in March, and visitors are advised to avoid the heavy rains of April and May, when much of the park is inaccessible and the majority of camps close.
Tarangire is more densely vegetated than the Serengeti’s open grasslands, with dense forest along the river providing ideal cover for leopards. It’s also the best location in northern Tanzania to see Africa’s most peculiar tree, the ‘upside down tree’ or baobab.
Travelers planning a safari to Tarangire will be pleased to learn that the park offers an abundance of excellent accommodation options ranging from family-friendly camps to romantic hideaways, and that the park easily connects with the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, and Lake Manyara to form the Northern Safari Circuit’s quartet of safari destinations.