Tarangire National Park
Tarangire national park is one of the largest national parks in the northern part of Tanzania taking up the 6th position following the 5 biggest national parks in Tanzania which include, Mkomazi national park, Ruaha national park, Mikumi national park, Katavi national park and Serengeti national park, and the park obtained its name from River Tarangire which traverses through the park. In the year 1957, Tarangire was established as a national game reserve and by 1970, it became a national park situated in the northern part of Tanzania close to Lake Manyara and is one of the most visited national parks in the northern circuit of Tanzania. Tarangire is composed of a mixture of seasonal swamps, woodland species such as acacia trees and baobab and river Tarangire that keeps the vegetation evergreen all year round with a total land scape of 2850km2. The park is very silent with a huge population of migratory elephants and other mammals without forgetting the several bird species, Termite mounds, baobabs and many more that make it a unique national park to visit or have a stopover while on a Tanzania safari.
Tourist activities in Tarangire national park
Wildlife viewing in Tarangire national park
As mentioned above, Tarangire is a home to several wildlife species including mammals, birds, primates and many more thus under wildlife viewing we have game drives, birding and nature walk to view plenty of the wildlife in the park.
Game drive safaris in Tarangire national park: The park harbor more than 50 species of mammals as big 5 game like over 3000 elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Buffaloes, Giraffes and other small mammals like the migratory Wildebeests, Zebras, Gazelles, Oryx, Mongoose, wild dogs, gerenuk, and many more that normally migrate seasonally. The best way to view these mammals is by taking a game drive safari to different parts of the park. During the game drive, take a look up in the tree branches for an opportunity to spot pythons. The best time for game drives in Tarangire is during the dry months of June, July, August, September and October. During rainy months between Novembers to May, several animals exit the park due to park being waterlogged and they return in dry months thus game drives are encouraged during dry season. Tarangire national park offers both day and night game drives that leads to fully park excursion.
Birding safaris in Tarangire national park: Apart from mammals, the park is also one of the best birding paradise in Tanzania with over 500 species of birds that thrill in various corners of the park most especially in the swamps that are scattered throughout the park, along Tarangire river, in the woodland areas of the park and within Lemiyon triangle. Bird lovers need to pack a pair of binoculars to maximize the possibility of watching several bird species in the park. Some of the bird species seen in Tarangire include; Bee eaters, hornbills, Guinea fowl, collared lovebird, weaverbirds, ashy sterling, parrots, barbets, fly catchers and many more. Unlike game drives and walking safaris, the best time to visit Tarangire specifically for birding id during the months of November, December, January, February, March and April when birders have a golden opportunity to watch both the migratory birds and the resident birds.
Walking safaris in Tarangire national park: The park offers the best walking safaris in Tanzania and takes tourists to well designated walking trails alongside tour guides as you view closely several animals in the park while on foot such as Zebras, impalas and different species of birds, butterflies, reptiles and several species of trees that make up the most beautiful ecosystem of Tarangire national park.
Hot air balloon safaris in Tarangire national park: For a scenic view of the entire national park from above, Tarangire national park offers a thrilling hot air balloon safari taking you above Tarangire river as you view the rocks, explore the swamp for possibility of sighting out the aquatic wildlife, and watch over the various plant species while viewing the grazing mammals, hunter, nocturnal mammals and many more. Upon landing, tourists are served with a bush breakfast to warm up the body as they drive back to the lodges or move on with other park activities.
Cultural tours in Tarangire: Taking a cultural visit to meet the Masai people famously known as cattle keepers is such a rewarding activity that should never miss out on your Tarangire itinerary. Explore the local huts of the Masai people known as Manyattas, enjoy thrilling entertainment of cultural dance and drama, and learn more about their life styles and pastoralism. Have a taste of their local foods, buy some souvenirs to support them and many more.
Getting to Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park situated in the Northern Tanzania circuit can be accessed either from Kenya or from Tanzania’s city Arusha.
From Kenya: Tourists fly into Nairobi Kenya, then drive to Arusha city in Tanzania where they then connect to the park. From Tanzania, Tourists land at the airport then fly to Kilimanjaro international airport and then drive to Arusha to connect to Tarangire. Optionally, tourists can also take charter flights from Arusha to Tarangire national park. Whichever way, the destination remains the same.
Accommodation in Tarangire national park / Where to stay
Tarangire national park has several accommodations ranging from luxury, Midrange and Budget.
Luxury accommodation in Tarangire include; Lemala Mpingo ridge lodge, Nimali Tarangire tented camp, Eco science center and luxury lodge, Acacia Tarangire luxury camp, sanctuary swala camp among others.
Some of the mid-range accommodations in Tarangire national park include; Tarangire Osupuko lodge, Tarangire sopa lodge, Kikoti tented camp, Kirurumu Tarangire lodge, Tarangire safari lodge, Agata Tarangire camp, Sangaiwe tented lodge, Maramboi Tented lodge etc.
When is the best time to visit Tarangire
The best months of the year to visit Tarangire is during the dry season running throughout the months of June, July, August , September and October where the park is relatively dry receiving very little rain falls. During these months several mammals congest along Tarangire River including the migratory mammals that visit the park in search of water along Tarangire River from Masai Mara with the largest number being the Elephants the reason as to why Tarangire is called a home to Migratory Elephants. However, the season that runs between the months of March and May make the park impassible and not suitable for wildlife viewing safari and several animals leave the park. Therefore, the dry season is always the best season for tourists to visit Tarangire for wildlife viewing and other safaris except for birders whose best birding season is during rainy months. On the other hand, total dry months also lead to the migration of mammals from Tarangire thus not best season for wildlife viewing safaris.