Tarangire national park is an amazing Tanzania wildlife safari destination situated in Tanzania Manyara region in the popular northern Tanzania Safari Circuit, the park lies between the meadows of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west. Tarangire national park is ranked as the 6th largest national park in Tanzania covering an area of 2,600 square kilometers, the park is popular for its large herds of elephants and the mini – wildlife migration that takes place during the dry season with approximately 250,000 animals entering the park.
Tarangire national park is famous known for the sun blistered termite mounds that fo the landscape as well as grassy savannah plains and vast swamps, the only permanent source of water in the park is Tarangire river from which the park gets its name, the river attracts large herds of animals coming to drink water and they are easiy spotted during a Tanzania safari.
Wildlife in Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park hosts to a variety of animal species recorded to be over 58 large mammal species, the park hosts a large population of elephants and their annual migration which is one of the major highlights of Tanzania wildlife safari in the beautiful park. The elephant migration in Tarangire national park takes place during the dry season (June to November), over 3000 elephant take part in this migration moving in search of water and grass making to Tarangire River a permanent resource in the area.
In additional to elephants, Tarangire national park is also a home to wildebeest, zebras, buffalo, impala, gazelles, hartebeests, elands, leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, coke’s hartebeests, oryx, long—necked gerenuk, vervet monkeys, grant’s gazelles, banded mongoose, olive baboons, honey badgers, greater kudu among others.
Birdlife in Tarangire national park
The park is a great habitat for birds with more than 550 bird species and it is considered to be the best birding destination for Tanzania birding safaris, swamps in Tarangire national park are the commonest breeding areas for several bird species, the drier areas of the park host unique bird species including the world’s largest bird “the stocking –thinghed Ostrich”, the world’s heaviest flying bird “the Kori bustard” and several smaller groups of hornbills.
The park is also a home to three endangered bird species of Tanzania that is Rufous – tailed weaver, Ashy starling and yellow – collared lovebird. Tarangire’s southern and eastern swampy floodplains are important bleeding grounds for Eurasian migrants, the woodlands inhabit species of hoopoes, hornbills, white—bellied go-away-birds and brown parrots.
Generally birds found in Tarangire national park include Common Red-and-yellow barbet, Common and endemic Ashy starling, Common White-headed buffalo-weaver, Common Tawny eagle, Common African orange-bellied parrot, Common Speckle-fronted weaver, African grey flycatcher, Ashy starling endemic to Tanzania, Bare-faced go-away bird, Donaldson-Smith’s nightjar, Great white pelican, Mouse-colored penduline tit, Northern pied babbler near endemic to Tanzania, Northern white-crowned shrike, Ostrich, Pink-breasted lark, Rufous-tailed weaver endemic to Tanzania, Slate-coloured boubou, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Vulturine guineafowl, Yellow-collared lovebird among others
Tanzania safari activities in Tarangire national park
Game viewing in Tarangire national park
Game viewing is the most popular Tanzania safari activity in the park, these game drives are conducted using 5 routes that lead to most parts of the park thus offering the best game viewing experience. These routes include
- The Lemiyon route featuring the park headquarters and campisters in the northern part of the park, driving on this route offers a chance ro see several herds of mammals including elephants, cape buffaloes, warthongs , wildebeests and among others most especially in the dry season.
- The Gursi and Lamarku routes these are found in the southern part of the park passing through large tracts of open grasslands which you can spot the Ostriches, the grasslands lead into the swamp areas off the park where you can hippos.
- The western lake Barungi route is quite a long route perfect for spotting nocturnal leopards and the endangered black rhinos, the routes runs through a group of 250 species of shrubs and trees.
- The Kitibong Hills route used during hiking around the Kitibong hill dominated by the acacia woodlands and flood plains down the hill, this route is perfect for spotting elephants and buffaloes.
Game viewing in the park offers an opportunity for tourists to spot various species of wildlife including wildebeest, zebras, buffalo, impala, gazelles, hartebeests, elands, leopards, lions, hyenas, cheetahs, wild dogs, coke’s hartebeests, oryx, long—necked gerenuk, vervet monkeys, grant’s gazelles, banded mongoose, olive baboons, honey badgers, greater kudu among others.
Game viewing in the park is offered as morning game drive, afternoon game drive and evening /night game drive.
Bird watching in Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park is a wonderful destination for birding in Tanzania, the park is a home to over 550 bird species which can be spotted in the park. Birds to look out for during bird watching in Tarangire include Common Red-and-yellow barbet, Common and endemic Ashy starling, Common White-headed buffalo-weaver, Common Tawny eagle, Common African orange-bellied parrot, Common Speckle-fronted weaver, African grey flycatcher, Ashy starling endemic to Tanzania, Bare-faced go-away bird, Donaldson-Smith’s nightjar, Great white pelican, Mouse-colored penduline tit, Northern pied babbler near endemic to Tanzania, Northern white-crowned shrike, Ostrich, Pink-breasted lark, Rufous-tailed weaver endemic to Tanzania, Slate-coloured boubou among others.
The best places to view these birds include woodlands, swamps and near the Tarangire river and the Lemiyon Triangle located in the northernmost end of the park.
Nature walks in Tarangire national park
Nature walks in Tarangire national park are amazing Tanzania safari experience offers tourists an opportunity to explore the beautiful environment of Tarangire, the nature walks are offered as morning and evening nature walks lasting about 1-3 hours. During the nature walks, you will be able to see a variety of birds and animals.
Sightseeing in Tarangire national park
Sightseeing is one of the most memorable safari experience to enjoy in Tarangire national park, the park offers most spectacular view of nature and is done on several trails running through the Tarangire River, baobab trees and swamps. Tarangire River attracts a number of animals such as the elephants, cape buffaloes, gazelles, wildebeests among others which you will do during sightseeing experience.
Cultural tours in Tarangire national park
Cultural tours in the park are amazing experience to a Maasai or Barabaig village hosting numerous ancient paintings, the village is found in the neighbourhood with Kolo on Dodoma Road. On this activity you will be able to visit one of the local schools and villages, while in these villages you will be able to interact with the locals, learn more about their traditions and cultures and share stories with the elders.
When to visit Tarangire national park
The best time to visit Tarangire national park for a Tanzania safari is during the dry season from June to October, these months are the best months to see wildlife in the park due to migratory pattern and the short grass cover which makes game viewing easier. In the dry season months, flocks of animals head to Tarangire river for water allowing for easy sightings, the best time to see the big herds of elephants is during the latter period of the dry season.
Accommodation in Tarangire national park
In the park there is various accommodation options inform of tented camps and safari lodges, these accommodation options are categorised as luxury, midrange and budget accommodations and they are as follows
- Nimali Tarangire Tented Camp
- Acacia Tarangire luxury camp
- Sanctuary Swala camp
- Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge
- Ecoscience Science Center and Luxury Lodge
- Tarangire Safari Lodge
- Tarangire Sopa Lodge
- Ang’ata Tarangire camp
- Kikoti Tented camp
- Sangaiwe Tented Lodge
- Tarangire Osupuko Lodge
- Maramboi Tented Lodge
- Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge
- Whistling Thorn Tented Camp