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Tarangire National Park Tanzania

Tarangire National Park was established in 1970 and one of the impressive park in Northern Tanzania and situated in Manyara Region. The park’s name originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. During the dry season thousands of animals concentrate in Tarangire National Park from the surrounding wet-season dispersal and calving areas.

The park covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles.) The park’s landscape is self-possessed with granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps as well as the natural vegetation which is a mixture of Acacia woodland, Commiphora-Combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, and Baobab trees with huge swamp areas in the south. The park runs along the line of the Tarangire River and is mainly made up of low-lying hills on the Great Rift Valley floor which presents an impressive view to the visitors. Both the river and the swamps act like a lure for wild animals, during Tanzania’s dry season. The Tarangire National Park is reputed to contain some of the largest African elephant herds in Africa and baobab trees. The baobab tree is probably the most impressive symbol of the African savannah because of its size and geographic dispersal as well as useful to humans and animals in the arid regions of Africa as many animals feed on its leaves, flowers, and fruits. African people can make food, clothing, medicines and other useful products from it. Visitors to the park in the June to November dry season can expect to see large herds of thousands of zebra, wildebeest and cape buffalo as well as common resident animals including waterbuck, giraffe, dik dik, impala, eland, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose, and olive baboon. Not forgetting the predators like African lion, leopard, cheetah, caracal and honey badger. It is intriguing to know that the different wild animals living inside Tarangire migrate in a cyclic pattern all year round because the soil within Tarangire lacks phosphorus and this therefore forces the different wild animals to move out of this protected wildlife sanctuary and cross the park borders to the nearby areas in search of pastures rich in phosphorous. Most of the surrounding land belongs to the Maasai pastoralist communities who for numerous years lived alongside with these big migrating animals. Even so, the rise in the overall human population forced them to slowly changeover to cultivation of crops hence the need of more farm land which in the long run put more pressure on the boundaries of the park.

How to get to Tarangire National Park

Visitors can get to Tarangire National Park from Uganda via Kenya on a good surfaced road which covers a distance of 1,178km and takes about 19 hours and 19 minutes of course presenting them with various attractions like the source of the Nile, Athi river along the route in Kenya as well as the views of Nairobi National Park, Arusha National Park and Mount Meru Forest Reserve.

The calmest way is to drive from Arusha, where most of the safaris start from, after a surfaced road to the main entrance gate. Tarangire National Park is also easily accessible from Lake Manyara. The most common option to continue from here is to the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. There are also charter flights from Arusha and the Serengeti if your wallet allows it.

Fly to Tarangire

Flying into Kilimanjaro International AirPort (KIA) is the best option to get to Tarangire. This is located, 46 kilometers (29 Miles) from Arusha. Visitors can also i fly into Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) which is near Dar es Salaam and then arranging for a domestic flight at Arusha Airport (ARK).

If you want to get a relatively cheap flight, you can also opt to fly in Nairobi Kenya and then move on to continue with one of the buses between Arusha and Nairobi. visitors can easily get to Arusha by 4 pm if one uses a morning vehicle. Your tour operator will pick you up from the airport in most cases and also take care of any other transportation from there.

Charter flights

Charter flights can be arranged from Arusha then to Serengeti and then lastly to Tarangire. From Arusha to the entrance gate, be assured of a comfortable drive that will take you only 2hours, with which only 7kms of them are on a non-tarmac road.

The Best time to visit Tarangire National Park

Visitors interested in wildlife safaris in Tarangire National Park the best time is in the middle and the end of the dry season that runs from late June to October because most of the animals move out of the park during the wet season and viewing them is remarkably less good. These animals normally gather around Tarangire river and there is little rainfall hence making it the best weather and the elephant numbers as well amazing. During the dry season, the animals migrate into the park, vegetation weakens out as the animals gather around the water points like Tarangire river and water holes thus making wildlife easier to view as the weather is very beautiful and sunny all round. It is also important to note that the mosquitoes are less hence the risk of contracting malaria is also much lower. Additionally, there are a great number of animals at the beginning or end of the dry season and this differs greatly.

However, there is also the wet season that runs from the month of November till may each year as during this time the vegetation is stunning and adequate and as well the rates and prices may be much lower since it’s the low season. The wet season is also prime time for bird watching since the migratory birds are present then. March to May mark the peak of the wet season and it is considerably less good to view the wildlife as compared to during the dry season since most animals move out of the park.

The rains usually drop in the afternoons and barely for the whole day. The temperatures do not change much over the year and it does not usually get too hot although the evenings and mornings tend to get too cold. The Tarangire weather is temperate and enjoyable. Showers usually come about in the afternoon. After the short rains, a dry spell will occur and its beginning is difficult to predict. Tarangire is known as a classic dry reserve. When it rains, the animals move up into the Masaai steppe yet in the dry season, the animals gather around the Tarangire River.

It is very vital to have sincere clothes starting with June to August since the morning drives are very cold. Days are calm with clear skies and should the short rains start early, then they begin in October. At night, the temperatures drop and it cools down.


Equally with an African safari, the lion is the most sought after animal of the Big Five to spot while on safari. They are the ruler of creatures, after all, and have no ordinary hunters, except man. Visitors should note that even the king of beasts has a hard life and because of it, wild lions only live to around 12 years of age. They occupy about 20 hours of every day just sleeping to preserve their energy and they have such little resilience that they need all their energy to hunt.

Also in this park is the Tarangire River.  This river winds through the middle of the park providing nourishment for the animals and great viewing for visitors. Daily large crowds of animals and birds gather around this Tarangire river so visitors will be sure not to omission anything.

The people of Tarangire and their culture

Additionally, the one entity that does fix Tanzania’s diverse attractions is, of course, its people, who take justifiable pride in their deeply ingrained national mood of tolerance and peacefulness. Indeed, Tanzania, for all its ethnic diversity, is practically unique in Africa in having navigated a succession of modern political hurdles – the transformation from colonial dependency to independent nation, from socialist state to free-market economy, from mono-partyism to fully-fledged democracy – without ever experiencing sustained civil or ethnic unrest is really an interesting destination.

Tarangire offers a supreme game watching, and during the dry season elephants abound. Wildlife usually plays around the ancient trunks of baobab trees and strip acacia bark from the thorn trees for their afternoon meal. Breathtaking views of the Maasai Steppe and the mountains in the south make a stopover at Tarangire a memorable experience.

Activities and attractions within Tarangire National Park

Wildlife in Tarangire

The shrinking lagoons are gathered around by migratory wildebeest, eland, gazelle, impala, zebras, kudu, rhino, hartebeest buffalo and other smaller mammals. Also regularly spotted are the dry country antelope like the long necked gerenuk and fringe eared Oryx well giving you an ultimate experience while on a Tanzanian safari.

The big numbers of elephants, baobab trees (these grow in the open acacia) on top of tree climbing African pythons which give wonderful sightings to see make Tarangire a popular safari destination. The African elephant is the world’s prime and fullest land animal and they are truly spectacular to see in the wild. Huge herds prosper predominantly in Tarangire National Park and watching a herd play, splash, swim, and dunk in a watering hole is one of the favorite safari moment.

This park is known for its elephants.  You will see these enormous creatures travel in families and you surely will not miss the extraordinary care they take of their young.  The elephants tend to move in herds and in the same routes as they have taken yearly.  When they see your vehicle coming closer they will gather around their young to protect them and lead them on their way.  Here you will have the opportunity to simply sit and watch and present you with a well photo opportunity.

Birdlife in Tarangire

Appreciate catching a glimpse of a large batch of colorful and exclusive bird species. Over 550 different bird species are housed with the swamps that are spread all over Tarangire. For visitors that love birding, and find themselves taken up for a long period of time, this makes Tarangire a famous safari destination for you. The bird species include black necked weaver, northern white crowned shrike, red billed hornbill, African hoopoe and woodland giant kingfishers.

Black necked weaver There are numerous species of weaver in Africa (they’re also found in parts of Asia) including the red-billed quelea, which is thought to be the most numerous wild bird on Earth. Weavers are best known though for their unbelievable shells, which in the case of many weavers are literally woven together from grasses and, in the case of some species including the black necked weaver (Ploceus nigricollis), is a conical shaped nest with a long, downward facing entrance tunnel thus presenting a memorable experience.

Northern white crowned shrike The Northern white crowned shrike (Eurocephalus rueppelli or white-rumped shrike) is an insect eater that can often be seen perched on branches or the backs of large mammals scanning the ground for insects. The shrike builds a cup like shell out of spider nets and greensward and its said that it might be a cooperative breeder, which means that babies are brought up not just by the parents but by extra set members.

Red billed hornbill The red billed hornbill (Tockus ruahae) is frequently encountered in Tarangire and though a reasonably big bird (around 42cm in length) it’s one of the smaller hornbills. They lay in holes in trees and, later the female is mounted on the nest, the pair seal up the hole using mud, fruit pulp and droppings, which helps predator proof the nest. They consent just abundant of a hole for the male to be able to pass food into his mate and the young birds.

African Hoopoe with its distinctive coloration and large crest of feathers on its head, the hoopoe (Upupa epops) is an unmistakable bird. It’s possibly for this purpose that hoopoes feature in so many legends, religious texts, folklore and superstitions throughout much of its African and European range. The hoopoe was considered sacred in Ancient Egypt and is depicted on the walls of Egyptian temples, it was a hoopoe that was said to have brought news of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon and it was a hoopoe that Islamic tradition says saved Moses and the children of Israel from being crushed by a giant. In much of Europe hoopoes are considered the bearers of bad luck and to be thieves, in Scandinavia they bring war with them and in Estonia they foretell death, but in ancient Persia they were considered a symbol of virtue and in Ancient Greece they were thought of as the King of birds this all gives you reason to view such a bird species.

Woodland kingfisher The large, striking and common woodland kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis) is found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa. In Tanzania it’s an enduring dweller, but inhabitants in the northern and southern limits of the birds range migrate to and from central and eastern Africa with the rains. They can be aggressively territorial and have even been known to attack humans.

Sightseeing Trips

As a dominant feature within this park, the Tarangire River stands out. Even when it is very arid, the park has dense vegetation with acacia bushes and mixed forests. The huge baobab trees that are scattered around in huge numbers make your safari trip a memorable one. There are a variety of probabilities to explore the region on walk safaris even if the park is unseen and comparatively unfamiliar. Walking safaris give you a more learning experience about the smaller animals within the bush land and a better way of spotting the animals at close range without disturbing them.

Experience a better different world by taking a trip to a Masaai or Barabaig village with numerous ancient paintings, in neighborhood with Kolo on Dodoma road.


Go an early morning take-off in a hot-air balloon, floating soundlessly above the treetops for a unique perspective on herds of elephant, unmoved by your presence, and zebra chased by furtive lions.

Where to Stay in Tarangire National Park?

The Park offers various accommodation facilities both inside and outside the boundaries of the park and it depends on the clients’ interests. Options include lodges and tented camps of variable categories, mainly from mid-range to luxury each providing unique offerings to African guests.

Tarangire Simba lodge is a small intimate lodge overlooking the shores of lake Burunge which is really a dream destination that would leave your memories for a long time. The lodge sits in the shade of an ancient baobab tree while sipping a sundowner and gives you an opportunity to watch elephants strip leaves from the bush as well as a herd of giraffes gracefully ambling past and colonies of pink flamingos feeding in the waters. The lodge has large dining room and outdoor dining deck with views over the plains, where delicious meals made from fresh local ingredients are served. The lodge has got a bar which provides visitors with a wonderful, revitalizing drink and you can just chill out and relax in the lounge. The ‘Tree Top’ viewing platform built in a stately acacia tree is a great place for wildlife watching and star gazing. The swimming pool gives you views of wildlife. There is free Wi-Fi in the common areas and every guest is assured of a warm welcome and a first rate service.

Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge is 5km southwest of the Tarangire gate, and it sits in the bush and is visited by lots of wildlife, especially elephants. The lodge has got 21 widely spaced tents that sit on elevated platforms under thatched roofs and have bizarre concrete animal-shaped bathtubs. Maasai village visits and night drives are available. Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge is located in Kwa Kuchinia offering a garden, free private parking space and features free Wi-Fi throughout. Women Project Shopping is 600 meters from the lodge. Some units feature a seating area and/or balcony and includes an outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant and packed lunches are offered as well. The Waterhole (west) is 3.5 km from Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge and the nearest airport is Arusha Airport, 85 km from Roika Tarangire Tented.

Tarangire River Camp is overlooking a branch of the Tarangire River itself. Visitors looking for an authentic safari experience under traditional canvas showcasing spacious views and enriching culture, Tarangire River Camp is the perfect choice. Located between the Maasai Steppe and The Great Rift Valley, Tarangire features the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti.  While at the Tarangire river camp one can watch birds, relax and rejuvenate by the swimming pool. The 21 elegantly furnished safari tents are all equipped with inside bathrooms and private verandahs as well as the evenings the picturesque views can be enjoyed from the elevated restaurant, lounge and fireplace.

Luxury Tarangire lodges

Tarangire Sopa lodge (Luxury game lodge) Concluding the Northern Tanzania safari circuit, the lodge incorporates magnificent baobab trees and fascinating natural rock formations into its low profile design, which nestles into a wooded hillside valley overlooking Tarangire Hill. Looking out over the rolling countryside the lodge is a tranquil oasis. The lodge can provide accommodations to 150 guests in 75 rooms, each enjoying a private lounge with a mini bar, a bedroom with two queen size beds and ample room for a third, an en-suite bathroom with shaver sockets and a hair dryer, as well as a private veranda which offers splendid views over the baobab studded landscape. The lodge has a telephone at reception, satellite television and wildlife-video-film and as well as laundry service and an outdoor dining area and a swimming pool.

Tarangire permanent tented camps

Camp Swala lies in sheltered seclusion beneath the shade of umbrella thorn trees on the gentle slopes of the Tarangire Valley. From here, you may also drive through the heart of Maasailand. There you may meet Maasai herdsmen and you will discover a way of life, essentially unchanged through millennia. There are only 12 luxuriously furnished canvas tents, all with en-suite bathrooms with showers. Each tent also offers an elevated veranda, pointed towards the waterhole that attracts wildlife year-round. Camp Swala is a permanent tented camp with amenities consisting of roomy walk-in tents, insect-proofed with mosquito-netted windows and sewn-in floor, en-suite bathroom with indoor and outdoor shower. Each tent has a personal attendant to look after guests’ every need. Private dinners under the stars on your tent deck can be arranged upon request.

Oliver’s camp (luxury permanent tented camps) is located east of Tarangire National Park. Situated outside the National Park, a short 15-minute drive will take you directly into the Park where you are able to enjoy all of nature’s miracles. The camp is a luxury-tented camp offering almost everything that a lodge could offer, except the glass and concrete. Guests stay in permanent canvas tents, allowing you to experience more of the African bush. This is how Africa should be experienced. Being very small, you are assured of personal attention at all times. The camp has 10 stunningly furnished tents scattered along the marsh edge with great views over the permanent water source. Each newly renovated tent is now covered by traditional thatch and offering an outdoor shower with indoor toilet and wash facilities. All tents are placed under acacia trees for shade and all command panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Generator supplies power, so not much else can be offered.

Tarangire Maramboi Tented Camp (Permanent tented camp) is located close to the shores of Lake Manyara on the wildebeest migratory corridor between Manyara and Tarangire. A 25,000 hectares’ concession area set aside for conservation by the local Maasai Community. Meals are served in the mess tent located in the centre of the camp. There is a lounge area where guest can relax and a small library. There are 20 tents and 10 lodge rooms each with a private veranda and en-suite bathrooms. The camp offers various facilities such as the swimming pool, internet, cell phone reception.

Tarangire standard game lodges

Tarangire safari lodge (standard game lodge) is the first lodge to be built in the Tarangire National Park, the Tarangire Safari Lodge is situated on a large ridge. The lodge overlooks the Tarangire River and throughout most of the season you can see the wildlife grazing. Below (especially elephants). The lodge offers 35 canvas tents and 5 stone bungalows. Both offer hot water (solar heated) and en-suite facilities, although the permanent accommodation is a lot more expensive than the tents. All accommodation overlooks the valley. The tents are sturdy and comfortable with a solid base, thatched roof and veranda. A large thatched main building contains the dining room, lounge and bar. The lodge has got a swimming pool, main lounge and bar and offers coffee and tea complimentary all day long and a fantastic game viewing terrace.

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