Just two hours from Arusha by road – and 25 minutes by air – Tarangire National Park is the quietest of the national parks in Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. It therefore offers safaris with a more exclusive feel, without missing out on any of the spectacle you’ve traveled so far to witness.
Visiting Tarangire National Park is best done during the dry season, which extends from the beginning of June until the end of October. During this period, wildlife from across the region gathers on the banks of the Tarangire River in search of fresh water.
The result is the congregation of thousands of wildebeest, zebra, and Cape buffalo, alongside that year’s calves. They are joined by substantial numbers of giraffe, gazelle, impala, and eland, although Tarangire National Park is probably best known for its landscape of baobabs and its elephant herds, which come together in numbers topping 500 individual animals.
With so much life in such a small area, the dry season in Tarangire National Park is also an excellent time to view Africa’s predators. Lions prowl Tarangire’s termite mound-dotted grassland, alongside cheetah and hyena. Leopard and Cape wild dogs make use of the acacia and bushwillow (combretum) woodland to launch their startling attacks.
In addition, the diversity of landscapes at Tarangire ensures this national park is one of the best places in Tanzania for birding. Its 1,100 square mile area provides habitat for no less than 550 bird species, ranging from red-and-yellow barbets to saddle-billed storks.
The southern portions of the park are the remotest, but a great choice of higher-end accommodation options, and activities including night game drives (banned in many national parks), make Tarangire’s south well worth the extra mileage.
Top Tanzania Travel Destinations
Arusha & Arusha National Park / Gombe Stream National Park / Lake Manyara National Park / Mahale Mountains National Park / Mount Kilimanjaro / Ngorongoro Conservation Area / Nyerere National Park / Serengeti National Park / Zanzibar