Tarangire National Park gets its name from the river that threads its way through the length of the reserve. The Reserve supports a great diversity of wildlife, including giraffe, buffalo, lesser kudu, eland, oryx, zebra and the predators. Unusually large herds of elephant inhabit this sanctuary, while majestic baobab trees dwarf the animals that feed beneath them. Wide panoramas of open acacia woodland and grassy savanna studded with large baobab trees mark Tarangire, a lesser-known scenic gem located in southern Masai land.
In the dry season months from June-October, huge herds of elephant and other big game species move peacefully toward the blue gleam of Tarangire’s namesake river. Fringe-eared oryx and lesser kudu are among the unique resident species and lions are common. Tarangire is also heralded as an ornithologist’s paradise. For a fascinating cultural experience we encourage you to participate in the tribe visits and walks.
Tarangire has a fractured Wet season (November to May). Light showers, or the ‘short rains’, tend to close out the year, while the ‘long rains’ see heavier falls from March through May. In between is a brief dry period that gives a taste of what’s to come in the Dry season proper (June to October).
The park is part of the popular northern safari circuit and is typically visited together with Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Most safaris to this circuit start from the town of Arusha.
The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated 46km/29mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) near Dar es Salaam and book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).
If you’re looking for a cheap flight, you can also fly to Nairobi in Kenya and take one of the buses between Arusha and Nairobi. Pick-up is in the morning, and you’ll get to Arusha around 4 PM. There are regular flights from Arusha and the Serengeti to Tarangire, but it is a comfortable two-hour drive from Arusha to the entrance gate, of which only the last 7km is not tarred.
Moving on, it is an easy drive to Lake Manyara (100km/60mi in about two hours) or the Ngorongoro Crater (180km/110mi in about four hours)
Herds of up to 300 elephant can be found, looking for underground streams in the dry riverbeds, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. Dry-country antelope such as fringe-eared oryx and the long-necked gerenuk are also present but rare to see. Abandoned termite mounds often house mongoose colonies. All the main predators are present, but because of thick vegetation, not spotted as often as in some of the other parks in northern Tanzania.