Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is the southern-most park within the Northern safari circuit of Tanzania. Tarangire is one of Tanzania’s larger parks encompassing 2850 square kilometers (1100 square miles) of land. It is always less crowded than the Serengeti and nearby Ngorongoro and the feel is a bit more rustic.
Located only 120 km (74 miles) from Arusha – it is easy to travel there and still have a good game drive in the same day! However in our opinion you should spend 1-2 nights in Tarangire so you can explore deeper into the park. Staying at least one night allows you to experience early morning and late day games drives, which provide amazing light for photography and spectacular wildlife viewing when the animals are more active. If you are staying in the park walking safari and evening game drives can also be arranged.
Tarangire is best known for its large elephant herds, where hundreds of elephants can be seen traveling in family units along the Tarangire River. Elephants reside here year round because of the abundant water. During the dry season, many other animals (zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, antelope, etc) migrate into Tarangire where the Tarangire River provides a steady source of water. This makes Tarangire an excellent place to visit from June – October!
The Tarangire Ecosystem
The landscape in Tarangire is different than the other parks in the Northern Circuit. Tarangire is also known for it’s enormous ancient Baobab trees. Often called the tree of life, the baobab can be 30 meters tall and 50 meters in circumference and live for thousands of years. There are also large acacia forests, including the unique yellow-barked acacia or ‘fever tree’. The soil is a deep red clay and huge termite mounds are commonplace – abandoned mounds often host families of mongoose playing on the mounds. In addition, it’s a birders heaven, host to over 550 species of bird.
Accommodations in and around Tarangire National Park:
There are many accommodations to choose from when spending the night in Tarangire – from luxury lodges, luxury tented camps to budget camping. You can stay inside the park to take advantage of early morning game drives at sunrise. Alternatively you can also stay locally outside to save some money on park fees. Some of our favorites include:
- Lemala Mpingo Ridge Tented Lodge – a luxurious tented lodge within Tarangire National Park
- Tarangire Treetops – a unique boutique lodge within Tarangire, where all rooms are elevated off the ground amongst the trees
- Maramboi Tented Camp – located outside the park between Tarangire and Lake Manyara, this camp have great views of Lake Manyara and is located along a migration corridor so wildlife viewing continues outside the park!
- Sangaiwe Tented Camp – conveniently located just outside the Sangaiwe gate of Tarangire, this tented camp provides mid-range accommodations within a stones throw of the park.
- Burunge Tented Lodge – Just 10 minutes drive from the Sangaiwe gate to Tarangire, this is a mother mid-range lodge that is located along the migration corridor.
While poaching for ivory remains a huge concern for elephants, one of the biggest issues for Tarangire is migration infringement. Historically there were 10 different conservation corridors in and out of the Tarangire ecosystem. One of the biggest conservation threats for the animals that migrate through Tarangire National Park is the infringement on these migration corridors. At this time there are only 2 functional corridors remaining, mostly due to development of agriculture on the lands. Maintaining education and positive interactions with the local tribal community is critical to successful preservation of migration corridors. For more information visit: Tarangire Elephant Project
FAQ for Tarangire
- There are occasionally tsetse flies in Tarangire – these flies can be annoying, painful when they bite and can carry African sleeping sickness. Recommendations to reduce risk for tsetse fly bites:
- Pre-treat your clothing with a 0.5% permethrin based product prior to traveling. A DEET based insecticide can be applied topically OVER sunscreen.
- We provide whiskers in the cars to help swat away pesky bugs.
- Wear hats, long sleeves, long pants, socks and covered shoes if in a tsetse fly zone. Clothes should not be lightweight as they can bite through clothing.
- Wear neutral colored clothing. Avoid wearing bright or dark colored clothing (in particular avoid BLUE and BLACK), which attracts these flies.
- Sun and dust are common in the dry season.
- Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.
- A neck gaiter is useful to cover your mouth/nose if dusty while traveling on the roads.
- Make sure to pack sunscreen and a sunhat to limit risks for a bad sunburn!