Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park can be reached by means of a two hour drive south west from Arusha. Covering 2,600 sq km, the Park is the fourth largest in Tanzania.
Tarangire National Park is beautifully unspoilt, and safari drives through the park enjoy wide views to distant purpled formations of volcanic mountain ranges. Ancient baobab trees, large family herds of elephants and prolific bird life makes Tarangire the classic Africa that history describes.
Highest Concentration of Wildlife in Dry Season
Second only to Ngorongoro Crater, the park has some of the highest concentration of wildlife during the dry season (June – October), as the Tarangire River is one of the few sources of permanent water left in the area and consequently attracts large numbers of wildebeest, zebras, elephants, eland and oryx which gather to stay until the onset of the rains when the ongoing migration sees them disperse again to adjoining grazing areas.
Elephant herds of over 300 hundred have been spotted along the river. Wildlife often relies on the nearby baobab trees that become hollow and fill with rainwater. In fact, the game numbers overall are staggering: 30,000 zebra, 25,000 wildebeest, 5,000 buffalo, 3,000 elephant, 2,500 Maasai giraffe and over 1,000 fringe-eared oryx (gemsbok). Predators include lion (prone to tree-climbing just like their Lake Manyara cousins), cheetah and leopard.
The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. Some of the birds most commonly seen are: ashy starling, yellow collared lovebird, rufous-tailed weaver, black collared lovebird, goliath heron, hamerkop, bateleur, helmeted guineafowl, kori bustard, long-toed lapwing, brown parrot, white-bellied go-away-bird, Madagascar bee-eater, African hoopoe, and a variety of kingfishers, weavers, owls, doves, plovers, sand pipers, francolins and ducks.
Tarangire National Park’s vegetation is a mixture of acacia tortilis, riparian woodland, riverine and savannah grassland, commiphora woodland and baobab trees. The diverse wildlife evident in the Park includes elephant, lesser and greater kudu, buffalo, cheetah, fringe-eared oryx, leopard, lion, Masai giraffe, spotted hyena, common zebra, eastern white-bearded wildebeest, warthog, eland, olive baboon, bat-eared fox, impala, common waterbuck, bushbuck, coke’s hartebeest and Bohor reedbuck.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls them home again. If on safari, be warned that the going can be rough and many of the tracks are impassable in the rainy season. Tarangire also offers some of the best walking safaris in northern Tanzania. Some of the best elephant encounters are to be had on an exclusive Game Package from Oliver’s Camp.