Size: 2,600 sq km (1,005 sq miles).
Location: 118 km (75 miles) Southwest of Arusha.
Tarangire National Park has some of the highest population density of elephants anywhere in Tanzania, and its sparse vegetation, strewn with baobab and acacia trees, makes it a beautiful and special location. Located just a few hours drive from the Arusha Town, Tarangire is a popular stop for adventures through the northern circuit on their way to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti. Tarangire extends into two game controlled areas and the wildlife is moves freely throughout.
Before the rains, droves of gazelle, wildebeest, zebra, and giraffes migrate to Tarangire National Park’s scrub plains where the last grazing land still remains. Tarangire safaris offer unparalleled big game viewing, and during the dry season elephants abound. Families of the pachyderms play around the ancient trunks of baobab trees and strip acacia bark from the thorn trees for their afternoon meal. Breathtaking views of the Masaai Steppe and the mountains to the south make a Tarangire elephant safari a memorable experience.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But mobs of elephants of Tarangire are easily encountered, in the wet or dry seasons.
While on a safari, you will witness herds of up to 300 Tarangire elephants scratching the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It's the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed. The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world's largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.
How To Get There
Easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara following a surfaced road to within 7km (four miles) of the main entrance gate; can continue on to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti. Charter flights from Arusha and the Serengeti.
What To Do (Activities)
Game drives and guided walking safaris to view the famous elephant of Tarangire. Day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages, as well as to the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road.
When To Go
Year round but dry season (June - September) for sheer numbers of animals.
One safari lodge, one tented lodge, one luxury tented camp inside the park, another half-dozen exclusive safari lodges and tented camps immediately outside its borders. Camp sites in and around the park.