Tarangire National Park ~
The park that has almost everything

A large herd of buffalo makes its way to the shallow waters of the Tarangire River, while elephants scratch their backs on the baobab trees and a lioness stretches out on an acacia tree and lets her gaze wander over the swamps. Diverse and picturesque landscapes, a high density of wildlife and yet still one of the lesser known national parks in Tanzania – that is Tarangire National Park.
Tarangire is conveniently located on the way to the more famous Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater. But even on its own it is a popular park and an excellent safari destination – and much more than just a stopover on your trip!
The vegetation in the park is extremely diverse, from wide grasslands, savannahs, baobab trees and dense acacia bushes to palm trees and swamps full of tall elephant grass in the south.
What to expect
Most guests enter the park from the north and spend an afternoon exploring the area around the Tarangire River, which is the park’s lifeline and main source of drinking water. Elephants, buffalo, antelope and zebras greet travelers and offer a classic safari experience.
Those who stay more than one night can explore Tarangire’s more remote southern part: the Silale Swamp area is one of the main attractions here and stretches over 70 square kilometers.
It is not only a popular spot for elephants to enjoy the lush greenery, but also for big cats. If you’re lucky, you can watch majestic lions skillfully climbing trees and resting in the shade, while keeping an eye on passing antelope and zebras.
A few select accommodations in the southern part of the park even offer walking safaris, an exciting activity that involves exploring the wildlife’s home on foot. Walking safaris are only permitted in a few selected national parks in Tanzania.
 What animals can you see in Tarangire National Park?
An impressive variety of animals, both large and small, await you in Tarangire National Park. The park is home to numerous permanent residents, while others migrate depending on the season. The most commonly seen animals include elephants, giraffes, impalas, warthogs, zebras, wildebeest, dwarf mongooses and ostriches. However, you can also spot lions, leopards and even the occasional African wild dog. The park is also home to 550 species of birds, as well as greater and lesser kudus and oryx.
During the months of June to September, the park hosts a small migration, with thousands of wildebeest and zebras moving to better grazing areas in the park. Elephants and other animals follow them, gathering along the Tarangire River, which is the only permanent water source in the park. Some estimates say that there are as many as 2000 elephants in the park during these months, some of which even come from Amboseli National Park in Kenya.
Cats are also very present in the park, and lions like to sun themselves on the river banks, while leopards occasionally take a nap in the baobab trees. There are also cheetahs here, although they are usually relatively difficult to spot as they hide from their unsuspecting prey.
African wild dogs have been spotted in the southern part of the park. With the numbers of these efficient hunters dwindling, a sighting is something very special.
It’s not just mammals that you can experience in Tarangire National Park, the park is also home to 550 different species of birds. The most commonly spotted birds include black-headed lovebirds, red-billed hornbills, southern hornbills, rollers, ostriches, various species of raptors and waterfowl, to give just a small insight.
Vegetation and landscapes
The Tarangire National Park, with its landscape dotted with baobab trees, is one of the most scenic parks in Tanzania. The baobab trees tower high above the savannah. These centuries-old trees play an important role in the ecosystem as they provide habitat for bees, birds and bats. In addition, they have juicy fruits and indirectly provide animals such as elephants with water, especially during the drier months.
Until the mid-1990s, one of these old trees served as a hideout for illegal poachers. The interior of the huge tree offered them perfect protection from the patrolling park rangers. Once inside, they were invisible. Here they dried and stored illegally captured meat from wildebeest, buffalo and zebra. Fortunately, the rangers were finally able to put an end to their illegal activities. Today you can visit the poachers’ hideout and go inside the baobab tree yourself.
Tarangire River
The Tarangire River has water all year round and is an important lifeline for many residents, especially during the dry season. The river flows into Lake Burunge in the northwest. In the southern part of the park there is an extensive swamp area that is not navigable during the rainy season, but dries out completely in the dry season.
Tarangire looks very different depending on the season. During the rainy season, the grass is tall, the river babbles along and the vegetation is in full bloom. Wildlife is spread throughout the park as there are enough water sources. Due to the dense vegetation, wildlife sightings are not always easy, but bird lovers can spot many migratory birds in the park. 
The peak of the rainy season is usually between March and May.
The best time to visit Tarangire National Park is undoubtedly the dry season from June to October and early November. Animal density is high as many animals migrate from the surrounding areas to the area’s main water source, the Tarangire River. Due to the sparse vegetation, the animals can be easily spotted. 

Change Language »