Tarangire National Park


Think Tarangire and you think elephants. The undulating park lies to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasailand. It offers incredible panoramas of wide savannah grasslands dotted with open acacia woodland studded with large Baobab trees. The density of game is second only to the crowded Ngorongoro Crater. Thousands of animals congregate on the Tarangire River and with 550 species of birds and tree climbing pythons the park is a must do destination if you have an extra day or two that can be spared. Further as it a year-round park with distinct seasons offering different experiences, from dusty, dry and baking with animals clustered around the rapidly reducing river, to the fecund green season full of new-born animals and chattering birds it can be fitted into almost any itinerary. The only months to avoid are during the heavy rainfalls of April and May.

Ideally it is a dry season refuge for many migratory animals (elephants, wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, eland and buffalo) that spend many months of the year outside the park on traditional grazing corridors linking Tarangire with other protected areas.

Elephants up to 600 at a time, along with masses of wildebeest, zebra, eland, hartebeest, buffalo and oryx, who, migrate from the dry Maasai steppe to the gleaming Tarangire River in search of water during the dry season can be observed with regularity. The river is perennial and attracts animals at all times of the year and predators never go hungry here. Although rarely experienced, pythons have taken to climbing trees in Tarangire.

For much of the year temperatures remains between 70-80°F (21-27°C) but nights and early mornings get colder in the months of June, July and August. The dry months of June to September are the best times for game viewing as thousands of animals come to the Tarangire River. January and February is usually dry. The short rains are in November and December and the long rains fall from March to May, with April and May being the height of the rainy season and best avoided as many camps are closed.

Facts

  • The park covers about 1,600 miles² (2,600 km²).
  • It is located about 75 miles( 118km) southwest of Arusha on the northern safari circuit.
  • Tarangire was commissioned in 1970.
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