Tarangire national park
Tarangire national park is an incredible Tanzania safari destination and a national park situated in Manyara region just of Lake Manyara in the northern region of Tanzania, the park is situated approximately 118 kilometers from Arusha and 70 kilometers from Lake Manyara national park. The park is found in the northern safari circuit of Tanzania and is situated in close proximity to Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro conservation area.
Tarangire national park was first established as a game reserve in 1957 and later in 1970 it was upgraded to a national park covering an area of about 2,850 square kilometers, the landscape of the park is dominated by the iconic baobab trees scientifically referred to as Adansonia digitata as their scientific name and Mbuyu in Swahili. The baobab trees are also known as the rat tree or monkey-bread or bottle tree and one of the largest trees on the planet, the trees features a thick, sturdy trunk and stunted root-like branches which is an instantly recognized symbol in Africa.
Tarangire national park is a rewarding destination for Tanzania wildlife safaris hosting morethan 58 species of large mammals, the park is famous for its large population of elephants recorded to be over 3,000 found in the baobab trees reaching up to 30 meters high. Animals in the park include lions, African wild dogs, giraffes, banded mongoose, olive baboons, honey badgers, greater kudus, buffaloes, coke’s hartebeest, long necked gerenuk, impalas, zebras, lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and many more. Tarangire River crossing through the landscape of the park is usually crowded by many animals and they easily be seen, another site great for watching animals in the is the beautiful Kitibongo region.
The park is listed among the best destinations for Tanzania birding safaris with over 550 bird species usually inhabiting in the swamps of the park which are the commonest birding areas for various species of birds. The drier parts of the park inhabit the stocking thinghed ostrich which is the world’s largest bird, kori bustard – the heaviest flying bird in the world and other smaller groups of hornbills. Other birds found in the park include Rufous-tailed weaver, Ashy starling, yellow-collared lovebird, hornbills, white-bellied go-away birds, hornbills, hoopes, mouse birds, striped swallows, swifts, hammerkops, bee-eaters, cordon bleus, giant lappet-faced vultures, tiny pygmy falcon, white pelicans, superb starling, white headed babblers and many more.
Some of the best birding spots to visit during a Tanzania birding safari in the park is the Lemiyon Triangle – a pristine area found in the northernmost end of the park and is in a triangular-shaped zone. Lemiyon Triangle hosts a vast flocks of red-billed quelea birds and perfect for raptor viewing.
Tanzania safari activities to do in Tarangire national park
Game viewing is one of the most exciting Tanzania safari activities in the park, this experience is done using 5 routes offering an opportunity to explore the park such as the Lemiyon route, Gursi, Lamarku route, Kitibong Hill route and western Lake Barungi route. While driving on these routes you get to see many animals such as elephants, buffaloes, banded mongoose, long necked gerenuk, impala, zebras and many more.
Game viewing experience in Tarangire national park is done on either morning, afternoon and evening game drive.
Tarangire national park is a rewarding national park for birding safaris in Tanzania, the park is a home to over 5500 bird species making the birding experience an exciting one. Bird watching in the park is best all the year round and it is at its best during the period of November to April when migratory bird species are present in the park. Best sites for bird viewing in the park include woodlands, swamps near the Tarangire River and the Lemiyon Triangle, while on this experience birds such as martial eagles, Bateleur eagles, pelicans, white-faced whistling ducks, red-billed teals, superb starling and many more will be seen.
Sightseeing and nature walks
Tarangire national park has a beautiful environment with spectacular views of nature perfect for sightseeing and nature walk experiences, sightseeing experience in the park offers spectacular views of the magnificent baobab trees and swamps dominating the landscape of the park. Nature walk experiences in Tarangire national park are done under the guidance of an armed guide and the experience usually lasts 3 hours. On the walking experience you will enjoy watching many animals such as zebras, elephants, gazelles, buffaloes and many birds.
Cultural tour in Tarangire national park offers a difference experience of Africa while visiting the local Maasai village, visiting the Maasai Village you will get to learn more about the unique ways of the Maasai people including their dressing, the beautiful circular house (house) in a circular form, taste various local cuisines and buy various craft items such as beads, baskets, mats and many more.
Where to stay in Tarangire national park
In Tarangire national park there are various safari lodges, tented camps and camps ranging from luxury, midrange and budget and they include
Luxury – Nimali Tarangire tented camp, Acacia Tarangire luxury camp, Sanctuary Swala camp, Lemala Mpingo Ridge Lodge, Ecoscience science center and luxury lodge and many more.
Midrange: Tarangire safari Lodge, Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Ang’ata Tarangire camp, Kikoti Tented camp, Sangaiwe Tented lodge, Tarangire Osupuko lodge, Maramboi Tented Lodge, Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge and many more.
Budget: Whistling Thorn Tented camp and many more.
How to get to Tarangire national park
Most safaris to the park start from Arusha city, for international travelers the best option to get to the park is by flying to Kilimanjaro International airport or Julius Nyerere international Airport in Dar es Salaam then fly to Arusha Airport.
Tarangire national park is accessed by air or road transport means,
By air – flights to Tarangire national park are offered from Kilimanjaro International airport situated 46 kilometers from Arusha or at Julius Nyerere International Airport situated near Dar es Salaam for international flights. Domestic flights to the park are offered from Arusha airport to Kuro airstrip.
By road – by road private and public vehicles are used to get to the park, from Arusha the park is approximately 140 kilometers and it takes about 3 hours to get to the park. By road Tarangire national park can be combined with other national park that is Ngorongoro conservation area, Serengeti national park and Lake Manyara national park.