Tarangire National Park | Background Info

One of the lesser-known game reserves in Tanzania, Tarangire rivals the Serengeti in its great number and diversity of wildlife. It is a good choice for travellers who wish to encounter more animals and less tourists while on safari. The Tarangire National Park is known as a wonderful birding destination and also features large numbers of game, particularly during the dry season, when the Tarangire River is the only source of water in the area. The landscape is of particular interest too, due to the high number of scenic baobab trees.

Discover Tarangire National Park

Park Highlights

An often-overlooked gem, Tarangire’s characteristic skyline, framed by the stubby branches of fat baobab trees, is the backdrop for superb game viewing, particularly in the winter months of the peak season. Its marshes, which dry out into verdant grassy fields during the dry season, draw great herds of elephant, buffalo, antelope and other plains game.

Lion and other predators are frequently spotted. The park boasts over 500 species of birds, including some species endemic to Tanzania. Away from the busier north, the southern end of the park is home to camps that specialize in walking safaris, allowing their guests to immerse their senses in the experience of exploring the African bush on foot.

Abundant Wildlife & Birdlife

Prepare to be astounded by overwhelming numbers of wildlife. Tarangire has Tanzania’s second highest population of wildlife, after the Serengeti. In the dry season, between June and September, the park teems with life. Large populations of zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe, eland, antelope and warthogs go in search of water. Lions and hyenas follow suit. Tarangire, in fact, has 700 resident lions making for frequent sightings. These lions are also prone, rather unusually, to climb trees. This makes for unique safari sightings. Leopards prow stealthily at night in search of prey. Not to mention the other unusual species – you’ll have the opportunity to spot vervet monkeys, fringe-eared oryx, the gerenuk and mongoose.

Another one of Africa’s incredible birdwatching destinations, Tarangire is a birdwatching hotspot. The park is home to over 500 species of bird, some of which are endemic to Tanzania. Larger varieties to look for are the ostrich, hornbill, bustards and the formidable secretary bird. Smaller varieties include the woodpecker, superb starling, weaver bird and yellow-collared love bird.

Tarangire is famed for its spectacular number of ancient baobab trees. Tarangire’s baobabs can reach up to 30 metres (98 feet) in height. Some of these trees are around 1000 years old, bringing an ancient wonder to the atmosphere of the park.

Safari Activities

Whilst visiting different National Parks across Northern Tanzania, often activities are very limited. Game drives cannot leave before sunrise and have to be back at camp before night falls. Often walking safaris are not permitted either. Renowned for its serenity and beauty, one of the Tarangire National Parks highlights are its walking safaris. Here you can count off hundreds of bird species and pay attention to the little creatures that are just as (if not more!) important as the megaherbivores. If you do happen to come across some of the bigger game, you can be sure of a heart thumping, unforgettable experience that will allow you to boast of walking in the footsteps of giants.

As the sun sets, Tarangire also allows for night drives to take place. This must be pre-booked in advance as a park ranger must accompany you as well as your guide. Armed with a spotlight and the freedom to explore the park after dark, lesser seen creatures like servals, aardwolves and genets can all be spotted after dark, giving rise to some incredible sightings that would normally go unseen.

tarangire national parkSundowner - Nimali Tarangire