Tarangire National Park

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Tarangire National Park


Tarangire is one of the more seasonal parks in northern Tanzania, with a lot of migratory movement within the greater Tarangire ecosystem. In the Dry season, between June and October, large herds of animals are attracted to the Tarangire River. At this time, the elephant numbers are spectacular and the park should be part of any safari in northern Tanzania.

Best Time to Visit

The middle and end of the Dry season, from late June to October, is the best time for wildlife viewing in Tarangire National Park. Most of the animals migrate out of the park during the Wet season, and wildlife viewing is considerably less good. However, in recent years more elephants appear to be staying inside the park throughout the Wet season, possibly because of their knowledge of the increase in poaching outside.

Best Time June to October (Animals congregate around the Tarangire River)

High Season June to October (The park is full of tourists)

Low Season April and May (Rates might be lower)

Best Weather June to October (Little rainfall)

Worst Weather March and April (Peak of Wet season)

June to October –Dry Season

  • Animals migrate into the park from surrounding areas
  • Wildlife is easier to spot because vegetation thins out and animals gather around rivers and waterholes
  • The weather is beautiful and sunny
  • There are fewer mosquitos and malaria risks are lower
  • The abundance of animals in the beginning or end of the Dry season can vary greatly and is very dependent on the timing of the rains
  • Warm clothing is essential from June to August since morning game drives are cold

Getting There

The park is part of the popular northern safari circuit and is typically visited together with Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Most safaris to this circuit start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated 46km/29mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) near Dar es Salaam and book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO). If you’re looking for a cheap flight, you can also fly to Nairobi in Kenya and take one of the buses between Arusha and Nairobi. Pick-up is in the morning, and you’ll get to Arusha around 4 PM. There are regular flights from Arusha and the Serengeti to Tarangire, but it is a comfortable two-hour drive from Arusha to the entrance gate, of which only the last 7km is not tarred. Moving on, it is an easy drive to Lake Manyara (100km/60mi in about two hours) or the Ngorongoro Crater (180km/110mi in about four hours).

Airlines & Ticket Prices

Please check Skyscanner, or for multiple-destination flights check Expedia, to see which airlines can take you to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) or Arusha Airport (ARK), and what tickets would cost.


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Tarangire National Park is Tanzania’s sixth largest of its national parks. There are more breeding species of birds found in Tarangire National Park than anywhere else on the planet. Tarangire River flows through the park and becomes the only water source for thousands of migrating animals in the dry season. Baobab trees, common in Tarangire National Park, can grow to have trunks reaching more than 100 feet in circumference. One of these trees was once found that proved to be 1275 years old, although not in this park. Tree-climbing lions are common in Tarangire National Park. They frequently hide in the branches of sausage trees. Leopards and pythons also like to lounge in the branches of the sausage tree and other tree species in the park. Termite mounds are often seen in the park. Dwarf mongooses make use of the termite mounds once the termites have abandoned them. Wildlife found in Tarangire National Park includes lions, leopards, cheetahs, various primates, ostriches, flamingoes, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, buffaloes, wildebeests, pythons, hartebeests, elands, and impalas. The best time to visit Tarangire National Park for viewing wildlife is between June and October when large herds are migrating into the park, and the vegetation has thinned out. This is also the dry season in Tarangire National Park. From November to May many of the animals that migrated to Tarangire National Park during the dry season leave again and it is not the best time to visit. This is the wet season in the park.

Because there are an estimated 700 lions living in Tarangire National Park they are one of the more commonly sighted animals. Tarangire National Park is believed to have the largest elephant concentration in the world. After Serengeti National Park it has the second highest wildlife concentration in Tanzania. Elephant herds in Tarangire National Park often reach 300 or higher in terms of population numbers. Some of the more interesting birds that can be found in Tarangire National park include the yellow-collared lovebirds, the Kori bustard (heaviest flying species of bird), the largest bird – the stocking-thighed ostrich, and hornbills. A white giraffe was spotted in Tarangire National Park in 2015. The white color is due to leucism – partial loss of pigmentation. Visitors to Tarangire National Park can enjoy safaris, wildlife viewing, bird watching, and stay in rustic accommodations or luxurious lodges. In 2012 there were more than 161,000 visitors to Tarangire National Park.

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