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Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park: The park that has it all

A large herd of buffaloes make their way to the shallow waters of the Tarangire River as elephants scratch their backs on the iconic Baobab trees and a lioness stretches sitting on an Acacia tree, letting her gaze wander across the swamps. Diverse and scenic landscapes, a high density of wildlife, yet still one of the lesser-known national parks in Tanzania – that’s Tarangire National Park.

Tarangire is conveniently situated along the way to the more famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. But it is a popular park and excellent safari destination in its own right – and so much more than just a stopover to break up the journey!

The vegetation within the park is extremely diversified and includes open grasslands, savannah, Baobab trees and thick acacia bush as well as palm trees and swamps full of tall elephant grass in the south.

Baobab Trees

The Tree of Life is a source of food and water for many animals in the park. Travellers relish in the Baobab’s iconic beauty and mystical aura.

Elephant Herds

Tarangire is one of the best places in Tanzania and arguably all of Africa to see elephants. They crisscross the park in large herds.

Silale Swamps

A magnet for elephants, big cats, and other wildlife large and small – the Silale swamp in the Southern section. You should stay two nights in Tarangire to fully enjoy this area.

What to expect

Most visitors enter from the north and spend an afternoon exploring the area around the Tarangire River, the lifeline and main source of drinking water in the park. Elephants, buffaloes, antelopes, and zebras greet travellers and offer a classic safari experience.

To those who stay more than just one night, Tarangire invites you to the more remote Southern section of the park: The Silale Swamp is one of the main features here, stretching across 70 square kilometres (3,044 square miles). It is not only a favourite for elephants, munching on the lush greens, but also big cats. With a bit of luck, you can observe tree-climbing lions on a Tarangire safari, snoozing in the cool shade while keeping a close eye on antelopes and zebras trot by.

A few selected accommodations in the Southern section of the park even offer walking safaris. An exciting activity, exploring the home of the wild on foot. Walking safaris are permitted only in a few specific areas in Tanzania’s national parks.

When to Go

Tarangire looks distinctly different in the rainy and in the dry season. During the rainy season the grass is tall, the river is flowing, and the vegetation is fresh; wildlife disperse throughout the park as there are many sources of water to sustain them. This, coupled with dense vegetation, means wildlife sightings are not always easy, but bird lovers will enjoy the sight of 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 arguably the dry season between June to October and early November. Wildlife density is high since many animals from surrounding areas migrate to the area’s main water source, the Tarangire River. Scarce vegetation means, wildlife can easily be spotted. As a general rule of thumb, rates are lower in the rainy season and availability at accommodations may be a challenge for short-notice bookings during the dry season.

Dry Season - June to early November & December to February

Best for wildlife sightings along Tarangire River, high wildlife density.

Green Season - March to May & November

Best for migratory bird watching, but other wildlife is more difficult to spot.

Why to Go

Tarangire River carries water year-round, but during the peak of the dry season some stretches of the river run dry. During this time, you can witness a fascinating sight: Elephants can smell water from many kilometres away. They dig a hole into what looks to us a dry riverbed using their trunk. Elephants can extract water from below the surface to quench their thirst. An added benefit: Once the elephants are done, other animals approach and use these small wells as water source.

Things to Do

Tarangire offers classic safari game drives in 4×4 vehicles surrounded by Tanzania’s wildlife. Selected camps even offer walking safaris; on private campsites you can enjoy a luxurious camping experience in our Mobile Explorer Camp.

Reasons On Why Going On Safari With Us

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