Tarangire National Park

About Park

The usual spotlight of the popular northern circuit happily bypasses Tarangire National Park, which is a delightful surprise southwest of the Serengeti (but just as extraordinary). This blissfully quiet park is virtually untouched by travellers, leaving the prime, game-dense wilderness free to be explored in peace and solitude. The southern part of the park is especially quiet, and Oliver’s Camp and Little Oliver’s are superbly positioned if you want to get away from it all.

The park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Visitors to the park in the June to November dry season can expect to see large herds of thousands of zebrawildebeestand cape buffalo. Other common resident animals include waterbuckgiraffedik dikimpalaelandGrant’s gazellevervet monkeybanded mongoose, and olive baboon. Predators in Tarangire include African lionleopardcheetahcaracalhoney badger, and African wild dog.

Location and Directions

The park is 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha which is an easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara following a surfaced road to within 7km (four miles) of the main entrance gate; can continue on to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti.

What to do and see

 The Tarangire River has shrivelled to a shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometres knowing that here, always, there is water.

Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.

During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry.

The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.

On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys.

More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colorful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.

When to go and what you need

Tarangire National Park has wonderful experiences to offer throughout the year. The vast herds of wildlife drawn to the waters of the Tarangire River in the dry season make for outstanding viewing, while the lush grasslands and wildflowers that flourish just after the long rains provide the best opportunity for walking safaris. It is particularly hot during the short rains in November and December.


There is a wide selection of hotels from which to choose that suits all your needs in Tarangire National Park. You can be sure to find juicy deals with discounted rates on any kind of hotel that your heart desires.