One of Tanzania’s iconic parks, Tarangire is a great place to start or end your visit.
The park is famous for it’s large population of elephants and the abundance of the emblematic Baobab tree. Cats are common in Tarangire and are often seen stalking the huge herds of plains game that wonder through this open landscape.
Named after the river that courses through it, Tarangire National Park is home to more than 550 species of bird including the Yellow-collared Lovebirds and the heaviest flying bird, the Kori Bustard. The park attracts large quantities of game during the driest periods of the year including around 300 elephants and quite a few of the migratory wildebeest so eagerly sought after. With open woodlands and pockets of acacia trees feeding the animals that lust for the shade, the landscape is remarkably reminiscent of ‘the typical Africa scene’. Baobab trees can be seen flowering in the right season and occasionally attract bats to the sweet flowers but in the south, there are also thick woodlands falling into flat swampland.
When to go
Think of Tarangire as part of a much larger ecosystem, and you'll understand why its game varies with the seasons. From November to May, some of the wildlife leaves the park, north-west to Lake Manyara, or east into the Maasai Steppe. From around June to October, when those regions are drier, the animals return to Tarangire's swamps, and especially, its river system. This is the best season for a game-viewing safari in Tarangire, which can be excellent.
Access to the Tarangire National Park
Getting to Tarangire is easy. 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).
What to do
Game drive with open 4×4 safari vehicles, which are a great way of seeing easy game viewing and photograph to explore different section of vast park. The destinations are quite varied normally directed towards the game viewing hot spots . Game drives are reliably rewarding , especially towards the end of the dry season , when large mammals concentrate around the five lakes; The Rivers and Lakes of the Selous are the life-blood to the wildlife in the game reserve.
Guided Bush walks:
Take in the fresh scents of the grass and Miombo woodlands, perhaps see an elusive Leopard lounging in a tree by the beautiful riverine forest.You will be led by a friendly guide who has extensive knowledge and experience of life in the bush. They will show you how to read the clues in the bush - a steaming pile of dung indicates an Elephant passed through not long ago. Walk in the huge wrinkled foot prints for a while.Listen out for the chirps and trills of birds and the guide will help you identify them. Listen and you may hear alarm calls indicating the presence of a predator nearby. Lion and Wild Dog are rarely encountered on walks, but Elephants and Buffalo are frequently seen.
Guided Bird Walks:
Your guide will be happy to tailor a guided bird walk to suit both your interest and your schedule. More than 400 species of birds have been recorded in the Selous (350 of which are waterfowl), particularly along the banks of the Rufiji River.
The magnificent Rufiji River bisects the park in the north as it makes its way to the Indian Ocean. It provides a number of beautiful waterways along which boat safaris are offered, giving wonderful encounters with a huge variety of game coming down to drink on the banks of the river, beside the hundreds of hippos and crocs!
Catfish and tiger fish are prolific in the river. Considered by many fishermen to be the finest fresh water fighting fish, the tiger fish’s Latin name, Hydrocyon, means ‘water dog’ and aptly describes this voracious predator, which is armed with ferocious blade like teeth. If you’d like to try fishing, your dedicated guide will provide rods, boat and choice of sites.
Hot Springs Visit and Swim:
Within a short drive from Selous Serena Camp lie the Maji Moto hot springs, this can be easily reached via a short walk into a hidden ravine surrounded by lush vegetation. Here hot sulphurous water pours from the rock and forms little streams, which gather into a series of picturesque pools cool enough to swim in.