River Tarangire Tanzania
River Tarangire Tanzania : also known as “river of warthogs” is a perennial river located in the Eastern branch of the East African Rift Valley, within Northern Tanzania in East Africa. Its headwaters are found in the escarpments and highlands of Dodoma region in Kondoa district and Manyara region in Babati district. The river rises in the Wasi highlands, falls down the eastern Kondoa escarpment, flows east to Chubi where it then turns north to flow through Tarangire National Park. It then turns west and then south before terminating at its river mouth on Lake Burunge. Most of the headwaters in the Irangi hills headwaters area is forested with Miombo woodland habitant trees and lower plants that are designated for protection within the forest reserves (Salanka, Isabe and Bereko forest reserves). Tarangire River is the origin of Tarangire National Park which is endowed with diverse biodiversity covering an area of 2‚850 square kilometers and was established in 1970.
The Park is known as a wonderful birding destination and also features large numbers of wild animals, particularly during the dry season when river Tarangire is the only source of fresh water in the Tarangire Ecosystem. Migratory animals like giraffes, wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes make their way into Tarangire to drink from the Tarangire River and its attached swamp lands. Tarangire is 118 kilometers southwest of Arusha town and it boasts with glorious landscapes covered with glamorous woodlands, high number of scenic baobab and acacia trees, and seasonal swamps providing home to the wildlife. It is the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania and offers some unrivalled elephant sightings indeed, it is estimated that the park is home to the largest elephant population in the country which is approximately 2‚500 and are rapidly increasing by an estimated 6% per year. Tarangire national park is the home to the oldest known elephant to give birth to twins. Other common resident animals include; waterbuck, giraffe, dik-dik, impala, eland, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose and olive baboon. Tarangire is also home to predators such as lion, leopard, cheetah, caracal, honey badger and African wild dog. As it’s a wonderful birding destination as mention above, the park holds a big number of bird species both migratory and residents such as the ash starlings, woodpeckers, yellow necked spurfowl, northern white crown shrike, black necked weaver, white-faced whistling duck, red-billed hornbill, pygmy falcon, African marsh harrier, black-headed heron, African hoopoe, kori bustard, lilac-breasted roller, brown parrots, bee-eaters, lover birds, guinea fowl, white bellied go-way-bird, saddle-billed stork, slate-colored boubou, lesser striped swallow to mention a few.
Activities in Tarangire National Park
Enjoy spotting a large batch of colorful and exclusive bird species. Over 500 different bird species are housed within the swamps and woodlands that are spread all over Tarangire. For bird lovers, who find themselves taken up for a long period of time, this makes Tarangire a famous safari destination for you. Some of the popular species here include; Hoopes, yellow necked spurfowl, crested francolins, hornbills, helmeted guinea fowl, steppe eagles, brown parrots, gigantic lappet-face vulture, white-bellied go away bird, bateleur eagles, mouse birds, kori bustards, yellow-collared lovebirds, bee-eaters, lilac breasted rollers, swifts, hamerkops, striped swallows, plovers, starlings among others.
This is one of the most common activities at Tarangire national park. Tourists can explorer the adorable national park by taking game drives to the wild and encounter Tanzania’s largest herds of elephants alongside animals like fringe eared oryx, giraffes, tiny ashy starling, greater kudu, gazelles, hartebeests, wildebeests, lions, African wild dogs, zebras, leopards, tree climbing pythons to mention a few. If tourists are lucky to visit in the dry season between June and November, they can see elephants digging up the muddy river trying to access water and yes, the site is memorable.
Giant baobab tree
It is also referred to as “the tree of life” its gigantic in nature and can store within its trunk 300 liters and 1‚000 liters of water. They have long life span and can survive up to six hundred years. This tree is a significant source of food to various animals which normally feed on its edible seed. On the other hand, elephants sharpen their huge tusks on the back of these trees. According to the local tales it is said that these trees would easily move around the African continent, however their aimless movement annoyed God and he decided to plant them upside down to limit them from moving ever again.
The Park is situated near the Masai steep for tourists who are interested in cultural encounters. They can visit the local Masai people who are nomadic pastoralists and have very unique ways of living with cultural aspects you will enjoy to learn about. They also have very unique way of dressing and you can acquire handy crafts and take home for reembrace.
This is one of the most memorable experiences you can encounter at the park and it provides some of the most spectacular views of nature and also the Tarangire River. Even when its dry, the woodlands, baobab and acacias landscape will give you a feeling of being entangled in nature, the elephants are always muddy digging water from the Tarangire River in the dry season the sight is worth visiting.
Guided nature walks
Tourists can take guided nature walks and experience the wilderness. You will come across a number of tree and plant species, and these guided nature walks are done in the morning and evening hours with an experienced tour guide. They last for about one to three hours.
When to visit the park
The best time for visiting this Africa best kept secret is from July to October before animals start migrating out of the park. Being one of the most seasonal parks in northern Tanzania, Tarangire national park has a lot of migratory movement within greater Tarangire ecosystem.
How to get there
From Arusha, Tarangire is located at the distance of about 120 kilometers which is in the southern east of Manyara National Park.