Tarangire National Park

Tarangire national park is found in Tanzania and is one of the national parks in the northern Tanzania circuit. Located a short drive from Arusha, this destination is also found close to other wildlife viewing destinations such as lake Manyara national park. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire River that crosses the park. The Tarangire River is the primary source of fresh water for wild animals in the Tarangire Ecosystem during the annual dry season. The park is famous for its high density of elephants and baobab trees. Tarangire covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles.) The landscape is composed of granitic ridges, river valley, and swamps. Vegetation is a mix of Acacia woodland, combretum woodland, seasonally flooded grassland, and baobab trees. It is a home to more than 550 bird species he park is also famous for the termite mounds that dot the landscape. Visitors to the park can expect to see large herds of thousands of zebra, wildebeest and Cape buffalo. Other common resident animals include waterbuck, giraffe, dik dik, impala, eland, Grant’s gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose and olive baboon.  Predators in Tarangire include lion, cheetah, leopard, caracal and African wild dog.  The oldest known elephant to give birth to twins is found in Tarangire.

Activities in Tarangire National Park

Game drives

Game drives in Tarangire national park takes place at different times of day and includes morning game drives, afternoon or evening game drives and also full day game drives. This activity offers tourists different wildlife viewing experiences as they explore the wilderness and look out for wildlife species. During these game drives, tourists come across various wildlife species which are very active at this time of day such as the elephants, giraffes, buffalos cheetahs, zebras, elands, waterbucks, impalas, wildebeests, hartebeest, dik dik among others.

Cultural visits

A cultural visit is an amazing way to get to know more about the way of life of the local community through interactions between the locals and the tourists. The Maasai interact with the tourists as they get to know about the nomadic way of life and also engage in various activities such as traditional dance performances, visiting the “manyattas” which are the traditional homesteads of the Maasai. The Maasai are also known for their jewelry such as beaded necklaces, earrings, anklets made in different colors and patterns. The dress code of the Maasai also consists of “shukas” which are worn by the men as well as sandals and belts made by the local community. These local arts and crafts made by the Maasai people supplement the income of the Maasai who are known to also benefit from their livestock such as cattle, goats and sheep that are kept in kraals surrounded with thorns to protect the livestock.

Bird watching

Bird watching is another activity which tourists can engage in during their safaris to Tarangire national park. There are various habitats for the different bird species which can be seen in the national park and this destination has about a third of the bird species in Tanzania.  Bird species which can be seen include starlings, bee eaters, vultures, eagles, striped swallows, plovers, hammerkops, yellow collared lovebirds, ostriches among others. The drier parts of the national park are a good location to see birds like ostriches, kori bustards, hornbills. Other bird species which can be seen in Tarangire national park include rufous tailed weavers, ashy starlings, and yellow collared lovebirds. Migrant bird species in this national park can be seen around the swampy floodplains during birding excursions and they include hornbills, brown parrots, yellow necked spur fowls, guinea fowls, crested francolins, lilac breasted rollers, barbets, striped swallows, starlings, vultures, falcons, Hamerkop, plovers and many others.

Nature walks

This unique form of wildlife viewing involves exploring the beautiful wilderness of Tarangire national park and getting a close interaction with the surroundings. This activity takes place in the company of a ranger guide as the tourists move around the destination. Nature walks involve tourists treading across the vast savannah plains in the national park without interrupting the natural setting and interfering with the wildlife species. The guides and tourists follow different tracks as they encounter and track animals on foot. Tourists also get to experience the breathtaking scenery during their nature walks and also enjoy close encounters with wildlife species such as zebras, waterbucks, impalas, elephants as well as bird species like ostriches.

Balloon safari

These are organized for those who want this adventurous tour in Tarangire National Park where visitors will have wonderful moments to view animals and other attractions in aerial view by using a hot air balloon.

Best time to visit

The park has a variation in climate that results in seasonal changes, the dry season starts from June to October that is possibly the season for fore outbreaks in the park. Then November to May, the west season is experienced but from December to February the park experiences less rainfall and from August to October is the best time to see the migratory wildlife in this corridor. But throughout the year there is an abundance of wildlife in Tarangire National Park.

How to get to Tarangire national park

Tarangire national park can be accessed through different means of transport which include road and air transport.

  • Tarangire National Park can be reached via paved road south from Arusha in two hours.
  • Another means of transport which tourists can use to access Tarangire national park is by flight or air. There are different airstrips which can be used by the tourists to reach the national park and they include Tarangire airstrip, Kuro airstip. Charter and scheduled flights are available for tourists to access the destination.

Where to stay in Tarangire national park

Tourists can stay at accommodation facilities which are located both within the national park and outside the national park and they include the following;

Luxury accommodations include:

  • Nimali Tarangire lodge
  • Sanctuary Swala camp
  • Tarangire treetops lodge
  • Tarangire Sopa lodge
  • Maweninga camp

Midrange include:

  • Saingwe tented camp
  • Tarangire Osupuko lodge
  • Kirurumu Tarangire lodge
  • Maramboi tented camp
  • Tarangire safari lodge

Budget accommodations include:

  • kichuguu tented camp
  • Country lodge
  • Planet lodge
  • Whistling thorn tented camp

Entrance fees for Tarangire National Park

Credit cards or MasterCard payments are among the forms of payment which tourists can use to pay entrance fees for Tarangire national park. The Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) is in charge of managing the national park and also promoting conservation as well as formulating these fees for the national park. The currency which is used during payment for entrance fees in Tarangire national park includes the US dollar and Tanzania shillings (TSH). East Africans make payment for park entry in Tanzania shillings while nonresidents pay entrance fees of 53 USD. When tourists pay the entrance fees for Tarangire national park, the fee is valid for a single entry into the national park and cannot be therefore valid if the tourist exits the park gates and returns for other activities.

Rules and regulations before entering Tarangire National Park

An important aspect to note is that before entering the national park, tourists are briefed about the rules and regulations which apply and they include the following;

Avoid going off authorized routes and tracks. This rule helps to prevent tourists from wandering off into the wilderness and getting lost during their wildlife viewing experiences in Tarangire national park.

Avoid littering in the park. This helps to promote conservation of the environment in Tarangire national park and also reduces risks associated with littering the national park.

Avoid feeding the wildlife species in the national park. Feeding the wildlife species in Tarangire national park interferes with their normal way of life as well as their feeding habits making it difficult for the wildlife species to survive in the wild on their own.

All visitors must be accompanied by a licensed guide. The guides know the routes in the national park and are also well informed about the wildlife species and other attractions in Tarangire national park.

Camp fires must be extinguished after use and should not be allowed to spread or cause damage to the vegetation. This helps to reduce risks such as wild fires spreading in the national park.

Avoid making noise when in close proximity to the wildlife species in the national park. Making noise scares away the wildlife species and may also cause unnecessary movements of the wildlife species which interferes with their normal behavior.