Fairend Safaris

Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is situated in the Manyara region of Tanzania, it covers an area of 2,850 square kilometers. This is a significant conservation area and home to a wide range of wildlife species. It is popularly known for its large elephant herds and its name was derived from Tarangire River which crosses the park.

In addition, the river serves as a great area to view animals during game drives as they drink water. The park is near Arusha making it easily accessible and travelers usually combine safaris to this park with safaris in Serengeti and Ngorongoro which makes the Northern Tanzania circuit.

How to get to there

Travelers can get to the park by either road or air.

By road, travelers can access the park by driving from Arusha to the park entrance gates. Thereafter they proceed into the national park. This route is also used by tourists to access other parks found in the northern part of Tanzania. These parks are Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

By air, Tarangire National Park can be accessed through charter and scheduled flights to the airstrips in the national park. Different airline companies operate these flights including Coastal Aviation, Regional Air, Air Excel among others.

Top activities to do in Tarangire National Park

Game drives

A game drive is one of the best activities to do since the park is home to several animals that are easily spotted through the roof and windows of a safari vehicle. These are done in the morning, afternoon, and night depending on the animals travelers are interested in doing.

However, game drives are conducted with the help of rangers and guides who guide travelers to areas where animals can be seen. The animals to look out for include wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, lions, leopards, herds of elephants, greater kudu, dik-dik, hartebeests, and many more which are easily seen at the dry river bed and other parts of the park.

Hot air balloon safaris

Tarangire National Park is one of the few national parks in Tanzania which offer hot balloon safaris. Travelers get to float on top of the baobab trees in the park as they enjoy a unique experience where they get to see the wilderness and yet get close to the wildlife species. The hot air balloon safaris in Tarangire National Park are done early in the morning along the Tarangire River.

Bird watching

The park is home to several bird species which can be seen in swamps, acacia woodlands, and open savannah plains. Birding is commonly done during a game drive or a nature walk with the help of an experienced guide.  Bird species that can be seen in Tarangire national park include yellow necked spur fowl, African grey flycatcher, Ashy starling, Bare-faced go-away bird, Donaldson-Smith’s nightjar, hoopoes, white bellied, helmeted guinea fowl Great white pelican, Mouse-colored penduline tit, Northern pied babbler, Northern white-crowned shrike, Ostrich, Pink-breasted lark and  Rufous-tailed weaver among others. This activity is best done during the wet season in November and March.

Cultural encounters

Travelers may visit the local communities living near the park.  Most cultural visits take place in the Masai communities which are situated outside the park. The locals get to showcase their day-to-day ways of living and travelers get to learn about their culture. The Masai have unique traditions for example their way of dressing and their houses are built using local materials. Another distinctive custom is that they keep many herds of cattle.

Guided nature walks

Travelers visiting can participate in nature walks which are done on foot within the savannah plains of the park. There are different routes and trails that guests can use as they get up close to wild species in their natural habitat. Most importantly, travelers must remember to keep a safe distance from the wild species. Not forgetting to always have a ranger or guide to accompany them on these walks. Guided natural walks usually last for one to two hours.

Where to stay 

There are a number of accommodation facilities that travelers can choose from when visiting Tarangire National Park, they range from luxury, mid-range, and budget facilities and these include;

 Luxury facilities include Swala Camp, Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge, Tarangire Treetops Lodge, Tarangire Safari Lodge, Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Tarangire River Camp, and Twiga Camp

Mid-range facilities include Sangaiwe Tented Lodge with amazing views of Lake Burunge, Tarangire Safari Lodge, Burunge Tented Lodge, Maramboi Tented Lodge Tarangire Sopa Lodge, Baobab Tented Camp

Budget facilities include Thorn Tented Camp and Tarangire Roika Tented Lodge.

The best time to visit Tarangire National Park for a safari

First and foremost Tarangire National Park can be visited all year long however, most of the amazing activities are done during the dry season. Secondly, the best time to visit Tarangire National Park is from July to October when the sun is warm. Lastly, travelers interested in witnessing the migration of wildebeests should visit from June to December.