Tarangire is the surprise package on the Northern circuit.  Often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire has huge concentrations of animals in the peak months and a fraction of the visitor numbers of any of the other Northern parks. From July through to October safaris here are superb, and the atmosphere and habitats are completely different from other parks. Tarangire is surprisingly large, giving visitors the quietest game viewing environment of all the parks in the region.  The South of Tarangire is especially quiet, and lodges such as Swala and Oliver’s Camp are the perfect place to explore this remote area, and to really get away from any other travellers.  Overall, a superb little park that offers great value compared to its neighbours and a seriously good option for getting away from it all.

Lake Manyara Location:

Slightly off the popular northern Tanzania Safari Circuit, the park lies between the meadows of Masai Steppe to the south east and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west. Within the northern part of Tarangire is the permanent River Tarangire also known as the life-line of the park particularly in the dry season when most of the region is totally dry. This flows northwards until it exits the park in the northwestern corner to pour into Lake Burungi. There are a number of wide swamps which dry into green plains during the dry season in the south.

What to Expect in the Park:

During the dry months the concentration of animals around the Tarangire river is almost as diverse and reliable as in the Ngorongoro Crater.  However, the ecosystem here is balanced by a localised migration pattern that is followed by the majority of game that resides in and around the park. As a result, Tarangire is superb in season but questionable the rest of the year.  Elephants are the main attraction, with up to 3,000 in the park during the peak months.  Peak season also sees good numbers of wildebeest and zebra as well as giraffe, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, greater and lesser kudu, eland, leopard and cheetah.  The real prizes in the park are dwarf mongoose, oryx and generuk – but viewings are very rare. Tarangire is one of Tanzania’s finest birding destinations.

Best time to Visit the Park:

The game viewing from July though to October is exceptional but for the remainder of the year the majority of game migrates out of the park, onto the floor of the Rift Valley and to the grazing grounds of the Masai steppe.  As a result, we would advise visitors not to expect high concentrations of game in the off season months, but would still recommend travelling here to those who want to avoid the crowds.

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