Tarangire National Park


Tarangire means the river of warthogs. It is named after the Tarangire river, the only source of water for the wildlife in the region during the dry season.

The park is located in northern Tanzania and is mostly known for the presence of large elephant concentration, birds and abundance of baobab trees.

Tarangire is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania, and it hosts an abundant diversity of wildlife and chances of spotting four of the big five (elephants, buffalos, lions and leopards) which makes it among the must-visit when on a Tanzania safari. Tarangire is the true untouched Africa at its best.

Tarangire is also known as the land of the giants due to the presence of elephants and baobab trees.
The Park covers the area 2850 sq. km in size and is located 118 km southwest of Arusha.
There are more breeding species of birds found in the park than anywhere else on the planet thus making it to be a paradise to birders.
Some of the wildlife found in Tarangire includes lions, leopards, cheetahs, primates, ostriches, flamingos, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, zebras, gazelles, buffaloes, wildebeests, pythons, hartebeests, elands, and impalas.
The tarangire national park is an excellent choice during the dry season when animals are forced to move closer and closer to the river in search of water and gives scenic game views.


The area was established as a national park in the year of 1970. Before it was used by the big game hunters as a hunting ground.

The area is home to the three main distinct tribal groups that live around the Tarangire national park.

The park is the land of the Barbaig, Nilo-Hamitic-speaking pastoralists with similar social structures to their successors, the Maasai, historically reputed for their power as rainmakers. It is also home to the Tatoga people, who are renowned for their skill in developing terraces and in agriculture.

Datoga woman.


Tarangire is an astonishing park in the northern of Tanzania. The Serengeti is usually considered a top safari destination, but here are five reasons you should consider including the almighty Tarangire in your next safari. Here are some of the reasons why you should visit the Tarangire national park.

The abundance of Wildlife.

The park is a habitat to plenty of wildlife like zebras, heard of up to about 300 elephants, migratory wildebeest, eland, gazelle, impala, zebras, kudu, hartebeest buffalo and other smaller mammals.

Mongoose colonies are often hosted by abandoned drifts (anthills). The thick vegetation of Tarangire usually hides the main predators that are always there but cannot easily be seen just like any other park in northern Tanzania.

Also, the parks have more breeding species of birds than anywhere else on the planet thus making it to be a paradise to birders.

Diverse landscape.

Tarangire competes with the Serengeti when it comes to a diversity of landscapes. There are heavily wooded areas spotted with the trademark baobab trees, as well as an abundance of abandoned termite mounds.

There is an open plan area known as “Small Serengeti”, where a normal cheetah is seen hiding in the tall grasses. The rest of the park is rolling hills with scenic views overlooking the water sources where the animals can be found assembling.

Budget and easily accessible.

The park is among the cheapest option for safari-goers. It can be visited on the way to or from the Serengeti and Ngorongoro areas.

Visiting Tarangire can match your budget, time and needs. The park is located just a 3hrs drive from the main tourist hub Arusha.

The park can be done as a day trip from Arusha or can be combined with other nearby parks (lake Manyara and Ngorongoro). Two days might be enough to cover a lot of the park.


Game viewing/drive.
Naturally spotting wildlife is the reason most people plan an African safari adventure. It is an experience unlike any other, to see animals freely roaming in their own natural habitat.

Due to the presence of varieties of animals in the Tarangire national park, it attracts many safari lovers to visit the park for game drives.

Tarangire has the largest population of elephants across northern Tanzania. There are also large numbers of zebras, giraffes, water buffalo, warthogs, as well as large predators like lions, leopards, and hyenas.

It is highly recommended to visit the park during the dry season (June to October), this is because you’ll be able to see the amazing abundance of wildlife.

Tarangire River is the only permanent source of water in the area during the dry season, so animals flock all day along the river.

There are more breeding species of birds found in the Tarangire national park than anywhere else on the planet thus making it to be a paradise to birders.

The park has recorded a number of 550 different bird species which is the highest count of any Tanzanian park and about the third of all bird species in Tanzania.

A lilac-breasted roller in the Tarangire national park.

Cultural visit.
The Tarangire national park is surrounded by the local people villages (the datoga, barbaig and the Maasai people). This gives opportunity and attracts visitors to visit learning and experience their culture.

Spending a day in a real Maasai Village and sharing Maasai life, listening to well-narrated stories about their well-kept secrets is something else right?

Then a visit to one of the villages around Tarangire will give you a chance to Walk through the settlements and meet Maasai jewellery makers, Weaving groups and local markets on market days.

Also, you will get a chance to learn more about Maasai pastoralists their heritages and their natural medicines that treat a number of diseases.

Walking safaris.
Discover the Tarangire on foot during a multi-day walking safari. Go back in time and feel like you are the first explorer in the area.

The wilderness becomes more real when you become part of it. Explore remote areas where safari vehicles are not allowed and see the unseen.

Your senses start working when you connect with nature and walk on the same trail as lions, elephants and giraffes. Smell the bush, feel the warm African breeze and hear elephants trumping in the distance.

No worries! It is all safe as during your walking safari will be accompanied by an armed and experienced game ranger.

It is such an exciting experience to be so close to nature.

Balloon safari.
The unique and ultimate way to see the beauty of the Tarangire is by floating in a hot air balloon over the land of the giants at dawn. Witnessing the sunrise over the African baobab trees and herds of elephants below is something else.

Enjoy a bird’s eye view of this awesome park, while you float in the direction the wind takes you. After a one-hour balloon flight, a glass of champagne and delicious English breakfast awaits, to celebrate this amazing adventure.

Night game drive.
This type of activity will give you a chance to experience African bushes by night. Some of the African wild animals are impossible to spot on the normal day game drives.

Night drives at Tarangire National Park are particularly spectacular and not to miss.


Dry season months in Tanzania ranges from June through November are the best times to visit the Tarangire National Park. This is because most of the animals are forced to head towards the Tarangire river (the only source of water in dry months) so as to remain hydrated hence providing travellers with brilliant game viewing opportunities.
Another cheerful reason to visit Tarangire during the dry season is the absence of harmful insects such as mosquitos this is to the fact that there will be no water holes around for them to lay their eggs.

unfortunately, the hot conditions of Tarangire favour the activities of tsetse flies. So, you are advised to do your game drives mostly during cooler hours of the day as the more it gets warmer the more tsetse flies comes to action.

So, is it good to visit Tarangire during the wet seasons?

Yes, The Tarangire can still be enjoyed during the wet season. This is because the park will be less crowded with unique forested landscapes which come alive during the wet season.

Also, non-migratory species such as lions, cheetahs, leopards as well as birds can be seen during the time.


The tarangire national park is among the famous parks in the northern circuit safari in Tanzania. The park is located 124 km (2hrs 30 min) drive from the main tourist hub, Arusha.

There are two means of getting to this astonishing Tanzanian safari park. The first one is by land and the other one is air. The presence of the tarmac road from Arusha to the area has made it even easier to access the park.

Also, another quick way of getting to the area is by air. There are airstrips in the park facilitating the landing and taking off for the visitors.

Where to stay in Tarangire national park.

There are many reasons to visit the park. From its amazing wildlife diversity, unique vegetation such as baobab trees up to its large herds of elephants plus the amazing landscapes makes it the best northern park for safari.

Tarangire does not only offer spectacular game drives but also a number of accommodation facilities for the visitors.

From the budget camping safaris, medium tented camps to luxury lodges depending on your budget. Are all found inside and out of Tarangire national park?

Here are some of the lodges and camps found in the area.

Located on the shores of Lake Manyara. Maramboi is a huge permanent tented camp offering game drives in both Manyara National Park and Tarangire.

It’s a bit big but that serves to keep the price incredibly low given the quality of the rooms and main areas.

Tarangire treetops.
Tarangire Treetops is amazing. The quarters, the design and the views. It’s an ideal setting for a safari camp and the quality of the product really shines through. The park is located outside the park.

Tarangire Safari Lodge.
The tarangire safari lodge is among the oldest permanent lodge in Tarangire. The lodge offers a spectacular view of the park and the Tarangire River.

Tarangire Safari Lodge offers something for all tastes, whether you’re being lulled to sleep by a hyena laughing in a tent or enjoying the views of the watering hole from your hut, you’re right at the heart of the action!

kirurumu Tarangire.
Kirurumu is the best of the tented camps set around the edge of Tarangire. It is only 15 minutes to the park gate and yet feels beautiful wild.

The campfire outside the front of the lodge is an imaginary place to relax and feel very much a part of the African bush, as many animals come through the camp in the dry season involved by the swamp which is neatly placed at the front of the lodge.

Kuro is one of Tanzania’s newest camps and a classic safari experience. Inserted away in a secluded area of the park, this is a good option for those wanting Nomad’s tried and tested combination of luxury, environmental awareness and great guiding.



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