Tarangire National Park Tanzania is one of the most seasonal parks in northern Tanzania, with a lot of migratory movement within the greater Tarangire ecosystem. In the Dry season, between June and October, large herds of animals are attracted to the Tarangire River. At this time, the elephant numbers are spectacular and the park should be part of any safari in northern Tanzania.
Herds of up to 300 elephants can be found, looking for underground streams in the dry riverbeds, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. Abandoned termite mounds often house mongoose colonies. All the main predators are present, but because of thick vegetation, not spotted as often as in some of the other parks in northern Tanzania.
Tarangire is outstanding seasonally for wildlife. In the Dry season, the Tarangire River is a magnet for migratory animals such as wildebeest, zebra, common eland, hartebeest, gazelle, buffalo and elephant – of which there are more than you can imagine. Lion is quite easily spotted at this time, as well. The park’s dominant feature is the Tarangire River. Tarangire National Park Tanzania
Although it gets very dry, the park is relatively thickly vegetated with acacia shrubs and mixed woodland. Most memorable are the huge baobab trees dotted around in big numbers. The south and east of the park have a big seasonal swamp network, which is an important water catchment area.
Tarangire is home to some dry-country antelope, such as the rare fringe-eared oryx and peculiar, long-necked gerenuk. The swampy areas in the south of the park offer some interesting wildlife viewing opportunities including wallowing elephants and buffalo, the Silale Swamp lion pride, and sometimes wild dog. Big pythons can sometimes be found in trees when the swamps are drying up.
This Dry season (from June to October) is the best time for wildlife viewing. Large herds of animals migrate to the park from the surrounding areas. Animals are easier to spot because the vegetation is thinner and wildlife congregates around the Tarangire River when other water sources dry up. During the Wet season (November to May) many animals migrate out of the park again, and wildlife viewing is not as good.
Tarangire is a great bird-watching site with more than 500 species recorded. The park harbors several dry-country bird species at the extremity of their range, such as the northern pied babbler and vulturine guineafowl. Serious bird-lovers should also keep an eye open for flocks of the dazzlingly colorful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber Rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all restricted to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania. Migratory birds are present from November to April.
Birdlife is plentiful all year round, but bird watching is at its best when the European and North African migratory birds are present (November to April). Nesting among the resident birds is taking place during this same time, so it is easy to spot birds in their breeding plumage. Wildlife viewing is best during the Dry season (June to October).
Tarangire has a fractured Wet season (November to May). Light showers, or the ‘short rains’, tend to close out the year, while the ‘long rains’ see heavier falls from March through May. In between is a brief dry period that gives a taste of what’s to come in the Dry season proper (June to October). Tarangire National Park Tanzania
Weather in Tarangire is temperate and enjoyable. Wet seasons consist of: ‘long rains’ (March to May) and the ‘short rains’ (November to December). It usually rains in the afternoon and seldom for the entire day. It rarely gets too hot, but the evenings and mornings tend to get cold. Warm clothes for early morning game drives are recommended.
Dry season –June to October
June, July, August, September & October – Afternoon temperatures are close to 26°C/79°F. Days are clear with calm skies. It cools down at night with temperatures dropping to about 14°C/57°F.
Wet season –November to May
Afternoon temperatures are usually around 28°C/82°F, and night temperatures are around 16°C/61°F.
November & December – October through December brings about four weeks of rain, the start of which is unpredictable. It will rarely have a negative effect on your trip, as it would be unusual for it to rain all day.
January & February – A dry spell occurs after the short rains. The exact timing is difficult to predict.
March, April & May, on most days, although it rarely rains the entire day. Cloudy skies are common. Cold fronts commonly roll in during April and May causing temperatures to get much colder.
This middle and end of the Dry season, from late June to October, is the best time for wildlife Safari in Tarangire National Park. Most of the animals migrate out of the park during the Wet season, and wildlife viewing is considerably less productive. In the wetter months (November to May) tourists are fewer and the local wildlife more dispersed, with water easily found around the park. The animals are much easier to find during the Dry season (June to October), as they head to the area’s remaining water sources. Pack plenty of warm clothes for early morning game drives at this time of year, as its cold when the sun is low in the sky.
The most park is part of the popular and is typically visited together with Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Most safaris start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated 46km/29mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) near Dar es Salaam and book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK). Tarangire National Park Tanzania
There are regular flights from Arusha and the Serengeti to Tarangire, but it is a comfortable two-hour drive from Arusha to the entrance gate, of which only the last 7km is not tarred. Moving on, it is an easy drive to Lake Manyara (100km/60mi in about two hours) or the Ngorongoro Crater (180km/110mi in about four hours).
It is very safe to travel to Tarangire National Park in our opinion. Crime against tourists is virtually unheard of in Tanzania’s parks and reserves. Normal safety precautions need to be taken when driving between parks.
It is very important that you have several vaccinations before you travel. You will need to consult your local doctor or travel clinic. Also, malaria prevention is important. Be sure to use mosquito repellent (those containing DEET are most effective) and take antimalarial medication. Wearing long sleeves and pants in the evening is also a good.