Tarangire is less well known than other parks in the northern circuit but in terms of wildlife concentration it supports a similar range of large mammals to the Serengeti. And like Serengeti, Tarangire is part of a wider ecosystem with a great deal of migratory movement. Tarangire however is more densely vegetated, covered mostly in acacia and mixed woodland. This sometimes makes it difficult to see the full range of predators the park boasts of. During the wet season most of its animals disperse into the Maasai Steppe while the larger antelopes and Zebra move northwest to the rift valley floor between Lakes Natron and Manyara.
Tarangire becomes rich with animals in the dry months between July and November when large herds of game get attracted to the permanent waters of Tarangire River and make the park as alluring as Serengeti.
Concentration of Game
Tarangire is famous for its prolific Elephant herds that congregate along the river during the dry season. The colonial Dwarf Mongoose is characteristic of the park, and often seen on termite hills. There is quite a healthy wildlife population in Tarangire, especially during the dry months when Tarangire river serves as one of the few water reservoirs in the area. Large predators include Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Golden and Black Backed Jackals, Bat Eared Foxes and Spotted Hyena. Nocturnal predators include Civet, Serval, Genet and African Wild Cat. Other mammals include: Hippo, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Eland, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Warthog, Baboon, Impala, Fringe-Eared Oryx and Gerenuk.
Like Lake Manyara, Tarangire is also rich in birdlife and upto 500 different species have been recorded. These include Raptors like Bateleur Eagle, Fish Eagle and Palmnut Vulture. Saddle-Billed and Yellow-Billed Storks and several other water birds are found at the river. Other prominent species include: Yellow-Necked Spurfowl, Orange-Bellied Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, Red-Fronted barbet, Silverbird and Red and Yellow Barbet. Other species associated with dry areas areVulturine Guineafowl, Donaldson-Smith’s nightjar, Pink-Breasted Lark, Mouse-Coloured Pendulin Tit and the lovely Yellow-Collared Lovebird.
Game drives inside the park are the only viable activity one can indulge in at Tarangire. Other than this there is the option of walking safaris in some parts of the park with an armed ranger.
Best time to visit
Tarangire is open and receives tourists throughout the year. The best time to visit would however be during the dry months between July and November. This is the time when there is the highest concentration of animals in the park, especially near the Tarangire river.
Tarangire forms part of the northern circuit and is well connected by surface roads with the other parks in this circuit. It is also easily accessible by Arusha city a good surface road.
1 or 2 nights in the park should be enough to cover all the major areas this park has to offer.
Our Recommendations on Tarangire National Park
Tarangire, though a beautiful and interesting park in its own way, is over shadowed by its 2 more famous neighbors, Ngorongoro and Serengeti. With the exception of some months of the year, the wildlife concentration in the park is not as much as desired. Tarangire in our view would be more appealing to those who have many days at their disposal and want to spend most of their time exploring the northern circuit. But for those who have few days to spare and who want to explore other circuits also would be better off sticking to Ngorongoro and Serengeti in the north. Tarangire is nevertheless a very beautiful park in its own way and especially in the dry months offer very good wildlife viewing.
for a perfect, well-organized and affordable affordable tour of this beautiful park.