Tarangire National Park is a stunning, tranquil park in northern Tanzania, most famous for its elephant migration, birdwatching opportunities, and authentic safari atmosphere.
Located slightly off the main safari route, many travellers miss Tarangire, leaving swathes of this overlooked gem virtually untouched.
This is your ultimate guide to a beautiful Tarangire safari.
WHAT TO SEE
Elephants are the main attraction in Tarangire, with up to 3,000 in the park during the high season.
You’ll also see great numbers of wildebeest, giraffe, zebra, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, greater and lesser kudu, eland, leopard, and cheetah. If the real prize for you is spotting rare wildlife, ask your guide where the dwarf mongoose, oryx, and generuk have been sighted, as encountering these wonderful animals is a real delight and a complete rarity.
Of course, birding is a big deal in Tarangire National Park too, with around 500 different species travelling through its ecosystem.
Expect to get an early morning wakeup call from crested francolins before going out to see the yellow-collared lovebird, ashy starling, rufous-tailed weaver, orange-bellied parrot, steppe eagle, and lappet-faced vulture. If you’ve got a well-trained eye, you may even be able to spot mottle-throated spine-tails amongst the flocks of little swifts.
Night safaris are highly recommended when visiting Tarangire, as the park transforms into an even bigger birdwatcher’s paradise (if that’s possible!), and you’ll see some sights that will truly last you a lifetime.
WHEN TO GO
Game viewing is exceptional from July to mid November, with September and October undoubtedly the best months for seeing large concentrations of mammals. However, if you’d prefer to avoid the crowds, the wet season is still an interesting time to visit – in fact, December to May is the only time you’re likely to see large breeding herds of several hundred elephants.
WHERE TO STAY
There are a number of lodges surrounding the borders of Tarangire, but for the best experience, you’ll want to stay in the park itself.
Oliver’s Camp is generally regarded as the best place to stay inside the park, famed for its rustic charm with a luxurious edge.
Originally set up as a temporary camp, Oliver’s was made permanent in 2008, and has managed to maintain its authentic bushcamp feel whilst providing first-rate food, service, and guiding. Of course, its location is the main pull for visitors, situated in the southeast of the Tarangire National Park along marshes that attract huge numbers of buffalo, zebra, and wildebeest.
If you enjoy basking in luxury whilst on safari, Sanctuary Swala Camp is guaranteed to impress. Located in the southwest of the park, it is harder to reach than the northern camps (thus is better for those flying in), but that only means your safari experience will be much more exclusive.
The permanent tented camp is extremely well run, the service is friendly, and the accommodation is decorated in a stylish, contemporary African design. The resident game is brilliant too, with impala, elephant, and waterbuck attracted to Swala Camp’s artificial waterhole.
Ultimately, a Tarangire safari is a number one destination for enthusiasts keen to see an incredibly large selection of wildlife roaming within stunning Tanzanian landscapes. When you put Tarangire on your itinerary, you know that you’ll be treated well, as the reserve consists predominantly of luxury accommodation owing to its relatively isolated location.
To find out more about this wonderful national park, visit Africa Travel Resource today.