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Tarangire National Park, Tanzania

Tarangire national park is one of the most renowned national parks of the northern circuit in Tanzania. It´s famous for its large herds of massive elephants and huge, ancient baobab trees. In fact, Tarangire is home to some of world’s largest elephants. 

Tarangire national park is often visited in combination with Serengeti or Ngorongoro. Unlike these parks, Tarangire lies relatively close to Arusha and is also the only national park in the area where you can spot a large variety of animals, including many predators. This makes Tarangire the perfect national park for a daytrip as well.

It’s also a quite large the national park and covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers (1,100 square miles.) Tarangire national park derived its name from the long serving river that crosses the park in the middle called the Tarangire River. The river acts as the primary source of water for wildlife in the park, which is  also one of the reasons of the large variety in the parks ecosystem.

Tarangire National Park Highlights

Tarangire is a great national park to spot wildlife, but also one of Tanzania’s finest birding destinations with more than 500 species recorded.

In the park you might encounter good numbers of wildebeest and zebra as well as giraffe, buffalo, Thompson’s gazelle, greater and lesser kudu, eland, leopard and cheetah. It is also the only place in Tanzania where the oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted

Tarangire is surprisingly large, giving visitors chance of a quiet game drive without interruption. It’s even possible to spend more than 1 day in the park, without driving the same route twice. 

Elephants and Baobab Trees

Tarangire national park is characterized by gigantic, ancient Baobab trees and large herds of huge elephants. The park is said to be home to approximately 2,500 individuals. You may often find whole families gathering for a drink of a bath at the riverbanks.

Due to the plentiness of food and other environmental factors, elephants grow bigger, compared to the surrounding national parks. Thanks to these factors, Tarangire is home to some of world’s largest elephants. 

The baobab trees are another interesting thing about the park. Tarangire national park is full of baobab trees that are hundreds of years old, some indiviudals are even over a thousand years old!



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Tarangire National Park: Best time to visit

Tarangire national park is considered to be a year-round safari destination, but there’s definitely a period that’s better for wildlife viewing. 

The best season to view wildlife in Tarangire is usually from June to October (the dry season). Large herds of animals migrate to the park from the surrounding areas due to the plentiness of water available that flows from the Tarangire river. During the dry season you may also find most of the elephants that Tarangire national park is so famous for. 

During the wet seasons (November & December and March to May) animals are harder to spot as there’s a lot of green, thick vegetation in the park. Much of the wildlife, especially the elephants, scatter during this timeperiod in search for more solid, dry ground.

Wildlife of Tarangire National Park

A short list of the “most wanted” animals in Tarangire National Park and the chances of spotting them. Some animals are (almost) unique to each park or only appear in certain areas. It’s important to let us know your wildlife preferences, so we can give you the best chance of spotting your favorite animal. 

The percentages are an estimation of how often we’ve seen these animals ourselves based on our visits. Some animals we’ve seen 100%, everytime we’ve visited. However, it’s not a zoo, so there’s always a chance you miss an animal.

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Leopardhard to spot
Wild Dogvery rare

Climate & Seasons

Tarangire national park has a mild climate with enjoyable temperatures during the day. Not too hot and not too cold with average temperatures of around 24 degrees during the daytime and 15 degrees during night time. So be sure to bring a sweater if you’re about to embark on a early morning safari, as it can be a bit cold.

The wet seasons are devided between the ‘long rains’ and the ‘short rains’. The ‘long rains’ is the heaviest raining season, which is between the months March and May, the ‘short rains’ is between November and December. 

During the rainy seasons it usually rains in the afternoon and seldom for the entire day. During the long rains there’s more chance of flooding and muddy roads than the short rains. This is usually considered to be the least favorite period to visit Tarangire National Park. The short rain period is often fine to visit. 

Activities in Tarangire National Park

There’s loads of amazing excursions and activities to choose from when paying a visit to Tarangire National Park.

For example:

  • Canopy Walk
  • Mto wa Mby Cultural Tour
  • Mountainbike tour
  • Kanoeing on Lake Manyara
  • Visit the Maasai Tribe
  • Night game drive
  • Enjoy a day of cooking with the local mama’s

Tarangire National Park: Where to Stay?

Tarangire Accommodation

Below are some of our favorite accommodations in/near Tarangire National Park. It’s possible to stay in or near the park itself or in the the town of Mto wa Mbu if you’re on your way to Serengeti national park.

There are loads of options available in multiple price ranges. There’s a perfect accommodation for all kinds of travelers!

We select our accommodations on a few criteria that guarantee the best possible experience. Some of these criteria are most scenic views, unique (efficient) and adventurous locations and of course the wildlife-experience! 

Of course there’s also the option of camping, which isn’t mentioned in the accommodations listed down below. 

View all of our accommodations (including many more unlisted)

    Sangaiwe Tented Lodge (Tarangire)

    Sangaiwe tented lodge is a stylish, tanzania-style tented lodge, located just at the edge of Tarangire National Park. The lodge lies next to the Sangaiwe gate, ensuring quick entrance in the park and often sightings […]

    Tarangire Simba Lodge (Tarangire)

    Tarangire simba lodge is a beautiful tented-style lodge with only 16 tents It is located right on the edge of Tarangire national park and a sure favorite as elephants and other wildlife often visits the […]

    Honeyguide Camp Tarangire

    In the calm north of Tarangire National Park you will find Honeyguide Camp: a luxurious tented safari camp. Tarangire National Park is known for its many baobab trees, the large number of elephant and the […]

    Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge

    Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge is situated 10 km from Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania. This lodge offers 50 Deluxe Rooms and 2 Bedroom Luxury Villas, all with panoramic views of the magnificent surroundings and tastefully […]

Driving Time & Distances

  • Driving from Arusha (NP) to Tarangire National Park will take about 2 hours.
  • Driving from Ngorongoro to Tarangire takes about 1,5 hours.
  • Driving from Serengeti to Tarangire takes about 4 hours.
  • Driving from Lake Manyara to Tarangire takes about 1 hour. 
  • Driving from Moshi to Tarangire NP takes between 3-4  hours depending on the current traffic situation.

Note that you’re only allowed to drive in the parks between 6am and 6pm. 

Safaris visiting Tarangire National Park

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