The Increbile Wildlife Of Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is a wildlife gem found in northern Tanzania safari Circuit, the park is one of the best safari destinations in Tanzania and Africa at large well known for hosting large herds of elephants, the park is home to approximately 3,000 elephants.
Tarangire National Park is also known for the tree – climbing lions, impressive wildlife diversity, birdlife and the iconic baobab trees.
Tarangire national park is also home to plenty of warthogs which is the origin for the word “Tarangire” meaning “river of warthogs”. At a size of 2,850 square kilometers, Tarangire National Park is the 6th biggest national park in Tanzania and it owes its name to River Tarangire found within the park.
Tarangire National Park is accessible from Arusha city and Kilimanjaro International Airport, the short drive of about 3-4 hours to the park makes it an excellent Tanzania safari destination.
Location of Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is located Northeast Tanzania approximately 118 kilometers from Arusha City, the park is situated in the Manyara Region south of Lake Manyara national park and is situated close to Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater.
Wildlife of Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park has the second highest concentration of wildlife in Tanzania that is after Serengeti National Park, the park is home to over 58 large mammal species including large herds of elephants.
Large herds of elephants and their annual migration are among the major highlights of a Tanzania safari in Tarangire National park, during the dry season running from June to November, large herd of up to 3,000 elephants move into the park in search of water and grasses. This makes Tarangire River a great site to for wildlife viewing in the park, seeing the majestic elephants meandering across the plains, resting under the iconic baobab tree and bathing in the muddy waters of the river is a true African memorable experience.
Wildlife in Tarangire National Park
Rare Coke’s hartebeests
Fringe – eared oryx
Peculiar long-necked gerenuk
Note: Elephants, lions and cape buffaloes are very common sights in Tarangire National Park
Large herds of Elephants
Tarangire National Park boasts the highest elephant concertation in the world, the herds can reach over 300 individuals. If you are a lover of these gentle giants, then Tarangire national park is the best safari destination to visit on a Tanzania safari.
Excellent places to see large herds of elephants in Tarangire National Park include along the riverbanks where the elephants are seen digging for water to drink in the sandy bed where the water table lies just below the surface. Elephants prefer clean and cool water which they get from digging to muddy water pooled at the surface, their task of digging for water starts by scraping the loose sand with the forefoot and once the hole has started to form they incorporate their trunk as a digging tool.
The elephants seen to make a game of this activity putting on quite a show with splashing water and caking themselves with splattered mud which is memorable to watch, elephants are very intelligent animals and with their big size they are cape of excavations.
An adult elephant is capable of drinking between 90 – 140 litres of water per-day.
Tarangire national park has one of the highest concertation of lions in the world with over 700 lions, chances of spotting a pride or two are very high during a Tanzania safari in Tarangire.
Lions in Tarangire National Park are tree- climbing lions which are only found in northern Tanzania and Southern Uganda which makes the lions a more fascinating wildlife species to see.
Fringe – eared oryxes
Oryxes are another amazing wildlife species you will see Tarangire National Park, these beautiful animals live in hot, dry regions and to avoid perspiration, they can actually raise their body temperatures.
The fringe – eared orxes are sub species of Oryxes found only in southern Kenya and part of Tanzania so while on a Tanzania safari in Tarangire National Park, they are worth seeing.
Tarangire National Park is the only place in Tanzania where you can regularly see the fringe – eared oryxes which are fascinating antelopes.
Gerenuks are very unusual- looking antelopes sometimes called the giraffes gazelles because of their long necks, the Gerenuks have tiny heads with long ears sitting in a slender way and long necks making them an almost comic sight.
The name Gerenuk means “giraffe – gerenuk” in Somali, these animals are near endangered species and can only be found in the Horn of Africa and some of the drier parts of East Africa including Tarangire National Park.
Birds of Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is a great birder’s destination boasting more than 550 species of birds, Tarangire’s bird population is one of the most diverse in all of Africa. Some of the birds in Tarangire National Park include flamingoes and hornbills found in the park’s lake and numerous swamps.
Also, Tarangire National Park has more breeding species of birds than any other place on earth.
Bird population in Tarangire National Park include endemic, rare and resident bird species. Some of the interesting birds to lookout for include the Kori Bustard – the heaviest flying bird in the world, the yellow – collared lovebird, the masked lovebird and Nubian woodpecker which are always in colonies or in pairs.
Notable birds in Tarangire National Park include African fish, steppe and bateleur eagles, lappet-faced vultures, hornbills, kori bustards, stocking-thighed ostriches, lesser flamingoes, helmeted guinea fowls, northern white-crowned shrikes, African hoopoes, superb and ashy starlings, lilac-breasted rollers, pygmy falcons, red-and-yellow barbets, brown parrots, white-bellied go-away-birds (loeries), yellow-collared lovebirds, saddle-billed storks and Nubian woodpeckers among others
The best time for birding in Tarangire National Park are October to May, in this period winter migrants are present in the park.
How to get to Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park is approximately 120 kilometers southwest from the City of Arusha and it is a drive of approximately 3 hours.
Arusha city is the gateway to Northern Tanzania as it is the closest city to Kilimanjaro International Airport, the city is based to tourists on a Tanzania safari to parks in the Northern Safari Circuit including Tarangire National Park.
By road – it is a drive of approximately 3-4 hours to get to Tarangire National Park from Arusha City.
By Air – there are chartered flights from Arusha Airport to Tarangire National Park , the park is served by Tarangire Airstrip located at the end of Tarangire National park and north of Tarangire River and Kuro Airstrip located in central Tarangire within a walkable distance from the river and also near Kuro Ranger Post.