[vc_row][vc_column][vc_tta_tabs][vc_tta_section title=”Overview” tab_id=”1535611528517-049c4958-3e9e”][vc_column_text]The seasonal Tarangire National Park covers 2,850 km² of area in northern Tanzania. It is the 6th largest National Park in Tanzania, and offers some unrivalled elephant sightings – indeed, it is estimated that the Park is home to the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania – approximately 2,500 – and these numbers are rapidly increasing by an estimated 6% per year. Some elephant herds can be as large as 600 strong.
The Park takes its name from the Tarangire River that crosses through the Park, and which is the lifeblood for the wildlife that flock here during the dry season months (June to September), making these months splendid for game viewing. Huge herds of antelope, zebra, buffalo and wildebeest amass along the river banks and graze on the Park’s fertile plains.
When the short rains begin in November and December, the Park begins to sprout tender green shoots. The animals take full advantage of this, with many giving birth during the months of January through to March so that the young calves can get their nourishment from the now abundant supply of vegetation.
In April, the long rains begin, and many of the grazing herds, now with their healthy young calves, migrate out of the Park towards Lake Manyara or further northwards, where there is greater choice of grazing land and water – only to return en-masse to the Tarangire River a few months later when their new-found water supplies begin to dry up.
Not all the wildlife migrates away, however. Giraffe, waterbuck, impala, warthog, kudu, dik dik, pods of hippo and troops of baboons and vervet monkeys, and of course the elephants, all remain, along with the resident lion, spotted hyena, cheetah and leopard – and last but not least, the tree-climbing pythons. For birders, this is a true paradise – over 500 bird species have been recorded in Tarangire, including Kori bustards, storks, ostrich, sacred ibis, yellow-collared lovebirds, and colourful kingfishers, rollers and woodpeckers.
Many safari-goers choose Tarangire as a one or 2 night trip addition to their trip on their way to or from the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater, especially during the dry season months.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title=”Activities” tab_id=”1535611528683-b8c0a4b3-dfa1″][vc_column_text]
Best Time to Visit Tarangire
Beautiful during both the wet and dry seasons, Tarangire is an excellent year round park for game viewing. Between August and October when the wildlife is at its most concentrated, the park offers particularly good wildlife viewing conditions.
With the exception of the critically endangered black rhinoceros, Tarangire is home to all of Tanzania’s most iconic animals – from the diminutive dik-dik to the towering African elephants and giraffes that attract visitors from all around the world.
In addition to these popular animals, the park is also home to three endangered animals that can be found nowhere else in the country: the fringe-eared oryx with its graceful horns, the towering greater kudu, and the tiny Ashy Starling.
View Wild Animal Migrate
Between June and November of each year, Tarangire National Park plays host to a migration that, while not as impressive as the Serengeti’s legendary Wildebeest Migration, is nonetheless an impressive sight to see.
As other sources of water dry up, the Tarangire River becomes the park’s sole source of water and draws huge herds of wildebeest, zebras, gazelles, and hartebeests as well as the lions, leopards, and other predators who prey upon them.
During this period, Tarangire offers fascinating wildlife viewing, as its dry landscape makes it easier to spot these large groups of animals on the move.
Birdwatching in Tarangire
With its wide variety of habitats and food sources, Tarangire National Park is a popular destination for birds and the people who love to watch them. With more than 550 species of bird – the highest number on all of Tanzania – Tarangire truly is a birdwatcher’s paradise.
The park’s woodlands are home to hoopoes, hornbills, brown parrots, and the white-bellied go away bird as well as game birds such as the helmeted guinea fowl, yellow necked spurfow, and the crested francolin.
Other popular inhabitants of the park include yellow-collared lovebirds, lilac breasted rollers, mousebirds, swifts, striped swallows, starlings, bee-eaters, hammerkops, plovers, Kori bustards, bateleur eagles, steppe eagles, and the gigantic lappet-faced vulture. And that’s just naming a few!
Shadows of Africa can arrange specialty bird watching safaris for those interested. Contact us to find out more.
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