You have heard of the Serengeti, everyone has, and chances are you have come across mentioning of the famous Ngorongoro Crater as well – but Tarangire National Park? Tarangire may well be the most underrated national park in Tanzania.
The park close to Arusha is the first stop for many safari goers in the northern circuit as it’s “on the way” to the Serengeti and Crater. But don’t be fooled – it’s so much more than a stop-over and a highlight in its own right.
Many of our safari guides will name Tarangire as one of their favourite parks, especially during the dry season.
We’ll show you why.
The iconic baobab trees
Tarangire National Park is dotted with Africa’s iconic baobab trees. Like scraggy fingers of a bony hand they break through the soil and give the park a mystical aura during spectacular sunsets. They are home to birds and bees and popular among the many elephants of Tarangire.
Elephants quench their thirst on the baobab’s bark and wood that soaks up moisture like a sponge. The gentle giants can chew tenaciously until they have hollowed out the whole tree. Sometimes, poachers have abused these hollow trees as hideout on their hunt for illegal bush meat.
Today however, human use of these magnificent trees in Tarangire is luckily mostly limited to shade-giving and picturesque campsites, like in our Mobile Explorer Camp.
The Tarangire River
The park’s only permanent water source, Tarangire River, is a must-visit on your safari. And by “permanent”, we mean during the dry and the rainy season!
While the rains dip Tarangire in a lush and fresh green, dry season between July and October transforms the park and creates curious game viewing opportunities.
By the looks of it, the Tarangire River has dried up completely. However elephants are not fooled by its dusty dry appearance. They can smell water from kilometres away and use their trunk to dig little wells in the sandy riverbed, extracting about eight to ten litres of water from underneath in one go.
The Silale Swamps
A two-night visit to Tarangire National Park is definitely worth adding to your itinerary as it gives you enough time to venture south in the massive 2,850 square kilometre park. Here, you will find the Silale Swamps, a hidden oasis.
The swamps feed the Tarangire River and its lush green grass attracts large elephant herds.
Especially during the dry season, you will have ample opportunities to see wildlife, while driving along the banks of the swamp. Elephants, zebras, wildebeest and giraffe mix with the famous tree-climbing lions of Tarangire.
With its diverse and transforming landscapes Tarangire ranks way up there with its famous neighbours Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Join us and we’ll show you!