The striking baobab trees, acacia woodland and vast riverine forests of the Tarangire National Park are a ‘must-see’ on any North Tanzanian Safari Circuit. The meandering Tarangire River attracts a huge variety of wildlife from wildebeest, zebra, kudu and reedbuck, to an abundance of lion, cheetah and leopard. The park is famed for its mind-blowing (vast) concentrations of elephant, and although it’s located just 100km south of its (bustling and) better-known counterpart, the Serengeti, it has a distinctly remote and authentic feel, more akin to Southern Tanzania’s untrammelled Selous and Ruaha reserves.
During the November to May ‘Green Season’, Tarangire’s swamps make many areas inaccessible and animals tend to disperse elsewhere. However, the June to October dry season draws them back to the rivers in their thousands. Swamps dry out and the game-viewing is superb. Always come prepared, though, for the tse-tse flies which can be a pest in some forested areas.
Many visitors make short pit-stops in the northern sector of the park en route elsewhere, and vehicle congestion can be a risk, particularly during the July to September high season. However, adventurous travellers prepared to take the time to journey further south will be rewarded with a remarkable experience, well off the beaten track. There’s a surprisingly good range of high quality tented camps to choose from, and both day and night vehicle safaris are offered, along with the unique opportunity to get out and explore on foot.
Often regarded as a poor relation to the world-famous Serengeti, Tarangire does in fact offer excellent dry-season game viewing, with fabulous birdlife to boot. Remote, yet relatively accessible, a visit to this stunning national park with its untouched and authentic charm should not be overlooked.