Tarangire National Park
Tarangire National Park in Tanzania is the perfect dry season park retreat. Based in the prime location of the Northern Circuit and next to the Serengeti National Park. Tarangire is one of the best areas of all of Tanzania, but it is all too often overlooked. As to why this is, we are unsure. Tarangire attracts some of the most awe-inspiring wildlife in Africa, including waterhogs, giraffes, zebras, and the park’s speciality: elephants. Here elephants roam the plains and the riverbanks in particular in their hundreds, making for an enchanting experience for any traveller.
For more details about the differences between the Northern and Southern Circuit safaris in Tanzania see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
Best Time To Go
Average Safari Cost
From $200 to $600 pp/day
Perfect weather for animal-watching, a dense elephant population, the Big Five, the gorgeous Tarangire River is at the heart of the park, a suitable beginning or end to a safari tour of the Northern Circuit
Why Visit Tarangire National Park?
As a rarely unearthed and extremely special part of Tanzania, Tarangire is well worth a visit. It’s home to so many elephants it is not uncommon to be in the presence of 500 all in one day, often by the riverside where they enjoy the sun, the water and, of course, the mud.
The Tarangire River is the staple of the park – and for good reason. In the dry season, it is not just elephants which congregate here, but hyenas, wildebeest, impala and lions venture there too, putting the water feature at the heart of this safari experience.
And there are plenty of birds at Tarangire as well, which are best viewed in the dry season but make the park a much brighter place all year around.
Pros And Cons
- Excellent wildlife viewing in the dry season
- A very special and dense population of elephants
- Beautiful landscape with baobab trees
- Bird watching is especially successful here
- It is in the advantageous location of being next to the Serengeti National Park
- Wet season is not great for wildlife viewing due to migration and dispersal
- There are large crowds in the dry season
- There is not so much variety in the wildlife meaning one can only really spend two days at most in the park
Best Time To Visit
We would strongly recommend visiting the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania during the months of June through to October, the dry season in the country. At this time animals are migrating and tend to congregate at the riverbank and lagoons along their journey.
These animals include the most sought-after on safaris: lions, hyenas, antelope, gazelles and plenty more. To enhance your chances of spotting a good number of animals at the Tarangire, the dry season is the best time to do it as the vegetation is also thinner, meaning it is easier to see through and of course take your photos in too.
If you wish to head to the Tarangire National Park in the wet season, November through to May, you will be in luck with the bird population at the park. At this time the birds are in their prime and so you can get far ahead on your observing as well as your wildlife photography, especially as the vegetation is thicker, luscious and replenished.
However, most animals have migrated or dispersed into the Maasai Steppe at this time, so you will be hard-pushed to spot some of the most incredible players of the African safari experience. As well as this, there is an increased risk of malaria due to the higher number of mosquitoes around during the wet season.
Start your African Adventure
One-Week Tembo Escape
Our Deluxe One-Week Tembo Safari offers accommodations at deluxe tented camps and lodges and grants the opportunity to learn and discover Tanzania’s most popular northern parks, such as Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, and the boundless Serengeti Plains.
3 Days Mikumi National Park
Enjoy Mikumi National Park for 3 days If you have quickly come to Dar es Salaam or Zanzibar Tanzania and you want the best out of your busy schedule you can do Mikumi National Park only in 3 days and very satisfying.
4 Days Tarangire, Serengeti and Ngorongoro Safari
The Big Five Wildlife Discovery is supported by a team of friendly and attentive camp staff and led by professional English-French-Spanish- and/or Italian-speaking guides. Retrofitted “stretch” 4 x 4 Land Rovers are fully equipped with window seats and open hatch space for each passenger assuring 360 degree wildlife viewing and photography.
5 Days Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara National Park
The Northern Tanzania Adventurer Our five day camping safari captivates those who experience its enchanting beauty. The four parks are located in Tanzania, a region that has preserved its purity on the ancient African continent. We will discover Lake Manyara National Park which features the largest concentration of baboons. The alkaline waters of Lake Manyara are encrusted with rosy feathered flamingos. Tarangire is famous for having one of the largest elephant populations in Africa. The Serengeti conjures up images of exploration, dramatic landscapes and exhilarating wildlife. The Ngorongoro Crater has been denoted as ‘Africa’s garden of Eden’
Wildlife And Birds
- Wild dog
Frequently Seen Animals
- Hyena (occasional)
- Basra reed warbler
- Cape gannet
- White-winged apalis
- Swynnerton’s robin
- Eastern imperial eagle
- Red-billed parrot
- Ashy starling
- Speckle-fronted weaver
- Red-and-yellow barbet
- Tawny eagle
- African grey flycatcher
Getting There And Safety
Please note that malaria risk is high around the year in all areas below 1,800m. To protect yourself you should avoid mosquito bites by wearing long sleeve tops and long trousers especially in the evenings, using insect repellents and, when required, sleeping under a mosquito net.
For more details about vaccinations see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Travel Guide.
Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in Tanzania. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.
Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of the safari trip cover.
You should pack clothes suitable for both hot and cold weather as days can be very hot followed by very cold nights. Your clothes should be in neutral tones, not bright colours. Other items to pack include: insect repellent, camera, torch, binoculars, sunglasses and sun block.
For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.