Tarangire National Park is traversed by the Tarangire River which never dries up. Being the only source of water during the dry season from July to October, it draws hundreds of animals to the park, making for spectacular wildlife and bird spotting. The landscape is varied, with grassy savannahs, swamps, hills and spectacular baobabs.

  • Beautiful scenery; large open areas, dotted with hills and marshes
  • Tarangire River flows all year, attracting game to its banks
  • Prolific wildlife, especially July to October
  • Tree-climbing lions
  • Incredible baobabs
  • Large elephant population with herds of up to 300
  • Rock paintings
  • Easy three-hour drive from Arusha
  • Number of great places to stay in the park

Slightly off the Northern Safari Circuit, Tarangire National Park offers visitors an uncrowded, scenic safari experience. With fabulous and varied landscapes, dotted with termite mounds and copses of Dr Seuss-esque baobabs, it's a wonderful park to visit.

Wildlife at Tarangire

With the second-highest concentration of wildlife during the dry season, Tarangire has incredible game viewing opportunities, with huge herds of elephants (up to 3,000 come to the park in the peak months) and loads of lions.

Here, you're sure to see plenty of impala, elephants, warthogs, waterbuck, zebra, wildebeest, and giraffe. Look out for tiny dik-dik in the underbrush and dwarf mongoose in abandoned termite mounds. Look up to find baboon, monkey and, if you're lucky, tree-climbing lion.

When the rains come in November, Tarangire empties out when many of the animals migrate to the grazing grounds of the Great Rift Valley.

Elephant herd Tarangire National Park Maxim Medvedev I Unsplash

Elephant herd on the move in Tarangire National Park

(Image: Maxim Medvedev I Unsplash)

Birding in Tarangire

It's not only the game that's plentiful. Tarangire National Park is known as one of the top birding spots in Tanzania with over 500 species. Owing to its varied habitats, the range of species is just as diverse. Marshy areas provide breeding grounds for a wide array of waterbirds, including pelicans, storks and spoonbills. On drier land, Kori bustards, ostriches and noisy ground hornbills share their space with beautiful, brightly-coloured lovebirds, barbets and weavers. It's a cacophony of bird calls and a birder's delight.

Getting there

By road - Tarangire National Park is an easy drive from Arusha on tar road up to 7 km from the park. It's just over 100 km (65 miles) and takes about two hours to drive.

By air - Arusha is served by two airports. Arusha Airport has daily flights from numerous local destinations and Kilimanjaro International Airport has daily flights from local, African and international airlines. Charter flights to Tarangire Airstrip can be booked.

Tarangire Safari Lodge
Tarangire Safari Lodge - Tanzania

Overlooking the Tarangire River which never dries up Tarangire Safari Lodge offers visitors breathtaking views of beautiful landscapes and a wide array of animals from its deck, thatched tents and bungalows. Sit on the veranda at sunset and watch elephants come down to drink, their babies splashing and playing. Pure, African bliss.

Tarangire Treetops
Tarangire Treetops - Tarangire National Park - Tanzania

Situated up on a hill on the border of the spectacular Tarangire National Park, Treetops offers magical tented rooms on stilts built around beautiful trees. Each spacious room is open at the front and has its own balcony with panoramic views across the bush. A waterhole at the camp provides regular sightings of lion, leopard and elephant.

Lake Manyara National Park
Africa Travel Guide Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania Flamingo Game Drive

The spectacular alkaline Lake Manyara forms the centre point of this small and very beautiful park with surprisingly diverse fauna and flora. A circuit drive through the park passes through forest, wetlands, grassy plains and acacia forests, offering views of different animals and multitudes of birds. Elephant, hippo, giraffe, tree-climbing lion and baboon are just a few of the game that call Manyara home.

Arusha National park
Arusha National Park Tanzania Giraffes Gather

Don't be fooled by the fact that Arusha National Park is small (552 km2). Within its borders, it has a diverse topography and wonderful wildlife. From the rugged peaks of Mount Meru to the marshy depths of the Ngurdoto Crater where warthog wallow, to monkey-filled montane forest and rolling grassy hills on which giraffe and zebra graze, there's plenty to see here.

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