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Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park covers an undulating area of 2,600km2, between the plains of the Maasai Steppe to the south-east, and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west. The northern part of Tarangire is dominated by the perennial Tarangire River, which flows through increasingly incised ravines until it leaves the north-western corner of the park to flow into Lake Burungi. In the south are a series of vast ‘swamps’ which dry into verdant plains during the dry season.

Although Tarangire is one of only four parks on Tanzania’s sometimes frenetic ‘northern circuit’, it is often either missed out or given less than 24 hours, by the many relatively cursory mini-bus tours. This means that few get beyond the park’s busy northern section, where the majority of camps and lodges is situated.

If you decide to come to Tarangire at all, then we recommend spending a few days in the south of the park, which gets few visitors and retains a real air of wilderness.

Major Attraction: Tarangire is home to some dry-country antelope, such as the rare fringe-eared oryx and peculiar, long-necked gerenuk. The swampy areas in the south of the park offer some interesting wildlife viewing opportunities including wallowing elephants and buffalo, the Silale Swamp lion pride and sometimes wild dog. Big pythons can sometimes be found in trees when the swamps are drying up.

 Wildlife: Tarangire is outstanding seasonally for wildlife. In the Dry season, the Tarangire River is a magnet for migratory animals such as wildebeest, zebra, common eland, hartebeest, gazelle, buffalo and elephant – of which there are more than you can imagine. Lion is quite easily spotted at this time, as well.

Getting there: The park is part of the popular northern safari circuit and is typically visited together with Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. Most safaris to this circuit start from the town of Arusha. The best option to get there is to fly into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), which is situated 46km/29mi from Arusha. It is also possible to fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) near Dar es Salaam and book a domestic flight to Arusha Airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO).

If you’re looking for a cheap flight, you can also fly to Nairobi in Kenya and take one of the buses between Arusha and Nairobi. Pick-up is in the morning, and you’ll get to Arusha around 4 PM.

 

 

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