Tarangire National park is one of the premium national parks not only in Tanzania but entire East African region. The park was gazette in 1970 as national park, in 2005 the park was considered as a Lion Conservation Unit. It’s famous of the large herds of Elephants, it’s one of the most visited national park in Tanzania. The park is located in the famous Tanzania Northern Tourist Circuit which covers: Serengeti national park, Tarangire national park, Ngorongoro crater and Lake Manyara national park. The park covers an area of 2,850 square kilometers making it one of the large parks in the country. The park was named after the Tarangire river that divides the park in to two parts. The river is also a source of water to the diversified wildlife that is hosted at the park. The landscapes in the park is composed of granite ridges, swamps and river valleys. The vegetation of the park is a mixed vegetation that is composed of Acacia woodlands, Seasonally flooded rivers, Combretum woodland, baobab trees and the grasslands.
The greatness of the park is based of the large population of wildlife especially the African Elephants and lions. The park hosts 4 of the 5 African big 5 members only short of the Rhinos. Other big game around the park include: Elephants, Lions, leopards, Buffalo, Wildebeests, Gazelles, Topis, Hyenas, Zebras, Giraffes and many more. The park is famous of the large herds of African Elephants, its only in Tarangire national park that guests can enjoy the largest herds of Elephants during the game drive. The park is covered by the short open grass plains dotted with Boabab trees, savannahs, swampy vegetation and the Marshes.
Location of the Tarangire National park.
Its is located along the Great Rift Valley region. The park ecosystem consists of Mkungunero game controlled area and Kwakuchinja and Mto Wa Mbu game controlled area. The park is located in the Southern part of Arusha. It can be reached through paved good road taking only 2 to 3 hours drive. The drive is much scenic through the Great Rift Valley region, local plantations and cultural centers of the Maasai people (Manyata). It’s found along the main safari route that connects to all the best Tourist sites that are found in the Northern part of Tanzania. The lovely quite, tranquil protected area is one of the easily visited parks. The park can be accessed by both road and by the flight. The domestic flights are available from Arusha directly to the park small airstrips.
Tarangire national park is crowned by the 7 natural wonders of Africa those are Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro Crater. This park can easily be visited any time of the year due to the favorable climatic conditions in the park. The vegetation is dominated by short grasslands and the Baobab trees. The best time to visit the park is during the long dry season of the year that is from June to September. You can also visit the park from December to February.
Attractions in Tarangire National park
Tarangire National park is gifted by nature with a wide range of attractions. These are the key things that the guests come and view. Below are some of the attractions that can be seen during your wildlife safari at the park.
This park habits over 500 bird species that are found at the park permanently. The different range of habitants at the park has given fertile ground for the diversified bird species at the park. The park hosts aquatic birds, savannah grassland bird species and forest birds. The guests are welcomed by the Ash starlings at the park headquarters. Some of the bird species at the park include: Ash starlings lead the birding lists, hornbills, woodpeckers, Yellow necked Spurfowl, Northern white crown shrike, Black necked weaver, white faced whistling duck, red billed hornbill, pygmy falcon, African Marsh harrier, Black headed heron, African Hoopoe, kori bustard, Lilac breasted roller among others.
The park was first inhabited by the Maasai local people. After the park was gazette and declared as the park the locals were forced out of the park and settles around the park. The Maasai are some of the African people who have the most unique cultural and traditions in Africa. Its only Maasai people whom modernization has failed to change their culture. Other tribes that surround the park are the Barbaiq also called Mangati, Wambugwe and wa Iraqw. All these tribes have their own cultures which boost the tourism industry in Tanzania.
The park has a record of more than 3000 Elephants, lions, leopards, buffaloes among the African big five missing only Rhinos. Its on Tarangire National park that the oldest Elephant gave birth to twins which are now grown up adults. Located along the Maasai Steppe and other mountains on the South that give a good fresh grass for the rare Antelopes like fringed-eared Oryx, long-necked gerenuk and other species of Antelope. Other animals in Tarangire National park include Zebras, giraffes, gazelles, cheetah, leopards, lions, Elephants, honey Badger, African wild Dogs, Mongoose, baboons, monkey, dik-dik, wildebeest and others.
Hot air Balloon safaris
Tarangire National park is one of the few national parks not only in Tanzania but entire East Africa where Hot air balloon safaris are done. Enjoy the eagle eye at the park as you float on top of the Boabab trees in the park. This is a unique experience where more actions in the wilderness are witnessed as close as possible to the wildlife with no off tracking. The hot air balloon safaris in Tarangire National park are done early in the morning along the Tarangire river. The Hot Air Balloon safaris are privately operated by some operators and they have a maximum number of people to take per day.
Tarangire National park is a home of over 500 bird species that are inhabited in different park eco system. This has credited the park as a birding paradise where one with all the birding tools can viewed. Birding is done during the rainy months that is from March to May and November when the birds are breeding. With good camera, binoculars you catch live flying videos. Its also this very month when the park receives migratory birds across Africa and some from European countries. The most welcoming bird species include: Ashy starlings, Secretary birds, lovebird, hornbills, woodpeckers, Yellow necked Spurfowl, Northern white crown shrike, Black necked weaver, white faced whistling duck, red billed hornbill, pygmy falcon, African Marsh harrier, Black headed heron, African Hoopoe, kori bustard, Lilac breasted roller among others
The game drives are the best way to encounter the African wilderness using the 4×4 wheel drive safari cars. Rewarding game drives are longer and they can be done early in the morning when the park is still active. The other game drives are afternoon game drives, full day game drives and night game drives. The game drives are included at the park entry fees hence after paying the park entry fees one has access to do all the game drives. The park has permanent residents like lions, leopards, Elephants, hippos, Zebra, Giraffes, kudu, oryx mention but a few. Game drives in Tanrangire are done throughout the year though the best months are the dry months when the land is dry.