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What we love

Tarangire's elephant herds are a sight to behold!

Tarangire National Park

Tanzania

The destination

Tarangire National Park is probably not somewhere you'd heard of before you started reading about a safari in Tanzania, but if you visit the park it certainly won't be a place you will easily forget!

Tarangire National Park sits alongside Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park, and Lake Manyara, to make up the 'Northern Circuit'. It is by far the least well-known area on the circuit, earning it a reputation as an insider's favourite.

The park is known for its huge herds of elephants, and is also home to big cats and many species of herbivore. The landscape is famous for some of Tanzania's largest baobab trees, with their thick trunks and sprawling root-like branches, giving the impression that these trees grew upside down!

Much like the parks in Tanzania's south, Tarangire National Park has relatively few visitors for its size, making it feel much less crowded than the more famous parks. Particularly in the southern area of the park, where some of our favourite accommodation is located, you are likely to see very few other visitors, allowing you time to enjoy this wonderful wilderness all by yourself.

If you are going to visit, we recommend not trying to squeeze it in with a day trip or overnight alongside Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro crater, as you'll only see the more crowded areas, and will be left exhausted! A two or three night stay in Tarangire National Park is an excellent way to add something a little different to your safari, and earn bragging rights with any friends or family who visited Tanzania but didn't venture off the well-trodden path.

WHERE TO STAY?

If you are going to visit Tarangire National Park, try to stay within the park itself. There are two excellent camps, in prime locations, both run by some of our favourite safari operators in Tanzania.

First up is Kuro Tarangire, part of the Nomad stable, and a charmingly authentic tented camp. Located on the banks of the Tarangire river (which is usually just a dry river bed), Kuro is in a prime location for game viewing, with wildlife often passing through the camp. Nomad have managed to create a camp that is simple and yet effortlessly comfortable. Guides are fantastic, as is the whole team. You'll leave wishing you'd stayed longer!

Little Oliver's and Oliver's are our other favourites in the park. The two camps are a short drive from each other, and the rooms at each are identical - there are just less of them at Little Oliver's. The camps are run by Asilia, who are known for their authentic luxury and incredible guiding. Last time we stayed here we were lucky enough to go on a walking safari in the park with one of their head guides, an experience not to be missed!

There are some lovely luxury options outside the park too, most notably Tarangire Treetops and Chem Chem, however, we feel that the best part of visiting Tarangire is the feeling of having the park to yourself, and you'll only really get this by staying in the park.

Tarangire National Park has a wide variety of camps and lodges to choose from, with a selection of our favourites listed below. However, we have visited a large range, suitable for all budgets, so if you don't see something you like on our website, or you're not sure which is best for you, please don't hesitate to give us a call on 01993 899 430, or email inspire@oxfordprivatetravel.com, we would be delighted to craft your own tailor-made safari. 

GAME VIEWING

Elephants, elephants, and more elephants! If pachyderms are your thing, then you'll certainly want to pay a visit to Tarangire National Park, as thousands of African elephants inhabit the swamp region in the centre of the park during the dry season. 

The park has a healthy lion population, with sightings common. Leopards are more elusive, as is the case in many safari areas.

You're also likely to see giraffe, impala, hippopotamus, buffalo, eland, zebra, wildebeest and warthog, amongst many others. Birdlife is also plentiful, with over 500 species recorded in Tarangire National Park.

Walking safaris are possible, with licensed guides, from several of the camps located within the park. A walking safari is an excellent way to experience 'the bush' from a different perspective, and gives your guide the opportunity to teach you much more about the ecosystem than is possible from a car. We'd highly recommend including walking safari during your time here. 

Night drives are now also possible within the park, in contrast to Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti, where they are not permitted. This is an exciting and different way to view the wildlife, and you'll observe different species and behaviour than in daylight hours.

WHO SHOULD VISIT?

A visit to Tarangire is perfect for first-time visitors looking to include something different in their itinerary, or old hands who prefer to stay away from the crowds.

If you are travelling in peak season and the thought of viewing wildlife surrounded by many other cars does not appeal, we'd suggest skipping Ngorongoro crater and Lake Manyara, and combining Tarangire with the quieter areas of Serengeti to create your own 'Northern Circuit'.

All of our recommended camps are well equipped to look after families, but we wouldn't recommend travelling with toddlers or infants.

WHEN TO VISIT?

Tarangire National Park really comes into its own during the dry season of June to October, as this is when the giant herds of elephant descend from the hills, to the swampy region in the centre of the park.

Value hunters should consider the first two weeks of November, as the camps drop their high season prices, providing incredibly good deals.

We wouldn't recommend visiting during the wet season of April and May, as some areas of the park may inaccessible.

 

Location

Top tips

  • Stay for two to three days if you can, and choose a camp located within the park. Your wildlife experience will be significantly better!
  • Fly-in rather than drive. It takes several hours to drive to Tarangire from Arusha, and if you are staying outside the park you'll be spending a lot of unnecessary time in the car. If you fly into the reserve, your guide will collect you from the airstrip and you'll be on safari from the moment you land!
  • If staying within the park, speak to your guide about organising a walking safari and a night drive.
  • Bring neutral colours such as greens and brown for your walking safari. White clothing and bright colours are not permitted, as you are likely to frighten the animals.

 

  • Local currency: Tanzanian Shilling
  • Accepted currency: USD
  • Accepted credit cards: Visa and MasterCard (most places)
  • Timezone: GMT +3 hrs

 

Hotels in Tarangire National Park

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