Tarangire is the best kept secret of Tanzania’s northern circuit. It has more elephants than the Serengeti and Lake Manyara and an exceptional wildlife density, second to only Ngorongoro.
Elephant herds of up to 300 roam across grasslands in the dry season amid thousands of migratory antelope, zebra, buffalo and wildebeest in search of water. This large game concentration supports a wealth of predators including tree climbing lions.
Tarangire is 2850 km2 of grassland and floodplains with several regions of acacia woodland. Tall grasses and huge baobab trees are the main features and the land is dominated by the Tarangire River valley.
Game viewing is superb but very season dependent as Tarangire’s wildlife population is migratory. Most of the large mammals (except lions) follow a migration pattern that takes them away from the park in the rainy season. During this time (December – May) they scatter over a 20,000 km2 area that spreads east to the Simanjiro plains, or north towards Lakes Manyara and Natron.
In the dry season, the animals return in spectacular fashion, resulting in a diversity and concentration close to that of Ngorongoro.
The diverse ecologies of Tarangire allow the presence of species such as gerenuk and lesser kudu that are no found no where else in Tanzania.
Game drives are the main attraction in Taragire but there also opportunities to visit Maasai villages and the ancient rock paintings at Kolo.
For sheer quantity of wildlife, you should visit in the dry season (preferably July – September). Conditions are dry and viewing is spectacular. Wet season is great for elephant sightings but many places are flooded.