Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is Tanzania’s sixth largest National Park and offers one of the greatest wildlife concentrations outside the Serengeti ecosystem. This magnificent park is well known for its giant baobab trees and its large elephant population. Many associate Tarangire with “the real Africa” due to its endless, golden-brown grass savanna.

The park is located roughly two hours west of Arusha and is often visited as a gap-filler on the way to the Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti. Nevertheless, this park should not be visited just to quickly tick it off a list. Indeed, Tarangire is one of the best parks of Northern Tanzania and spending more than a night here to explore the park in-depth is definitely worthwhile.

The name Tarangire derives from the river that runs through the park. Many parts of the river, especially during the dry season from June to October, completely dry out and wildlife will thus concentrate around the remaining water holes. Great wildlife encounters can be expected as the animals come down to the river for a drink.

Main Facts

established in 1970 with a size of 2850 km²

Best Time

all year around – best during dry season: June to October

Common Animals

Antelopes: gazelles, eland, gerenuk & oryx (rarely seen)
Big Five: buffalo, elephant (big herds), lion
Birds: more than 550 bird species incl. eagles, ostriches, vultures
Cats: leopards, wild dogs (rarely seen)
Mammals: giraffe, warthog, zebra


game drives
cultural encounters
hot air ballon rides
walking safaris


stunning scenery with giant baobab trees
top wildlife game viewing destination – especially during the dry season
large concentration of elephant herds
excellent bird watching opportunities
rare encounters with antelopes like gerenuk & oryx

Further Details – Tarangire National Park


Tarangire National Park offers an extremely varied flora and fauna, including hilly grasslands, acacia bushland with ancient baobab trees as well as swamps filled with tall elephant grasses and fringed by palm trees. The heart of the national park is the Tarangire River. This river is fed by water springs that cross the park and whose origin lies in the Mkonga Hills near Kondoa.


The Tarangire river is the source of life! From June to October, thousands of animals will gather along the river as it provides the only permanent water source within the park. Often seen are elands, gazelles, hartebeests, impalas, greater and lesser kudus, wildebeest, zebras, and many more. Obviously, predators such as lions, leopards and cheetahs will not be far behind.

The main attraction of Tarangire is its giant elephant population. Large herds of elephants will gather around the remaining waterholes. Elephants have an astonishing sense of smell and they will find underground water streams even in a very dry river bed. Their strong trunks help them to dig holes in the sandy river bed to reach this water.

Tarangire National Park is also the home of dry-country antelopes such as the majestic fringe-eared Oryx and the unusual long-necked Gerenuk. These, however, are quite difficult to spot. Wild Dogs can also be sighted but only on very rare occasions.

With more than 550 bird species this national park will also delight bird lovers. Look out for endemic birds as the energetic yellow-collared lovebird, the Rufus-tailed weaver and the ashy starling. Kori bustards, horn-bills, ostriches and the famous lilac-breasted rollers can also be spotted.

Which travelers will particularly enjoy Tarangire National Park?

  • travelers who are interested in a photo safari with a varied landscape and scenery
  • travelers who are looking for a daytrip destination
  • travelers who can spare only a few days for a safari (short journey from Arusha)
  • families with smaller children as it offers an ideal introduction to safaris