Tarangire lies to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasailand and is the best-kept secret on the northern safari circuit. It offers wonderful panoramas of wide savannah grasslands dotted with open acacia woodland studded with large Baobab trees. The density of game is second only to the crowded Ngorongoro Crater.
With 2600 square kilometers, this is a most spectacular park during the dry season when several thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire River. A special feature of the park is the Greater Kudu but it is also good for rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and a host of other species. The reserve has nine distinct vegetation areas and generally covers arid acacia/thorn bush country.
This is a year-round park with distinct seasons offering different experiences, from dusty, dry and baking with animals clustered around the rapidly reducing river, to the fecund green season full of new-born animals and chattering birds. The only months to avoid are during the heavy rainfalls of April and May. Tarangire is a dry season refuge for many migratory animals (elephants, wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, eland and buffalo), that spend many months of the year outside the park on traditional grazing corridors linking Tarangire with other protected areas.
What to see and do
Guided walking safaris. Day trips to Maasai and Barabaig villages, as well as to the hundreds of ancient rock paintings in the vicinity of Kolo on the Dodoma Road. More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania. Tarangire's pythons climb trees, as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitch of a tail.