TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Tarangire National Park is home to more African Elephants per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world. Being in this park you will be able to appreciate one of the world last enclaves of wildlife. The wildlife works in harmony with one another to create an environment where all animals can coexist. The monkeys eat berries from the tops of the trees and throw their pits down to the waiting springboks. The Baobab tree legend says that the baobab once angered God and as a result it was thrown to the earth and planted upside down. Whether thrown from the heavens or grown from the ground it creates an incredible natural hiding spot for predators, just as the ponds and watering holes form natural pools for the elephants and hippos to cool down in during the hot summer months.
Many of the large animals of Tarangire move outside the park to some of the most productive rangelands in the world and give birth there. The national park’s extensive swamps are important water catchments. These swamps form an important dry season refuge particularly for elephants and buffaloes. These swamps are found in the Eastern and Southern parts of the park and they feed the river that flows North West and then West and then empties into lake Burunge.
Over 550 species have been recorded in the park, of which several are threatened or endemic.The park’s Acacia Savannah habitat is also among one of the richest in the world for breeding birds.The several swamps and water pools in the park offer many spectacular viewing locations and opportunities for bird watching.
The Tarangire River is the only reliable source of water for wildlife of the Maasai Steppe during the dry season. The dry season usually occurs between July to November whereby large animals that dispersed throughout the landscape return to the park as natural water holes outside the park dry up. Wildlife viewing is easiest during this time, with many animals visiting the rivers and swamps at least once a day. You will like to see elephants, warthogs, impalas, giraffes, waterbucks, buffalos, who are not only feeding but scouting their prey. Interestingly enough, baboons and black faced monkeys can be seen opening elephants dung looking for unfinished seeds and berries.
Its close proximity to Arusha allows for the possibility of unforgettable wildlife experiences all year round.
Top attractions in Tarangire
1: Huge Elephant population
One of the key attractions that have made the Tarangire NP to become internationally popular is its largest elephant population which in fact is considered to be the highest in the whole of Tanzania. As the dry season from June to October progresses and terrain becomes even drier, you will see numerous large elephant herds of about 300 individuals per herd digging the dry riverbed of Tarangire River in search for underground streams of water to quench their thirst.
2: Wildlife / Animals in Tarangire
his park offers habitat to plenty of wildlife like zebras, searching for underground streams in the dry river beds and herds of up to about 300 elephants can be found. The shrinking lagoons are gathered around by migratory wildebeest, eland, gazelle, impala, zebras, kudu, rhino, hartebeest buffalo and other smaller mammals. Also regularly spotted are the dry country antelopes like the long necked gerenuk and fringe eared Oryx.
2: Baobab Trees
Another unique feature that can prevalently be seen in Tarangire National Park is the baobab tree also referred to as the Tree of Life. It is ‘gigantic’ in nature and can store within its trunk 300 litres and 1000 litres of water. They have a long life span and can survive up to six hundred (300) years. This tree is a significant source of food to various animals which normally feed on its edible seed. On the other hand, elephants sharpen their huge tusks on the bark of these trees.
3: Tarangire River
The river provides refuge for the largest elephant population in North Tanzania. The park is named after this life-giving river that provides the only permanent water for wildlife. During the dry season, a menagerie of different shapes and sizes of animals are lured to the enticing waters. Long columns of elephant, wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and gazelle file in great numbers to the receding banks of the river. Predators like lions and leopards are drawn like a magnet to this smorgasbord of concentrated prey.