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Giraffe In Tarangire Tanzania
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Tarangire National Park

The sixth-largest national park in Tanzania, Tarangire National Park covers an area of 2,850 square kilometres and is named after the Tarangire river that flows through the park. During the dry season, the river becomes the only source of water for the wildlife in the Tarangire ecosystem. The park’s animals then visit the river daily to quench their thirst.

The park is well-known for several things, highlights include the high concentration of elephants, large baobab trees and excellent birding. Apart from elephants, lions are the next most commonly sighted large animal in the park. Although it may not be as popular as Serengeti National Park or Ngorongoro Crater, Tarangire National Park is one of the most serene safari parks offering wonderful wildlife encounters.

Wildlife In Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park‘s wildlife varies based on the wildlife migration pattern. While some species join the migration, others stay back such as banded mongoose, dik-dik, eland, giraffe, Grant’s gazelle, olive baboon, vervet monkey and waterbuck. The park is also home to African wild dogs, caracal, cheetah, leopard, lion and honey badger.

With 550 diverse bird species, the park is also considered by many as a birding haven. It’s remarkable bird species include African hoopoe, African marsh harrier, black-headed heron, black-necked weaver, lilac-breasted roller, northern white-crowned shrike, open-bill stork, ostrich, pygmy falcon, red-billed hornbill, superb starling, woodland kingfisher, white-faced whistling duck, yellow-billed stork and yellow-necked spurfowl.

Tarangire National Park Premier Attractions

  •  Wildlife Migration

The migration from Tarangire National Park starts in November and December with the beginning of the short rainfall. If there’s heavy rainfall it forces the animals to start their journey earlier while on the other hand, scarce rainfall makes them reluctant to start their journey, so the migration starts at a later time.

In January, February, and March, when the rainfall is consistently heavy, the park may be a great source of water, but the animals have already begun their journey and left the park. It is also the calving time for a majority of antelope and gazelles species as well as zebra and wildebeest.

During April and May, the rains calm down a little with frequent appearance of bright skies. By this time of the year, the calves are properly weaned and herds of wildebeest and zebra have moved north towards the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Natron and Lake Manyara National Park. In pursuit of the herds are the ever-present big cats –  lions and cheetahs.

Over the course of May, the rains stop and June marks the end of the wet season. The migration crosses the Grumeti River then the Mara River and head into Kenya’s Masai Mara. During the next three months, these animals feed and satisfy their thirst until it’s time to move again and return to Tanzania.

  • The Giant Baobab Trees

 Tarangire National Park has giant baobab trees with thick and sturdy trunks and branches that resemble roots. The baobab tree looks like it has been thrust into the ground upside down, which fuels the traditional belief of having an angry deity having done the task themselves.

These trees grow 30m high and 11m thick and live for thousands of years. The oldest known baobab tree is in South Africa and has reached the age of 6,000 years. Tarangire National Park is surrounded by these trees, one of the few places in Tanzania where they grow in such abundance.

  • Large Elephant Population

 Tarangire National Park has a remarkably large elephant population. During the short rains, when the majority of elephants begin their migration, there are still enough numbers left for sightings in the park. Those who remain have rich water sources and thick pastures, which allow them to roam the park as they please.

In the dry months, however, large elephants can be seen, digging into the dry banks of the Tarangire River to uncover the underground water streams. The months from June to October also bring the rest of the elephants back to the park and around the river providing plenty of sighting opportunities.

When To Visit Tarangire National Park

For wildlife viewing, the dry season is an ideal time to visit the Tarangire National Park. The months of June to October is the time period when animals return from their journey and can be seen gathering around the water holes, providing a fantastic opportunity to see them.

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