Tarangire National Park is a beautiful park in Northern Tanzania and is a usually more quiet than other parks because it is located a bit off the main safari routes. This park is easily ten times the size of the nearby Manyara National Park but most travellers do not visit this park that is definitely a mistake, because of its superb game watching possibilities, especially if you love to see elephants.
We reached this wonderful destination somewhere around high noon and it was pretty hot at the park entrance although there was nice shadow from a number of trees around. Our car was one of these typical safari cars you find in Tanzania used for game drives but being optimal also for long distance rides between parks. They are actually built on Toyota Landcruiser truck platforms that are already legendary for their robustness, reliability as well as they are of course all wheel drive equipped – a necessity for driving through the usual game watching areas.
On top of these trucks you find passenger cabins built and mounted by local companies. These cabins have in general two to three rows and the roof can be opened in order to allow for better photographing without any obstacles. Also the windows open pretty wide, so even while seated photographing and filming is easily possible. And most of these cars have two spare wheels mounted at the backdoors, fortunately enough we never had to use them.
Back to Tarangire, this park is often overshadowed by the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater, but in fact Tarangire offers a huge concentration of animals during the peak months that are from July through October. It is also interesting that the whole atmosphere and habitats are very different from other parks.
We already mentioned that Tarangire is a large park, which adds to the quietness of the whole game viewing environment. There are also lodges in the park like Oliver’s Camp and Swala that offer the perfect spot to get away from other visitors and travellers.
There can be up to 3000 elephants found in this park during the peak months, but also warthogs, wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffalos, Thompson gazelles, kudu, eland, cheetah and even leopards.
If you are lucky you also can find ostriches and they are quite spectacular especially if the are running, fast and very powerful.
Baobab trees can be found anywhere in this park as well and they always give a nice background for photo as well as video work.
I told you that this park is one of the more quiet ones, but during peak times even here you can find some more vehicles at one spot watching game. For this purpose the roofs are usually opened which allows for better and easier viewing when standing up in the vehicle, while at the same time providing the necessary shade – a clever invention.
Elephants were the top attraction during our visit, there were many groups of them with usually twenty to thirty animals and amongst them always smaller ones nicely protected by the herd.
These two males hurrying on the horizon were quite impressive, showing how fast they can run if they decide to do so because of whatever reason.
Tarangire National Park proved to be one of these well kept secrets amongst African national parks and definitely you should try to visit during your next trip.
Learn more about safari tours including Tarangire National Park on our African Safari Tours page with a variety of sample tours.
Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa