Tarangire National Park, land of elephant

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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If you are lucky you also can find ostriches and they are quite spectacular especially if the are running, fast and very powerful.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

Peter’s African Safari Travel Diary

Today was already our 4th day in a row on travel adventure and safari through the beautiful Tanzania. How fast time runs is hard to tell and as we had so many impressions throughout our travel time was flying even faster. After a delicious breakfast at the Arusha Coffee Lodge we were leaving around 10:00am with our new guide Semle.

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Our first destination was the Maramboi Tented Camp at lake Manyara for site inspection. But the road is the destination, as we could get already gorgeous impressions during our drive through the Masai land.

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Arriving at Maramboi we immediately went out for photographing and filming the beautiful and picturesque surroundings of the camp where one could see zebras, antelopes and wildebeest strolling between the pool and lake Manyara – you have to see this in reality in order to fully understand this beauty.

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After a delicious lunch we went out to the planes ourselves to get even a closer view of all the animals, a paradise for photographers and filmmakers.

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We were walking literally in the mid of all these animals, totally in harmony at least as was our impression – not so sure if all the animals felt exactly the same.

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Needless to say we were all more than satisfied with all the photo opportunities we got presented in such a short time. After a selfi we went back on our vehicle again to head to Tarangire National Park that is just opposite to the Maramboi Camp.

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Wildlife is also stunning here and we were able to see warthogs, the usual suspects as wildebeest and antelopes, but also ostriches. The ostrich is one of the large flightless birds native to Africa and males can reach a heigth of 2.8m and achieve maximum running speeds of up to 70km/h.

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The absolute highlight were elephants, especially two males crossing the horizon that allowed for great photographs and videos.

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Now it was time to drive up to the Ngorongoro highlands as we anted to get to the viewing point for Lake Manyara in time before sunset. Semle worked hard behind his steering wheel to bring the truck to breath taking speeds, but finally we made it in time for a wonderful sunset view over Lake Manyara.

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We could even see the animals grazing down in the juicy green banks of the lake, especially flamingos showing in a beautiful pink even far away.

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Now the sun started to disappear behind the Ngorongora crater rim and we headed to our final destination of today, the beautiful Manor Ngorongoro in the Ngorongoro Highlands. This is a rebuilt coffee planation pretty high up in the mountains and the climate was so totally different from where we came today, cool, humid and simply what you are looking for after such a day.

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Yes this place is really as gorgeous as the pictures show and as a great end of our photography day we had the chance to shoot a stunning rising moon.

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Our dinner was nothing short of being spectacular, for sure this was also because of the colonial style surrounding of this place that made us feel transferred back some 100 years in time – the best that could happen as the end of that day.

Find out more about the safari destination and accommdoations.

Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa