Tarangire National Park has some of the highest population density of elephants as compared to anywhere in Tanzania, and its sparse vegetation, strewn with baobab and acacia trees, makes it a beautiful and distinctive location to visit. Located just a few hours’ drive from the town of Arusha, Tarangire is a popular stop for people travelling through the northern safari circuit on their way to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti.
Before the rains, droves of gazelles, wildebeests, zebras, and giraffes migrate to Tarangire National Park’s scrub plains where the last grazing land remains. Breathtaking views of the Maasai Steppe and the mountains in the south make a stopover at Tarangire a memorable experience.
Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry riverbed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It is the place to find dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk. Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thigh ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys, flocks of the dazzlingly colorful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.
Disused termite mounds are often by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duet ting. Tarangire 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.