Tarangire National Park is in northern Tanzania, just south of Lake Manyara. This is a protected area of colossal baobabs, grassy plains and huge herds of elephant. The park is one of the most underrated of Tanzania’s attractions, receiving just a fraction of the Serengeti’s visitors, which means more space and exclusivity for those who do make it to Tarangire.
As well as 300-strong herds of elephant, visitors will find big groups of buffalo and healthy populations of lion and leopard. During the dry season, Tarangire has the highest concentration of mammals in the country. There are wild dog and rare antelope such as gerenuk, plus more than 550 species of birds to spot throughout the year.
Tarangire is the ideal park for those who want to explore beyond game drives. Walk through the savannah to study the smallest creatures and learn about tracking animals. Soar through the sky in a hot-air balloon at dawn or head out on a night drive to find nocturnal wildlife.
Tarangire from November to May
Part of Tanzania’s northern circuit, Tarangire is often visited together with the Serengeti or Ngorongoro Crater, usually starting in Arusha. From Arusha, it’s a two-hour drive to the park entrance.
This is the hot, dry season. It can get very warm, with daytime temperatures of around 29°C/84°F. The lack of water means good wildlife-viewing opportunities, as animals head to the rivers and waterholes.
April to June
April to June is the long, rainy season. By the end of it, the landscape is lush, with wildflowers and migratory birds making for great photography.
June to October
During the cool, dry season visitors find a high concentration of mammals in the park, drawn to the river’s permanent water supply. Days are pleasant, but temperatures can dip at night.
November and December
It can get hot and humid during the short rains of November and December, however, it is still be a good time to visit. Rain generally occurs in the late afternoon.
August to October (cooler); January to March (hotter)
Max temperature range
April to early June (long rains); a few weeks in November and December (short rains)