Tarangire National Park

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Tarangire National Park Travel Essentials


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Ideal duration: 1-2 days

Best Time: June - October Read More

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"Elephant Haven and Baobab Forests"

Tarangire National Park Tourism

Tarangire National Park is situated in northeast Tanzania, near Arusha. It spans about 2,850 square kilometres and gets its name from the Tarangire River that flows through it. Renowned for its incredible wildlife diversity, Tarangire is particularly famous for its large elephant population, including the old tuskers - big bull elephants with impressive tusks, as well as its baobab trees. It has an exceptionally high density of animals per square kilometre compared to other national parks in Tanzania.

While not as well-known as some other parks in the region, Tarangire is part of the Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit. Although not as grand as the Great Migration in Serengeti Park, the park s renowned for wildlife migrations, including wildebeests, elephants, gazelles, zebras, hartebeests, and buffaloes that move to the Tarangire River. This annual migration attracts both predators and bird enthusiasts, as Tarangire is also a haven for the Big Five – lion, leopard, elephant, buffalo, and rhinoceros. In addition to these, the park hosts an impressive variety of wildlife and over 500 bird species.

Entry Fees to Tarangire National Park:
Park Entry Fee:
Peak Season:
EAC: Adult – TSH 10,000, Child – TSH 2000
Resident: Adult – $25, Child - $7.5
Non-EAC: Adult - $50, Child - $15
Low Season:
EAC: Adult – TSH 10,000, Child – TSH 2000
Resident: Adult – $22.5, Child - $7.5
Non-EAC: Adult - $45, Child - $15

Special Activities:
Walking Safaris:
Short walks for adults(1 to 2 hours): EAC – TSH 5000, Residents - $20, Non-EAC - $20
Short walks for children: EAC – TSH 2500, Residents: $10, Non-EAC - $10
Long Walks for adults (above 4 hours): EAC – TSH 10000, Residents - $25, Non-EAC - $25
Long Walks for children: EAC – 5000, Residents - $15, Non EAC - $15

Night Game Drive:
EAC: Adult – TSH 10,000, Child – TSH 5,000
Resident: Adult - $50, Child - $25
Non-EAC: Adult – 50, Child - $25
Crew Fee Per Person Per Day (guides, porters, campers, driver guides, and cooks): TSH 3,500
Balloon Operation Fees (per person per trip): $40

Entrance Gates to Tarangire National Park:
Tarangire National Park has three entrance gates:
1. Tarangire Main Gate: This is the primary entrance and is closest to the central and northern regions of the park, which are renowned for their high density of wildlife, especially elephants. The gate is located about 115 kilometres (71 miles) southwest of Arusha city.
2. Lodoare Gate: Situated to the east of the park, Lodoare Gate provides access to the eastern region. It is approximately 75 kilometres (46 miles) southeast of Arusha.
3. Matete Gate: This gate is located to the southwest of the park and gives entry to the southwestern area, characterized by vast baobab-dotted plains. Matete Gate is about 140 kilometres (87 miles) southwest of Arusha.

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Things to do in Tarangire National Park

1. Game Drives Safari

Game drives are the most popular type of safari in Tarangire. They typically last for a few hours and can be organized as half-day or full-day drives. Morning game drives usually start early in the mo (Read More)rning, around 06:00 AM, and last until midday. Afternoon game drives begin around 03:00 PM and continue until sunset. During these drives, you can expect to see a wide variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and various bird species. Game drives typically last around 3 to 5 hours.

2. Night Game Drives

Some lodges and camps in Tarangire offer night game drives, which allow you to explore the park's nocturnal wildlife. These usually start after dinner and last for a few hours. Night drives offer a ch (Read More)ance to spot elusive creatures like leopards, hyenas, and bushbabies, which are not as active during the day. Night game drives last for 2 to 3 hours.

3. Walking Safaris

Guided walking safaris provide a unique and immersive experience in the park. These safaris usually last for a few hours and allow you to explore the park on foot, accompanied by experienced guides. W (Read More)alking safaris offer a closer connection to nature and a chance to learn about the smaller flora and fauna often missed during game drives. Walking safaris last 1 to 3 hours.

4. Balloon Safaris

Balloon safaris in Tarangire National Park offer a thrilling experience for visitors to soar above the wildlife-rich landscape at sunrise. They typically start around 6:00 AM and last for approximatel (Read More)y one to two hours, providing panoramic views of elephants, giraffes, and more. After the flight, visitors can enjoy a bush breakfast in the wilderness for a memorable and unique adventure.

5. Tarangire River

Tarangire River is the lifeblood of Tarangire National Park, drawing a wide variety of wildlife year-round. Accessible through game drives, visitors can spend a few hours exploring the river and its s (Read More)urroundings. Early morning and late afternoon are the best times to spot animals, as they come to the river for drinking and bathing, providing excellent wildlife sightings.

6. Silale Swamp

Silale Swamp, situated in the southern part of the park, serves as a vital water source during the dry season. Accessible by game drives, this vast seasonal swamp attracts animals in large numbers. Th (Read More)e late dry season (August to October) is the ideal time to visit, as animals gather around the swamp for water, offering ample opportunities for wildlife viewing.

7. Tarangire Hill and Kori Rocks

Tarangire Hill and Kori Rocks are picturesque viewpoints that offer stunning panoramas of the park's landscapes. Accessible through game drives, spending a couple of hours here allows visitors to enjo (Read More)y the scenic views and spot wildlife from elevated positions. The golden hours of sunrise and sunset provide fantastic lighting for photography.

8. Gursi and Kitibong Springs

Gursi and Kitibong Springs are natural water sources that attract animals, especially during the dry season. Located in the southern region of the park, visitors can observe animals coming to quench t (Read More)heir thirst during game drives. The dry season (June to October) is the best time to witness this spectacle when water sources become scarce, drawing wildlife to these springs.

9. Baobab Trees

Iconic and ancient baobab trees are scattered throughout Tarangire National Park. Easily spotted during regular game drives, visitors can appreciate the unique landscape and take advantage of photo op (Read More)portunities. While baobabs can be enjoyed at any time during the day, witnessing the sunset with these majestic trees offers a particularly picturesque scene.

Must Know Before You Travel to Tarangire National Park

  • Timings: The entrance gates generally open early in the morning, around 06:00 AM, and close in the evening, around 06:00 PM.
  • Travelling by Flight: When booking flights from Kilimanjaro Airport to Tarangire National Park, consider travelling with at least 2 passengers to meet the booking requirement.
  • Commuting within the Park: To access all roads in the park throughout the year, make sure to use a 4x4 vehicle.
  • Prior Booking: It is recommended to book a safari package through reputable tour operators before your travel to Tarangire National Park.
  • Payment Options: You can conveniently pay Tarangire National Park fees using credit cards, MasterCard, or through a bank transfer in Arusha town. However, carrying a small amount of Tanzanian currency (TZS) is recommended for places where credit card facilities are unavailable.
  • Limited Network: Be prepared for limited or no mobile network coverage in some areas of the park. Some accommodations offer WiFi for guests but keep in mind that network connectivity may be limited during your stay.
  • ATMs:  ATMs are primarily available in major cities like Arusha, so ensure you carry sufficient cash as required for your visit.
  • Best Time for Great Migration: If witnessing the great migration is a priority, plan your visit during the dry season (June to October) for the best chance of witnessing it.
  • Safari Options: Consider exploring the Northern Circuit Safari, or for a more varied experience, you can just combine Tarangire with Lake Manyara National Park, which is 70 kilometres away.
  • Health Precautions: Ensure you have the necessary vaccinations for yellow fever, tetanus, typhoid, polio, and hepatitis before your trip, and take anti-malaria prophylactics as recommended by healthcare professionals. 

More on Tarangire National Park Travel

Wildlife in Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is renowned for its abundant wildlife, highlighted by its thriving population of approximately 3,000 elephants, making it a prime destination for witnessing these majestic creatures. As part of the famous Northern Tanzania Safari Circuit, the park offers opportunities to encounter the renowned "Big Five," which includes elephants, lions, leopards, African buffalo, and occasionally, the elusive black rhinoceros. During the dry season, the park becomes a vital stop for the Great Migration, where thousands of wildebeests, elephants, gazelles, zebras, hartebeests, buffaloes, and other herbivores migrate, attracting numerous predators like lions, leopards, cheetah, caracal, honey badger, and African wild dog. Tarangire's diverse landscapes also provide habitats for giraffes, hippos, waterbuck, giraffe, dik dik, impala, eland, Grant's gazelle, vervet monkey, banded mongoose, olive baboon, and a variety of other wildlife. The park also has over 500 bird species, including lilac-breasted rollers, African fish eagles, and Kori bustards, enthralling birdwatchers with their colourful displays in the park's varied habitats.

Best Time to Visit Tarangire National Park

How to Reach Tarangire National Park

How to Reach Overview

To get to Tarangire National Park, the most preferred way is to fly to Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, which is 25 kilometres away from the park's airstrip. A domestic flight from Kilimanjaro takes around 30 to 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport near Dar es Salaam and then take a domestic flight to either Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport. If you prefer a scenic drive, it takes about 3 to 3.5 hours to reach the park from Arusha by road via the A104 highway. Tarangire is part of the northern safari circuit, and Arusha is a common starting point for safaris to the park.

How to reach Tarangire National Park by flight

The nearest major airport to Tarangire National Park is Kilimanjaro International Airport in Arusha, Tanzania. From Kilimanjaro, you can take a domestic flight to the park's Kuro airstrip, which is approximately 25 kilometres away. The flight duration is around 30 to 40 minutes, and the cost can be approximately $500 for a round-trip per person.

Alternatively, you can fly to Julius Nyerere International Airport near Dar es Salaam and then take a domestic flight to either Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport. The flight from Arusha Airport to Tarangire also takes around 30 to 40 minutes and costs approximately $350 a round-trip per person. However, since the park is just 170 kilometres from Arusha, you can also drive to reach it in 3 hours.

Also, note that Tarangire National Park is a part of the northern safari circuit and most safaris start from Arusha town.

You can book domestic flights through Coastal Aviation and international flights to Dar es Salam and Kilimanjaro through Skyscanner.

How to reach Tarangire National Park by road

Tarangire National Park is accessible by road from major cities in Tanzania, including Arusha, which is about 170 kilometres away. The drive from Arusha to the park entrance takes approximately 3 to 3.5 hours via the A104 highway. You can hire a private car with a driver, or join a group safari tour, which may have varying costs depending on the tour operator and package.

Tarangire National Park Photos

Tarangire National Park
Entrance to Tarangire National Park

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