Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
Tarangire was the first national park we visited in Tanzania. Our safari adventure has officially begun! Tarangire National Park is named after the river that crosses it and is the only reliable source of water for wildlife during the dry season; yet, this river dries out quite noticeably. The park is famous for its huge elephant population as well as its magnificent baobab trees.
The best time to visit Tarangire is during the dry season (June-October), as you will be able to observe the multitude of animals that swarm around the Tarangire River. We visited Tarangire in December, at the end of the short rainy season. The park was lush and green, with majestic red termite hills at the side of the road. We didn’t expect it to be so beautiful. While on the road, we couldn’t take our eyes (or our cameras) away from the stunning landscapes dotted with enormous baobab trees and elephants everywhere, walking in groups, singles, and families; it’s hard to imagine how many there are during the dry season.
The Official Website of the Tanzania National Parks has general information, booking forms and park entrance fees.
Our typical day on safari started with breakfast at 7:30-8:00 AM and a drive to the park at around 8:00-8:30 AM. We usually took boxed lunches with us, as the whole day was spent on the safari ride. In almost every park in Tanzania, there are special lunch areas and restrooms. We returned to the camp at 5:00-6:00 PM and had dinner at 6:00-7:00 PM.
African elephants are very destructive eaters, consuming up to 450 kilograms of vegetation per day.
Did you know that for the most part, elephants do not die of old age? They die of starvation. Elephants have four molars, each weighing about 5 kg. Over their lifetime, they get new teeth four to six times; when the last set of teeth wears out, they are unable to eat and they die.
Newborn baby elephants weigh over 100 kg.
We saw many giraffes, which are the tallest mammals in the world; even babies are taller than most humans. The funniest thing about giraffes is how they drink water. They awkwardly spread their front legs to reach the ground.
There are also many different types of birds— small colorful kingfishers, griffons, eagles, and ostriches.
Except for the rhino, you can see almost all of the Tanzanian animals in Tarangire National Park.
Good to know:
- There are tsetse flies in Tarangire National Park. No insect repellent is effective against them and the bites from these flies are painful. It’s best to cover up with long sleeves and pants and avoid dark colors, which seem to attract the insects.
Visited December 2009