South of Lake Manyara and 100km from Arusha, Tarangire is a delightful yet overlooked and underrated national park. Covering 2,600 sq km, it has plenty of game and numerous bloated baobab trees creating a distinctive landscape seen nowhere else in the north of Tanzania.
Tarangire is particularly known for its large numbers of elephants and justly so. During the long dry season, the park offers reliable water and grazing bringing elephants from the wider conservation area and creating mega herds many hundreds strong. Combined with the other herbivores that seasonally move into the area, this gives rise to a huge migration of animals dwarfed only by that in the Serengeti.
Buffalo, zebra, wildebeest, greater kudu and eland can be easily seen at Tarangire, where there is also a small population of tree-climbing lion and African wild dog. Leopards are also widespread throughout the park and the very rare fringe-eared oryx can be seen on occasion. African rock python is often found resting in acacia trees close to wetlands near Silale and other reptiles include puff adders, and Speke’s hinged and pancake tortoises. Birdlife is also impressive with secretary birds, martial and crested eagles and the endemic yellow-collared lovebird often sighted.