TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
It is the vast number of baobabs that first capture the eye as you enter Tarangire National Park. The gently rolling countryside is dotted with these majestic trees, which seem to dwarf the animals that feed beneath them.
Tarangire National Park offers picturesque views of Savannah lands, acacia stands, clusters of baobab trees, large herds of elephant and large tracts of rarely visited gamelands. Tarangire is the epitome of the Tanzanian Safari experience.
In an area of about 2,600 sq. kms, Tarangire National Park contains nine different vegetation zones, each supporting distinct types of wildlife. The park is named after the Tarangire River that runs through the center of the park providing a permanent water source in the area. Gurusi and Silale swamps are the other water sources keeping Tarangire National Park populated. Tarangire's dry season (between July and November) attracts wildlife from much of the Northern Circuit ecosystems. By October, the park is full, the population swells with mini-migrations of wildebeest and zebra that join the vast herds of elephant at the watering holes.
However, there is a permanent and sizeable resident population throughout the year, including all the predators (lion, leopard, cheetah, hyena and wild dog), elephant and some mammals rarely seen in the other parks of the Northern Circuit, such as Kudu and fringe-eared Oryx.
Tarangire is another park known for its tree-climbing lions, and for its very big herds of buffalo. This is one of Africa's little-known gems and should be on the itinerary of all lovers of wilderness and solitude. With a range of environments and good game, Tarangire's birdlife is also varied – and over 500 species have been recorded here, including ashy starlings and large flocks of beautiful yellow-collared lovebirds, both of which are endemic to Tanzania.