Tarangire | Joel HerzogTarangire | Joel Herzog

Tarangire National Park

32 reviews

Safari suitability: 8/10

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While it does have four of the big five, the park’s small size and abundance of tsetse flies bring it down a few points.

Found in: Tanzania
Companies: 1180
Tour packages: 1155
Total area: 2850 km² (1100 mi² )
Year established: 1970
Anti-malarial: Not required

What YAS members think

Quality of wildlife:
Crowdedness:
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Most-visited month:
January
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Highlights

  • Excellent destination for viewing elephants

  • Great photo opportunities here for those looking for scenic landscapes

  • Gorgeous baobab trees

  • The months of July through February are recommended as the best ones to visit

  • Its close proximity to Lake Manyara National Park mean visitors can easily see two parks in only a few days

About Tarangire National Park

Located about 120 km (75 miles) west of the town of Arusha, Tarangire National Park is a great safari destination for those with limited time. Its proximity to Lake Manyara National Park also means visitors can visit two national parks in Tanzania in short period of time. 

Tarangire is the sixth-largest national park in Tanzania, and can easily be covered in two days. It is eponymously named by the river that runs through it, providing valuable water to resident animals during the dry season. While the park does not offer all of the big five, it is especially famous for its large number of elephants. It is estimated that nearly 4000 elephants can be found here, so any safari will surely involve ample sightings of these large mammals.  In addition to elephants and lions, several other large animals can be seen here such as giraffe, leopard, buffalo, hyenas, wildebeest and zebra. In fact, four of the big five are found in Tarangire, with only the rhino being absent. 

The magnificent scenery is also a huge draw to Tarangire. In addition to the stoic, thorny acacias, one can find the mighty baobab tree here.  The tree bears nutritious fruits that are high in Vitamin C and in calcium, and which are very popular with the animals.  Another striking feature of the Tarangire landscape is the termite mound, which is found in abundance here. Some reach great heights and they can be mistaken for small trees from far away. It is also not uncommon to see a cheetah perched atop an abandoned termite mound, as they make for an excellent vantage point for spotting prey. 

When to visit Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park is recommended year-round, with possibly only the heavy rainy season putting a ‘damper’ on things as the foliage is very dense and the watering holes are aplenty. The heavy rain season runs from the end of March through mid-May. Conversely, the peak of the dry season, around September and October, is when game viewing is at its best, as the animals are forced to gather at the remaining water sources. Another benefit to visiting Tarangire during the drier months is you will encounter fewer Tsetse flies. Anyone who has been bitten by one of these annoying, relentless insects will know that they can be very trying on the patience, particularly when one is trying to photograph an animal. The most annoying thing about the Tsetse fly, after its sharp bite, is the fact that it is a diurnal animal—it is active during the daylight hours. Tsetse flies tend to be drawn towards darker colors, such as dark blues and violets, so wearing lighter-colored clothing will help. There will also be fewer mosquitos when visiting during the dry season.

"Check out the elephants at Tarangire National Park!"
Safari guru
TanzaniaTanzania
357 kudus
Photos (35)
Reviews (4)
Visited: Apr. 2013 Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2015

Tarangire NP is about a 3 hour drive from Arusha Tz, the " 'Gateway' to the Serengeti," on a well-paved road. It is a 20 minute flight from Arusha (ARK), or a 45 minute flight from Kilimanjaro (JRO). The park is about the size of Rhode Island. Tarangire is one of my favorite national parks in the Serengeti area because it is generally not crowded with visitors and its size and diversity of wildlife allows for seeing a lot of different kinds of animals at a close distance in a relatively short amount of time. In a half day you can see a lot of great animal life, though a full day would be ideal. Tarangire National Park is known for having the largest elephant population in northern Tanzania. Currently, Tarangire has 3 major elephant populations with each population having around 1,000 elephants. The national park also has zebras, giraffes, wild dogs, hyenas, hippos, wildebeest, impalas, jackals, waterbucks, cheetahs, kudus, Grant gazelles, dik diks, lions, leopards, fringe eared oryx, and eland. It also has many giant baobab trees. During the short rainy season (November-December), it is commonplace to see tree climbing lions. The Tarangire River attracts animal life. In the dry season (June -September), huge numbers of thirsty animals are attracted to and congregate around the banks of the river. Its southern part, Silale swamp, attracts animals that feed and drink during the dry season. In addition to game viewing, you can also visit Maasai and Barabaig villages and have guided walking safaris in the area

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Safari guru
TanzaniaTanzania
Visited: Apr. 2013
Reviewed: Jan. 13, 2015

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"Tarangire: The home of elephants"
United StatesUnited States
0 kudus
Photos (3)
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Visited: Aug. 2019 Reviewed: Mar. 02, 2021 Submitted in:

The Tarangire River provides water for the wildlife species in the national park, especially during the dry seasons. Tarangire National Park contains a very large wildlife concentration, including the largest species of Africa's animals, and hundreds of bird species.

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United StatesUnited States
Visited: Aug. 2019
Reviewed: Mar. 02, 2021

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"Tarangire Park has wonderful landscapes, a lot of wildlife and has unique photographic eye"
Safari tour operator
TanzaniaTanzania
45 kudus
Photos (6)
Reviews (2)
Visited: Jan. 2020 Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2021 Submitted in:

When a tourist enters Tarangire for the first time, will be excited with a wonderful landscape, full of beautiful natural attractions like termite hills, baobab trees, acacia, rivers, and indigenous trees. It is home to many large animal species of class Mammalia, birds, and reptiles. It is a wildlife sanctuary whereby large herds of elephants and buffalo are seen. Also, for bird watchers, it is home to bird photographic safaris consisting of the largest birds on earth such as ostrich, and majestic bird secretary birds. Over 450 species of birds have been observed. This park has many baobab trees and some varieties of acacias, where Tarangire pythons climb trees.

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TanzaniaTanzania
Visited: Jan. 2020
Reviewed: Jan. 30, 2021

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"Tarangire NP, the land of giants"
By: Mirta
Safari guru
ItalyItaly
5 kudus
Photos (18)
Reviews (4)
Visited: Jan. 2020 Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2020

Elephants, baobabs and pythons are the reasons why people go to Tarangire. Every book, every guide, every pamphlet will tell you that. It’s true. Tarangire National Park is the home of these giants. Even if they are of very different kinds, there’s a sort of agreement between them.

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By: Mirta
Safari guru
ItalyItaly
Visited: Jan. 2020
Reviewed: Nov. 25, 2020

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"Eye catching adventure!"
Safari guru
KenyaKenya
66 kudus
Photos (8)
Reviews (7)
Visited: Feb. 2020 Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2020

Tarangire National Park is best known for its many gigantic baobab trees and its large herds of elephants. It is a home to approximately 2,500 individuals and large herds are regularly viewed. Elephants gathering at the Tarangire River to drink water make for a perfect panoramic picture! You can also spot many different animals like leopard, zebra, impala, warthog, eland, buffalo, waterbuck and lion. Also the birders (ornithologists) will have so much to see; more than 500 different bird-species are present. This park hosts the biggest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti. Also it is the only place in Tanzania where the oryx and gerenuk are regularly spotted.

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Safari guru
KenyaKenya
Visited: Feb. 2020
Reviewed: Oct. 14, 2020

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"Tarangire is fantastic for elephants"
Safari enthusiast
AustraliaAustralia
14 kudus
Photos (0)
Reviews (2)
Visited: Jun. 2019 Reviewed: Jul. 09, 2019

Tarangire is noted for baobabs and elephants, and this park didn't disappoint. We stayed at Boundary Hill Lodge and elephants could be seen from the veranda of our room. As we drove through the park they were pretty much everywhere, from the gate of the lodge to seeing them drinking and eating in the swamps. I had previously visited this park but without my two daughters. We went on a night game drive which the girls just loved being out at night and listening to the lion in the distance. Tarangire is a real gem of a park and is a great spot for kids.

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Safari enthusiast
AustraliaAustralia
Visited: Jun. 2019
Reviewed: Jul. 09, 2019

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"Baobab trees and the wonderful animals"
Safari guru
TanzaniaTanzania
52 kudus
Photos (4)
Reviews (3)
Visited: Feb. 2019 Reviewed: May. 23, 2019

The park is distinctive in that there are more baobab trees and elephants per square kilometer than any other park in Tanzania. The trees are beautiful and majestic, their fruits are food to many animals and trunks provide water to elephants. The gouged out bases of trees may be homes to animals like warthogs. The park animals includes All kings of elephants, many birds, Marshall eagle, rollers, bee catchers, and the standard list of suspects - wildebeest, zebra, cape buffalo, lions, cats, lots of birds - you name it! A fun park not to be missed if possible.

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TanzaniaTanzania
Visited: Feb. 2019
Reviewed: May. 23, 2019

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"Beautiful park for huge elephants!"
By: Peniel
Safari tour operator
TanzaniaTanzania
8 kudus
Photos (0)
Reviews (1)
Visited: Jan. 2019 Reviewed: Mar. 07, 2019

I have visited this parks several times, I love it. It has lots of elephants, zebras, wildebeest, lions, impalas, giraffes and many more animals. The lodge we stayed at was fantastic.

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By: Peniel
Safari tour operator
TanzaniaTanzania
Visited: Jan. 2019
Reviewed: Mar. 07, 2019

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"Impossible to describe"
Safari enthusiast
United StatesUnited States
249 kudus
Photos (20)
Reviews (4)
Visited: Sep. 2017 Reviewed: Mar. 02, 2018

The Tarangire National Park was where we spent the first two nights of our amazing adventure. Almost nothing will ever match the moment when we saw our first animal... it was a zebra all alone and we were so excited. Little did we know at that moment how many (hundreds if not thousands) we would see over our 10 days in Tanzania. Shortly after seeing the zebra we saw a giraffe and again the excitement of seeing this majestic animal was beyond description. And... there was never a moment that we did feel this same excitement with every animal sighting. Our stay at the Tarangire Safari Lodge was wonderful. The view of the steppe was breath-taking. To come to the lodge at the end of a long day, a wonderful shower, and then to sit and watch the sunset with this amazing view... well, it is hard to get better than this. The staff went out of their way to make us feel as if we were friends and could never do enough to make our stay special.

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United StatesUnited States
Visited: Sep. 2017
Reviewed: Mar. 02, 2018

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"Don't miss this park!"
Safari guru
TanzaniaTanzania
604 kudus
Photos (38)
Reviews (13)
Visited: Nov. 2016 Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2017

Tarangire is not a huge National Park but large enough to offer 3 of the big 5 routinely (elephant, lion and buffalo). The elephants really are the star of the show. There are many diverse ecosystems within the park offering plains, woodland, swamp etc - so you are sure to see animals congregate in these areas to have access to water and food as needed. You are able to get very close access to viewing the animals and with a very low number of vehicles within the park - this is perhaps one of the park's greatest advantages.

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Visited: Nov. 2016
Reviewed: Mar. 11, 2017

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"The elephants are amazing"
Safari enthusiast
AustraliaAustralia
247 kudus
Photos (20)
Reviews (4)
Visited: Aug. 2016 Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2016

Yes there are plenty of other animals in Tarangire but the display put on by the elephants was incredible - having dirt baths, the matriarch guarding the large group as they crossed the roads, making sure we weren't a problem, watching babies suckle, watching them scratch themselves on the trees, ripping the bark off trees, young males fighting and babies trying to emulate them. It was all so amazing. The pygmy mongoose are also just beautiful as are the striped mongoose (not quite as beautiful as the pygmy ones). Saw the iconic photo of a cheetah standing on a dead tree, outlined in the early morning light with its brother on the ground below. Then saw the mother take off after a wildebeest. There were lots of birds in this park as well.

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Safari enthusiast
AustraliaAustralia
Visited: Aug. 2016
Reviewed: Oct. 12, 2016

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Driving to Tarangire from Arusha

Driving to Tarangire from Arusha takes under three hours and is on, generally, good roads. 

Domestic and charter flights to Tarangire

The majority of scheduled, domestic flights service nearby Lake Manyara. There is a local airstrip at Tarangire, and chartered flights will accommodate those who wish to save time 2.5 hours and fly there. 

The following airlines travel to Tarangire National Park


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As Salaam Air has grown to be a leading air carrier between the Tanzanian Islands. Our experienced team understands that customer satisfaction is important to the creation of a successful flight operation. Thus, we go above and beyond to satisfy our clients. The airline plies eight routes to promote tourism within and outside the country. We have two fuel-efficient aircraft – Cessna 208B Grand Caravan and Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia, which are good for the environment and the safety of our clients.We would like to help you discover more about our Islands here on our website and at every step of your journey Visit website

Also flies to:


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Coastal Aviation is an airline operating out of Dar es Salaam - charter flights. Coastal Aviation flying to some 100 strips located in some of the most isolated pockets of the East African Region. The scheduled Coastal network also connects visitors to Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda with the world-famous Serengeti, links the emerging tourism destinations of Mozambique with the Southern Tanzania parks of Selous and Ruaha, and unites the tropical island paradises of Pemba, Zanzibar, Mafia and Fanjove Private Iaslandwith the National Parks and towns of the mainland. Our state of the art fleet is composed of 20 aircraft and has been expertly-adapted to the African safari environment, without compromise to safety and comfort. Visit website

Also flies to:


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Flightlink is a scheduled airline with Air Operator Certificate (AOC) and Air Service License (ASL) granted by Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority & Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to conduct Private & Scheduled Flight under Public Transport category within the region. All the aircraft in our fleet are chosen for their excellent safety records and their ability to perform in even in the most hostile conditions, so landing be it in the bush or on tarmac is not at all taxing. Visit website

Also flies to:


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Regional air is a recognized leader in the aviation industry in Tanzania, the airline began in 1997 with one pilot and one aircraft. They are affiliated to the long-established Nairobi-based domestic airline, Airkenya. We are based in the northern Tanzanian town of Arusha. Arusha is the starting point of safaris into Northern Tanzania, as the airline also offers charters to these various parks and game reserves. Visit website

Also flies to:


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Safari Plus is Tanzania’s first, Premium Charter operator in Tanzania positioned to offer unique flying experience while giving our customers flexibility and total control over their travel needs around the country and beyond. The Airline was established in 2009. 1 x Beechcraft King Air 350 with 8 Seats configured in executive club seating. 2 x Beechcraft 1900D with 18 Seats. Head office based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Operating base at Julius Nyerere International Airport. Approved by the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority to operate both; Scheduled Air Services and Non-Schedule Air Services (Charter Services). Visit website

Also flies to:


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TANZANAIR was formed in 1969 and pioneered aviation throughout Tanzania. Today it continues to live up to its slogan as the“Complete Aviation Company”. It was founded by Dinos J Samaras who managed the Company until he passed away in April 2010. It is now headed by his son John Samaras who was his deputy since 1983. With 45 years’ experience, TANZANAIR offers tailor-made air travel to suit the needs of its customers. With a modern fleet of twin and single-engine Cessna and Beechcraft turbine aircraft, TANZANAIR’s well-established reputation leads the way in air charter services throughout the region. TANZANAIR operates out of its own purpose-built Passenger Terminal located between Terminal I and II at Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam. The passenger lounge is adjacent to the two hangars. It is housed within a secure wall enclosed compound with ample parking facilities. Visit website

Also flies to:


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ZanAir Limited is a domestic airline based in Zanzibar. Since their inaugural flight in 1992, ZanAir has continued to establish a quality reputation, serving esteemed clientele. ZanAir is an acknowledged expert within Tanzania serving all destinations, including remote unpaved bush locations. Visit website

Also flies to:


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Flown by an international team of pilots, Zantas Air has one of the youngest fleets of Cessna Grand Caravans in Tanzania. These are maintained to the highest safety standards and comply with the ICAO, CESSNA, and TCAA directives. We have an exclusive lounge at Arusha airport. Guests can relax in our comfortable lounge while they wait for their flight. Our operations are designed to suit our client's needs with a customized itinerary based on their schedule. Zantas Air works with its sister company, Mbali Mbali Lodges and Camps, to offer shared charter flights. We fly passengers from Northern Tanzania to Western Tanzania twice a week on Monday and Thursdays. Visit website

Also flies to:

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