TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK is a home of thousands of elephants in the dry season, when game congregates along the river, and its symbolised by the baobab trees, growing in open acacia woodland. Tarangire is an ornithologists paradise, rich in birds of prey and an incredible diversity of avifauna.
The Tarangire River has shrivelled to shadow of its wet season self. But it is choked with wildlife. Thirsty nomads have wandered hundreds of parched kilometers knowing that here, there is always water. Heards of upto 300 elephants scratch the parched river bed for underground streams while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, gazelle, hartebeest, eland and oryx crowd the shrinking lagoons. It’s a smorgasbord for predators – the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem.
The rains scatter the seasonal visitors over 20,000 sq.km. range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire’s mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet and dry. The swamps, tinged green year around, are the focus for 550 birds varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. On drier ground you find Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird, the stocking thigh Ostrich, the world’s largest bird; and ground hornbills that bluster like turkeys. Tarangire’s pythons climb trees as do its lions and leopards, lounging in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twist of the tail.
TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK is located 118 kms southwest of Arusha. You can get there by easy drive from Arusha or Lake Manyara; can continue on to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti.