Lying in Northern Tanzania and south of Lake Manyara is the Tarangire National Park. It is one of the lesser-known game reserves in Tanzania but offers an equally fascinating safari experience as the Serengeti. Tarangire has a great diversity of wildlife, sprawling colossal baobabs, and luscious grassy plains. Although it receives just a fraction of visitors, Tarangire National Park offers exclusive and intimate game drives away from the bustling tourist crowds.
Tarangire National Park is a fantastic destination for wildlife enthusiasts, as it houses diverse species of plants, animals, and birds. In this park, people commonly spot herds of Elephants, as they constitute the largest population. While Leopards reside in densely wooded areas, visitors often see sneaky Lions and grazing Buffaloes inside the park. Other residents of Tarangire include Giraffes, Cheetahs, Waterbucks, Impala, Elands, Olive Baboons, Vervet Monkeys, and many more. In certain regions of the park, visitors can stumble upon endangered wild dogs as well.
Birding is one of the most sought-after activities in Tarangire, with over 500 bird species making the park their home. Some of the well-known bird species found in the national park are the Ashy Starling, African Hoopoe, Long-tailed Fiscal, Red-bellied Parrot, Tawny Eagle, and more. When it comes to plant life, Tarangire thrives in Africa’s baobab and acacia trees.
Tarangire National Park is ideal for those looking to participate in exhilarating activities in Africa. Visitors can enjoy game drives and walking safaris, learn about tracking animals, soar above the park on a hot air balloon ride, and head out for night drives to look for nocturnal creatures.
The best time to visit Tarangire
Late June to October are the months that mark the dry season and are the best times to visit the park. During this season, the wildlife remains active since Tarangire serves as the main source of water. Various animals head to rivers and other waterholes, offering excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. The wet season, from November to May, witnesses animals migrating or moving out of the park, which makes wildlife spotting less rewarding.
Where to stay at Tarangire National Park
A trip to Tarangire National Park involves staying at the best camps and lodges to properly enjoy the African safari adventures. Here are the top five lodges and camps to consider while visiting Tarangire National Park:
Sanctuary Swala Camp
Occupying a remote corner in Tarangire, Sanctuary Swala Camp is a luxurious safari retreat. It is situated under the shade of gigantic acacia trees and overlooks the rolling savannahs. As there are no other camps nearby, Swala promises to offer an intimate safari hideaway packed with private game viewing and the wilderness of Africa. The main highlight of this retreat is the herds of elephants that are always present near the lodge.
Sanctuary Swala Camp has twelve spacious canvas tents, decked elegantly and furnished with local materials. The tents have indoor as well as outdoor bush view showers and private decks that overlook the neighbouring waterhole. The main guest areas, including the library, are perched on stilts around an ancient baobab tree and feature open views. The camp’s swimming pool provides a refreshing break from the heat, all the while offering a spectacular view of the surroundings.
Guests can look forward to various activities offered by the camp, namely canoe safaris, day and night game drives, hot air balloon rides, walking safaris, and bush picnics.
Tarangire Treetops is located in a private game reserve that borders Tarangire National Park and the Maasai Steppe. It is set over the east side of the park, offering majestic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara, and the Rift Valley wall.
The Tarangire Treetops comprise treehouses that are elevated above the ground, affording views of the adjacent baobab trees. Each unit is distinctively decorated, blends with the natural surroundings, and has modern facilities. The expansive private balconies offer breathtaking views of the Tarangire plains. The guest area is constructed around a thousand-year-old baobab tree and includes a restaurant, a bar, a swimming pool, and a boutique store.
Along with the typical game drives, other unique activities organized by Tarangire Treetops are cultural excursions or Maasai village tours, traditional Maasai Boma dinners, bush walks, sundowner cocktails, and much more.
Located in the secluded reaches of Southern Tarangire National Park, Oliver’s camp is a luxurious tented accommodation. It is closely placed near Silale swamps, which have an abundant wildlife population.
Oliver’s Camp has ten en-suite safari tents, all elegantly equipped with modern amenities, amidst the wild Tarangire. The tents are built using local materials and feature en-suite bathrooms as well as spacious outdoor showers. Guests can enjoy magnificent views of the Minyonyo floodplain from the tent’s private verandas. Oliver’s Camp is exclusive and intimate and provides excellent comfort in Tarangire National Park.
Activities available at Oliver’s Camp are walking safaris, wilderness fly camping, animal tracking, hot air balloon rides, and night drives.
Tarangire Simba Lodge
The new Sangaiwe Gate of Tarangire National Park situates Tarangire Simba Lodge. The lodge strategically places itself in a wildlife-rich area, providing unparalleled views of Lake Burunge, which further borders a Wildlife Management Area and the park.
The lodge has sixteen classic canvas safari-style tents set under thatch. Each tent is vast, constructed on platforms with wooden floors, and has en suite bathrooms as well as private verandas. Completing the genuine safari experience are the tent’s furnishings, which are handcrafted from African hardwood. One can savour the sights of the bush and Lake Burunge easily from Oliver Camp’s private verandas.
The common area of Tarangire Simba Lodge consists of a tented space with a bar or lounge and a dining room. Furthermore, they have constructed a separate platform for convenient wildlife viewing and dining. To relax after an adventurous game drive, guests can cool off at the camp’s swimming pool, which is accompanied by a massive sun deck.
The activities offered by Tarangire Simba Lodge are game drives, birding, and wildlife watching from the lodge’s common grounds.
Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge
Located off of the park’s southwest gate, Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge is surrounded by shrublands and acacia woodlands. The lodge is nestled close to the Tarangire River and lies just 5 kilometres away from Tarangire National Park’s main entrance. Lake Manyara and the popular Ngorongoro Crater are also within driving distance from Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge.
The lodge boasts twenty-one en-suite tents, each spectacularly decked with a unique theme, furnished with handcrafted furniture, and featuring animal-shaped bathtubs. The tents sit upon elevated platforms under thatched roofs, and guests can easily soak in Tarangire’s wilderness from their private balconies. Roika has a large swimming pool, a game room, a bar, a Maasai Boma, and a souvenir shop. Situated within a short distance is a campsite offered by Roika that has excellent facilities.
Roika Tarangire Tented Lodge has numerous activities for guests to enjoy, such as sundowners, nature walks, bush meals, night game drives, barbecues, Maasai dance, sport fishing, and other adventures at Tarangire’s river bed.
Be sure to include the above-listed lodges and camps during your next trip to Tarangire, as they are nothing short of comfortable.
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