Tarangire National Park is part of Tanzania’s northern safari circuit that also includes Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. Tanzania’s sixth largest park, Tarangire has excellent wildlife densities and great accommodation options.
Tarangire National Park boasts some of the highest animal densities and most stunning landscapes in Tanzania. Its proximity to Arusha makes it easily accessible, and it’s often combined with the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, completing Tanzania’s northern safari circuit. Tarangire is the sixth biggest park in Tanzania at 2,850 km². It takes its name – as well as its game wealth – from the Tarangire River which flows through the park, attracting elephants and many other animals
The middle and the end of the dry season that runs from late June to October is the best time to view wild life in Tarangire National Park. Most of the animals move out of the park during the wet season and viewing animals is at that time less rewarding. In June to October (the dry season), the animals gather around the Tarangire River and this is the best time to go to Tarangire National Park. There is little rainfall during this time of the year hence making it the time with the best weather for game viewing. June to October still marks the high / peak tourist season with so many tourists filling the park. on the other hand, the low tourist season comes in March, April and May when the park is experiencing the wet season characterized y heavy rains, hence the worst weather
In Summary, Tarangire National Park experiences two main seasons which are: the wet and dry seasons as highlighted below
At this time of the year, most of the Tarangire ecosystem is very dry and there is hardly any water so from the surrounding areas, a large number of animals migrate into the park to quench their thirst at the few remaining water sources around the Taragire River. The vegetation thins out and the animals gather around water points like rivers and water holes thus making wildlife easier to view. The weather is very beautiful and sunny during these months. It is however, important to note that, there are a great number of animals at the beginning or end of the dry season and this differs greatly. If it happens and the wet season stops late, it is possible that most of the animals have not moved to the park by June. And if it happens that the short rains come early, then it could be that the animals start to leave by October.
It is very essential to have warm clothes when going on early morning game drives starting from the month of June to August since it is very cold in the early mornings. the days are generally calm with clear skies with average day time temperatures being 26°C (79°F) while the night temperatures normally drop cooling the day’s heat to an average of 14°C (57°F).
The animals gather around the Tarangire River in large crowds offering easier opportunities for game viewing. Furthermore, since the vegetation is generally dry and thin due to lack of rain, tourists will be able to easily spot the different wildlife.
In addition, the malaria causing female anopheles mosquitoes are less hence the risk of contracting malaria is also much lower. But nonetheless you are advised to always sleep under a mosquito net especially if you are going camping.
This is the peak tourist season and similar to all tourist destinations in the country, a Tarangire National Park Safari is considered to be generally more costly with higher demand on the accommodation facilities.
This season goes on from the month of November till May each year with the average day temperatures are 28°C (82°F) while at night the average temperatures are 16°C (61°F). During this time, the vegetation is stunning and adequate. The rates and prices may be much lower since this is the low season. The wet season is also prime time for bird watching since the migratory birds are present then.
March to May mark the wettest months in Tarangire and it is considerably less rewarding to view the wildlife as compared to during the dry season since most animals move out of the park.
The wet season consist of long rains that begin in March to May and then the short rains that come in November and December. The rains normally fall in the afternoons and it hardly lasts the entire day.
The temperatures do not change much over the year and it does not usually get too hot although the evenings and mornings tend to get too cold.
The Tarangire weather is temperate and enjoyable. Showers usually come about in the afternoon. After the short rains, a dry spell will occur however, its beginning is very unpredictable year after year.
Tarangire National Park is famous for the thousands of elephants that come down to the park during the dry season in search of water, but there are also plenty of wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffalo and hippos.
Lions are often sighted, and you might see leopards and cheetahs patrolling the grasslands, or perched in a tree. Wild dogs have been spotted before, but you have to get lucky to find them.
The park is also a great birding destination, with over 500 species living in Tarangire.
Tarangire has some of the highest elephant populations in the country. During peak migration from July to October, around 5,000 of these gentle giants will migrate to Tarangire – you can sometimes see groups of 300 elephants at once.
It’s not just elephants that migrate across these plains. You’ll also find plenty of other mammals including lions, zebras and antelopes.
The vast grasslands and Baobab trees create a rugged, ‘Out of Africa’ feel that’s quite distinct amongst Tanzania’s national parks.
It is only a short drive from Arusha on tarmac roads, making for a relatively easy-going journey, and perfect for a short safari of one or two days after a Kili hike or other safaris across Tanzania.