Tarangire National Park isn’t located on the main safari route, and is less crowded than most other national parks in Tanzania.
The park is 10 times larger than Manyara and its game tends to be incredibly concentrated during peak season. The park is also known for its breath-taking baobab trees and stunning natural beauty.
Tarangire National Park offers its visitors a promise of wilderness adventure, away from some of the busier areas of the ‘Northern Circuit’ of Tanzania.
Well-known for its congregating herds of elephant, the park is comprised mainly of arid, open plains filled with more vegetation than the Serengeti, including baobab trees and acacia, with a network of swamps dominating the land to the south.
Highly seasonal, it is a place that provides a dry season retreat for countless game from the southern Masailand, which tends to concentrate around the river systems during the drier months between June and October and leave again from November to May. For this reason, Tarangire is a great park to enjoy if you are planning your safari during the drier months.
Game viewing in Tarangire is an obvious highlight, and it can be spectacular during the dry season with some of the highest number of animals in the country.
Elephants in particular gather here in large numbers, with up to an awe-inspiring 500 along the river banks. Other animals you may witness include herds of buffalo, Thomson’s gazelle, wildebeest, zebra, gerenuk, hartebeest, kudu and Oryx.
The birdlife of the park also offers great variety, with in excess of 500 species being recorded. It is not unusual to see flocks of yellow-collared lovebirds and some of the superlatives of the bird world, including the heaviest flying bird the Kori bustard and the world’s largest bird, the stocking-thighed ostrich.
Where to stay
Those looking to enjoy Tarangire may decide to spend one or two nights at the beginning or end of a circuit of Northern Tanzania’s parks.
Maramboi Tented Camp has a good strategic position between Tarangire and Manyara, which makes it a great base for exploration, whilst the naturally-inspired Oliver’s Camp, luxurious Sanctuary Swala or thrilling tree house accommodation of Tarangire Treetops all place you in the heart of the park itself to fully absorb the atmosphere, and enjoy game drives and walks from close comfort.
Little Oliver’s Camp was first opened in 2013 as a celebration of its sister camp, Oliver’s Camp, 20th anniversary. The style and attention to detail replicates that of Oliver’s except it is more private with just five luxurious tents available- perfect for larger groups or families to stay exclusively. There are renowned guides always on hand to teach you about your beautiful surroundings.
All of the stilted tents are en-suite and majestically situated within the private plain of the Minyonyo Pools on the banks of the Tarangire River. Each of the tents are traditionally furnished including large wooden framed beds and Maasai bead lampshades.
The bathrooms are separated by the linen wardrobe and are complete with both indoor and outdoor showers- it is an incredible experience to return after an exciting days exploring to a relaxing shower beneath the stars with the sounds of wildlife surrounding you. Each tent also has a private veranda which is a welcome spot for a sun downer before dinner.
There is also a communal mess tent which also doubles as a dining area- as it is open on one side do not be surprised if you have an uninvited guest for breakfast! There are a number of comfortable chairs and tables filled with wildlife books and magazines which is ideal for relaxing post morning game drive and brunch.
There is minimal internet and phone access, and it is requested that you do not use your mobile phones in the communal areas. A hand washing laundry service is available at Little Oliver’s.
Kuro Tarangire follows in the previous camps footsteps as being luxurious as well as eco-friendly with a huge emphasis upon the footprint that it leaves on the environment.
The camp is comprised of six large, luxurious tents each complete with en-suite facilities including bucket showers and eco-toilets. There is also a veranda next to the tents where you can enjoy a fresh breakfast whilst watching the game meander past.
There are two communal tents in the centre of the camp one of which is the dining area which can be partly open so you will never miss a sighting! The other is a lounge area which is the perfect place to relax after a thrilling safari where you can exchange stories with the other guests.
All meals are included at Kuro Tarangire and the menu consists of a range of locally sourced fresh fruits, vegetables and meats.
Meal times are flexible depending on the game drives and walking safaris that you may embark upon. Dinner times are usually carried out in the communal dining tent or weather permitting can take place under the stars.
Oliver’s Camp is situated in the exclusive southern part of Tarangire National Park. The camp is ideally located to encounter large concentrations of elephants, the big cats and other animals around the stunning Silale swamps and in the trademark baobab country of Tarangire National Park.
The camp design and atmosphere provide a classical bush experience: solid wooden furniture, comfortable chairs and a library with books on the surrounding nature & wildlife.
The tents have excellent bathroom facilities, with flush toilets, running water and bush showers looking out over the Minyonyo floodplains. After a day of safari activities, guests can reflect and relax on their private veranda or in the lounge/library tent.
Dinners are served in the dining tent or under the Tarangire sky beside the camp fire. The camp crew has been a close team for many years and this clearly shows in the deep knowledge of the park and the quality of food and personal service.
Sanctuary Swala, named after the impala that wonder freely through the camp, offers an unashamedly luxurious and exclusive safari experience in a very private section of Tarangire National Park overlooking a marshland.
The beautiful surrounding landscape, characterised by winding rivers, open savannah and ancient woodlands, is well known for its large herds of bull elephants and is great for lion watching.
This remote picturesque hideaway, nestled in the shade of acacia tortillas, was recently completely rebuilt to the highest eco-friendly standards possible.
Spacious luxury tents (or ‘pavilions’) set up on wooden platforms with fantastic canvas windows stretching from the ceiling down to the floor.
Tents have either twins or a king bed, depending on the occupants, however they are all swathed in mosquito netting and extremely comfortable.
Each room has a separate dressing area, private veranda and large lounge areas that feature campaign furnishings and comfy sofas.
Bathrooms are en-suite and include both an indoor and outdoor shower with hot and cold running water. To top it off each tent comes equipped with a private butler, there to take care of your every whim!
The main area is built on stilts around an ancient acacia tree and features contemporary African design under a traditionally thatched roof, all fixtures and fittings are locally sourced.
The extensive deck is perfect for sun downers, while the infinity pool looks down over a water hole, popular with elephants, lions and impala, alongside the occasional visiting leopard.
Set in the magnificent baobab and manila trees, Tarangire Treetop’s magical and adventurous atmosphere exudes a timeless presence and childlike excitement.
Brimming with wildlife all year round, the area is home to some of the largest herds of elephant in Africa and is rich in birds of prey.
The lodge’s 20 suites are all built into the trees, each measuring 65 metres square and creatively and lavishly furnished blending natural materials with a contemporary African style.
They can be opened at all sides or closed off, and each has their own balcony, lounge area and en-suite bathroom with an entirely private, outdoor shower. The views from the rooms are spectacular, overlooking the Tarangire Sand River in complete isolation and comfort.
The dining area, overlooking the pool and a watering hole frequented daily by game, serves fine, creative meals, using local produce as much as possible. There is also the option of Bush Meals and the traditional sun downer at the end of a long day in the wild.