Itinerary: Day Trip to Tarangire National Park
About the Tarangire National Park
Size: 2850 sq km (1,096 sq miles).
Location: 118 km (75 miles) southwest of Arusha.
It's a two hour drive from Arusha or Moshi to reach the Tarangire National Park. Your Kili Base Adventures guide will collect you in a dedicated 4WD from your hotel and look after you for the whole day. Your trip includes a picnic lunch.
Best time to go
Year round. The dry season is from June until September and the numbers of animals that you will see increase at the time.
What to see
During the dry season, the Tarangire River has shrivelled to a shadow of its wet season self and is choked with wildlife. Wildlife trek hundreds of parched kilometres knowing that here, always, there is water. Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It's the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators – and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.
During the rainy season, the seasonal visitors scatter over a 20,000 sq km (12,500 sq miles) range until they exhaust the green plains and the river calls once more. But Tarangire's mobs of elephant are easily encountered, wet or dry.
The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world. On drier ground you find the Kori bustard, the heaviest flying bird; the stocking-thighed ostrich, the world's largest bird; and small parties of ground hornbills blustering like turkeys. Disused termite mounds are often frequented by colonies of the endearing dwarf mongoose, and pairs of red-and-yellow barbet, which draw attention to themselves by their loud, clockwork-like duetting. We may see Tarangire's pythons in the trees along with lions and leopards who lounge in the branches where the fruit of the sausage tree disguises the twitches of a tail. This is a great park to visit at any time of year and is an easy day-trip from Arusha and Moshi.