Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park

Short Overview
A short drive from Arusha, the Tarangire National Park offers a fantastic game driving experience all year round. Home to Tanzania's largest population of elephants, Tarangire is the best place to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat – from the adorable calves all the way up to the intimidating bulls. It is also an ideal place to snap photos of the boabab tree (the Tree of Life), as it grows in great numbers throughout the park.

June to August - River Crossing


Details of Tarangire National Park

Tarangire National Park

When planning your Tanzanian safari, the likes of Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area immediately leap to the front of your mind.

As Tanzania's most beloved national parks, these two are justifiably the centerpieces to every one of our Tanzania safari itineraries.

In all of the excitement to pursue the Wildebeest Migration on the Serengeti or spot rhinos in Ngorongoro, some of Tanzania's most underappreciated gems occasionally get lost in the shuffle.

Tarangire National Park is one of those hidden gems that you'll kick yourself for missing.


#5 - Ideal Location

From a planning stand point, Tarangire National Park is one that just makes sense.

Tarangire is ideally located halfway between Arusha and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This means it is often used as a way to break up the otherwise long drive between the Serengeti and the city.

For those planning a longer safari, Tarangire National Park is also located close to Lake Eyasi (home to the famous Hadzabe bushmen) and Lake Manyara National Park.

The nearby market town of Mto Wa Mbu is also a great place to grab some last minute souvenirs to take home with you too!


#4 - Fantastic Lodges

Tarangire's location gives visitors access to three distinct kinds of accommodation. You can opt to spend your night in the park, on the outskirts of the park, or you can continue on to Arusha or Karatu after your game drive.

Regardless of your budget, there is a variety of Tarangire National Park lodges and tented camps you can choose from. While we've written at length about these in our Where to Stay in Tarangire post, we've highlighted three of our favourites below.

Budget - Sangaiwe Tented Camp

Located just outside of Tarangire's Sangaiwe Gate, Sangaiwe Tented Camp affords guests stunning views of Lake Burunge and easy access to the park.

Boasting sixteen comfortable tents built on elevated platforms, each tent contains ensuite bathroom, a large bed, a writing desk, and a private deck. With no fences between the lodge and the park, it's not uncommon to see wildlife on the property after dark.

There isn't a place in Sangaiwe where you can't get a great view of the park, with their dining boma and swimming pool also offering beautiful views.

Medium - Sopa Tarangire

A part of the popular Sopa hotel chain, Sopa Tarangire is one of the few lodges located inside Tarangire National Park.

Designed to blend in with Tarangire's uniquely arid landscape and towering baobab trees, Sopa Tarangire affords its guests a front row seat to see the large herds of elephants that move through the park.

A larger lodge with 75 rooms, Sopa Tarangire features the brand's signature large pool, buffet dining, and attention to detail.

Luxury - Nimali Tarangire

For those wanting a more luxurious Tarangire experience, it's hard to go past the stunning Nimali Tarangire Lodge. Located in a private concession on the outskirts of the park, Nimali offers all of the benefits of staying inside the park without the tourist crowds.

A boutique experience, Nimali has just six tented suites. Each suite boasts rainfall showers, a cozy reading corner, ample charging points, and a private deck overlooking the riverbed.


#3 - A Unique Landscape of Baobab Trees

Upon entering Tarangire National Park, guests often remark on how unlike any other place in Tanzania it is.

A semi-arid park that offers its best game drives during dry season, Tarangire's rocky kopjes and dusty riverbeds are surrounded by distinctive baobab trees. One of Africa's most iconic trees, the 'tree of life' is a signature of Tarangire. They make for a stunning backdrop for your photos.


#2 - Stunning Game Drives in Dry Season

Tarangire is the very definition of a seasonal park. During the dry season, when the only source of water is the ever-shrinking Tarangire River, Tarangire National Park offers fantastic game viewing.

Home to four of the Big Five (rhinos being the notable absence), it's not uncommon to spot giraffes, zebras, lions, buffalo, baboons, antelope, monkeys, and the park's resident elephants on any given day.

The low water supply means the wildlife tends to congregate on the banks of the river, so it's easy to spot all manner of animals from the car or even from the picnic site.

Just watch out for thieving olive monkeys!


#1 - Tanzania's Largest Elephant Population

Tarangire's real claim to fame is being home to Tanzania's largest elephant population.

While it's possible to spot elephants in many of Tanzania's national parks, no place on the Northern or Southern Circuit offers the sheer number of elephants.

If seeing a big 'tusker' flare its ears in warning or watching a mamma elephant and her baby roll around in a mud bath are on your bucket list, Tarangire is the best place for you.




 Tarangire National Park is home to Tanzania's largest elephant population, who are drawn to the seasonal waters of the Tarangire River from which the park gets its name.

In addition to these large elephant herds, the park's distinctive landscape is dotted with beautiful baobab trees and has one of the greatest concentrations of game in Tanzania.

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