Where to go

Tarangire Safaris

Famous for its elephants, this stunning park is reminiscent of the southern parks...

Itinerary photo - Safari
Itinerary photo - Safari

Tarangire National Park is often overlooked in Tanzania's northern safari circuit. Only and hour or so's drive out from the city of Arusha, this is arguably one of East Africa's last discovered jewels and is well worth including in a visit up here. Often dubbed as the main reason to come here, the vast elephant herds that wander in and out of the park throughout the year are to be seen to be believed. This is not, however, the only reason to come here with both lesser and great Kudu to be seen, plentiful lion, leopard and cheetah, as well as a variety of interesting habitats and accommodations.

Not much is known of the migratory patterns of the thousands of elephants that arrive into the park for the dry season, although many have been traced from Amboseli National Park in Kenya, almost 300kms away. As they all arrive in the dry season it would suggest that they come here for the nourishment and water that the many baobab trees in the park provide as well as the marshlands along the eastern edge.

One of the great features for those that decide to come and visit the park is that it is still relatively un-crowded (which can be an issue in other parks in the north, such as the Ngorongoro Crater), with only a handful of lodges that sit inside the park. What this allows is a sense of space and also of being able to take time with the animals and not feel like you are rushed at all.

In the last couple of years the park has started to become know and, as such, there are now a handful of camps that have placed themselves on the northern border to the park, in the migratory corridor that runs between Tarangire and Manyara National Parks. From these bases, it is possible to both have a private experience as well as accessing the parks for a more intense game experience.

For us the great benefit of being in Tarangire is that a few of the camps have an opportunity to walk inside the park. This allows a much more personal view and experience of safari and is definitely recommended to all of our clients.

When to go to Tarangire National Park:

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    At a glance...Tarangire NP

    • Size 1,770 square miles
    • Location 60 miles west of Arusha
    • Recommended time 2 to 3 nights
    • Time to visit Superb July to November
    • Safari Activities Walking, driving
    • Topography dense scrub and marshland
    • Main species Elephant (up to 500 a herd in season), leopard, lion, gerenuk, kudu, great birding

    Further reading...

    Our top five hotels & lodges in Tarangire National Park:

    1. Tarangire Treetops - Bedroom

      Tarangire Treetops

      Tarangire Treetops is a cool and quirky property and is our pick of where to stay at the top end around Tarangire. It is true that it is not right inside the park and so doesn't feature as good game...but it does offer exceptional service and the chance to sleep in a baobab tree house which, in... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      4
    2. Olivers Camp - Sunset

      Oliver's Tented Camp

      Named after the infamous guide and naturalist, Paul Oliver, Olivers Camp really is a camp to savour. Originally located a little further north, the camp is, today, located well away from the madding crowd and really is a top choice. What this luxury tented camp offers is the chance to really... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      5
      Price:
      3
    3. Chem Chem Lodge

      Chem Chem Safari Lodge

      One of a new breed of property that has opened up in the corridor that runs between Lake Manyara National Park and Tarangire National Park, Chem Chem is definitely aimed at the top end of the market and is definitely worth considering for those that have a little more time on their safari and who... More...

      Our rating:
      5
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      5
    4. Swala Safari Camp - Pool

      Swala Safari Camp

      One of two Sanctuary properties in the northern part of Tanzania, Swala Safari Camp is consistent with their standards across Africa. Vying with Tarangire Treetops for the accolade of “bush-chic” property of Tarangire, its location inside the park probably just gives them the edge. With a central... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      5
    5. Maramboi Camp - main area

      Maramboi Tented Camp

      Another of the new properties that has appeared in the game management corridor in between Tarangire NP and Manyara NP, Maramboi is aimed at the lower end of the market to its two neighbours, Chem Chem and Manyara Ranch. This is, however, a very good option for those that are keen on visiting... More...

      Our rating:
      4
      User rating:
      4
      Price:
      3