The Tarangire National Park is located between the meadows of Masai Steppe to the southeast and the lakes of the Great Rift Valley to the north and west. Among the rolling area where the park lies, it occupies an area of 2,600 square kilometers. The park earns its name from the perennial Tarangire River, a permanent feature that takes over the northern part of the park. Through the cut ditches, the river flows upwards up to when it leaves the corner of the park, in the North West flowing into Lake Burungi. There are a number of large swamps which are usually dry for most of the year in the south. The Tarangire is usually very dry, in fact, drier than the Serengeti; however, its vegetation is much greener especially with lots of elephant grass, vast areas with mixed acacia woodlands and some of the wonderful ribbons of the aquatic forest.
The Elephant Haven in the Heart of Africa.
Located just a few hours’ drive from the town of Arusha, Tarangire is a popular stop for people traveling through the northern safari circuit on their way to Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. The park extends into two game controlled areas and the wildlife is allowed to move freely throughout. 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 is the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem – a paradise 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.
More ardent bird-lovers might keep an eye open for screeching flocks of the dazzlingly colourful yellow-collared lovebird, and the somewhat drabber rufous-tailed weaver and ashy starling – all endemic to the dry savannah of north-central Tanzania.