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Tarangire National Park Safari – Meet The African Big Five

Tarangire National Park is situated in northern Tanzania, and it covers an area of 2850 sq kilometers. The word Tarangire is a Maasai word meaning ‘River of Warthogs.’ The park is the 6th largest in Tanzania after the Serengeti National park.

Some of the most common sightings during game drives in this park include wildebeest, gazelles, zebras, elephants, and predators such as lions and leopards.

When other water sources within and around the park dry up, the Tarangire river becomes the only source of water in the park. 

This draws a large and diverse collection of wildlife to the various watering points along the river, making it possible for you to see a lot of African wildlife at one point. Next, James Gatheru, an African Safari director for, discusses the most popular things to do and see during Tanzania Safaris to this park: 

Game Viewing 

The park covers an area of 2850 square kilometers, and it is a habitat for thousands of animals. The presence of a permanent river and swamps gives travelers chances to see a huge herd of about 300 elephants digging for water along the Tarangire River during the dry season. 

Other animals that can be easily spotted in the park include migratory wildebeest, zebras, rhino, eland, gazelle, hartebeest, buffalo, kudu, and climbing tree lions.  More notable, the park is home to all the African Big 5, the Big cats, and mammals and bird species that can not be seen anywhere else in the world. 

Even better, compared to other popular African safari destinations such as the Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, game drives in this park are more affordable. 

Tarangire National Park Entrance fee is 53.10 US dollars per person and 17 US dollars for children below 18yrs. The car entrance fee depends on the type of vehicle you are using for your road trip but it is also cheaper. 

Most travelers to Tanzania miss out or take a few hours to explore the Tarangire National Park, leaving the most beautiful parts untouched. I would recommend at least two days for a more immersive safari holiday in this park. 

Cultural Visit

The Maasai community surrounds Tarangire Park. Most travelers visit the villages to learn Maasai’s natural way of living and how they co-exist with the wildlife without a fence separating the two. During a cultural visit to a Masai village, you will get to know their origin, dressing style, and way of dancing. 

The native language of the Masai is the Maa language, but they also speak the Swahili language which is also the official language of Tanzania. A few do speak English, but generally, you will need an English to Swahili translator to facilitate the conversation with the Maa community.  

If you are on a self-drive safari, you can use online English converters such as Google Translate. You can also learn basic Swahili words in advance or use bilingual dictionaries.

Masai village is also the best time for you to buy souvenirs 

The visit to the Masai village is also the best time for you to buy souvenirs. 

Bird Watching

Tarangire National Park is home to about 500 bird species. Due to its vegetation, the park supports different types of birds such as hornbills, yellow-colored love birds, parrots, bee-eaters, striped swallows, Kori bustards, and guinea fowl. It is a paradise for bird lovers. 


While in the Tarangire, you will have a chance to visit many beautiful places including the Tarangire River. Here, you will find hundreds of elephants digging the river in search of water during the dry season. Swamps and baobab trees surround the river making it one of the best spots in the park for photography. 

Nature walk 

A walking safari will give you a chance to spot animals at close range in their natural habitat without disturbing them. The nature walk is normally done in the morning or evening with an experienced armed guide who knows the area very well. 

This gives you the chance to see the animals as they move out in the morning in search of food and as they return to their sleeping quarters in the evening.  

What Is the Best Time for a safari in Tarangire National Park?

There is no wrong or right time to visit Tarangire National Park; game viewing is excellent all year. But the best time is during the dry season when thousands of animals concentrate in the park wet areas to stay hydrated. For exciting game viewing, visit the park during the dry season.

Is Going on a Safari Dangerous?

Tarangire National Park is safe to visit any time of the year, but travelers should follow the rules and guidelines set by the guides and the park. Incidents with wild animals are rare on safaris, as long as you don’t disturb the animals in their natural habitats. 

How Many Elephants Are There in Tarangire?

Tarangire National Park has the largest elephant population in Tanzania. There are about 2500 elephants in the park, and the number keeps on increasing with 6% yearly. The elephants move in large herds. 

Tarangire National Park

How Far is Tarangire from Arusha?

Distance from Arusha to Tarangire National Park is 152.7 kilometers.

How Do You Get to Tarangire National Park?

Tarangire Park is accessible via road or air. If you want to spend a day in the Park, there are many flights scheduled at Kilimanjaro International Airport.  

Best Safari Lodges to Stay in Tarangire National Park

  1. Tarangire Wildlife Lodge

This lodge is located at the heart of Tarangire National Park and it was the first lodge to be built in the park. You can reach it by road or by air. The lodge has five bungalows and 35 tents, each having a verandah ideal for game and bird viewing. 

  1. Chem Chem Safari Lodge 

Chem Chem Safari Lodge is among the luxurious lodges located between Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park. The lodge has eight spacious rooms, each with a luxury bath, a reading corner, and free WIFI.

Wrapping Up 

Now you know everything you need to plan an immersive holiday to the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania. Visit and start planning your African safari. Adventure awaits you in the “Black continent.”