Tarangire National Park
To the South of the large open grass plains of Southern Maasai land, Tarangire National Park covers 2,600 square kilometers of grassland, floodplains, and tall acacia woodlands.
It is beautifully unspoiled, with wide views of distant purpled formations of volcanic mountain ranges. Tarangire also contains regions of densely packed bush. Instead of the green forests that mark Manyara National Park, Tarangire features high grasses and huge, ancient baobab trees.
The land that makes up the park is hilly and dominated by the impressive valley of the Tarangire River, which attracts huge numbers of migrant animals during the dry months, especially between July and September. During these months the concentration of animals around the Tarangire River is almost as diverse and reliable as the Ngorongoro Crater.
What You’ll See
A variety of animals to satisfy even the most avid safari enthusiast
Yet the ecosystem here is balanced by a migration pattern that is followed by most of the animals, except the lion population, who tend to maintain their territory year-round.
The animals mostly disperse during April and May, when there is widespread vegetation, which allows them to venture further out without starving.
In June, the eland and oryxes begin to return, followed by elephants towards the end of the month. Tarangire has quite a reputation for elephant ow-wows, in which different herds congregate in one area near the end of the rainy season. During this time, the male elephants take advantage of the situation to breed with the females. The timing of this mating usually means that the end of the 22-month-long gestation period coincides with the rainy season two years later.
July marks the return of zebra and wildebeest to the park. And by mid-August, all of the animals have returned their original watering area, the Tarangire River.
Early in the year (from January, through February and March) marks the beginning of the calving season. Because of the timing, the calves are born when the grass is the freshest.
No matter the time of the year, there is always a fantastic number of colorful birds swooping and strutting along the rough paths of the safari trail. Common species include the paradise whyder and the yellow-collared lovebirds.
There are a few resident lions within the park, which are easier to find when the migration takes place and hunting is easiest. In other months, they look leaner and are able to slip easily between the blades of grass.
Source: Tanzania Tourist Board