Tarangire national park
Vast numbers of ever present elephant are joined in the dry season by the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti.
Tarangire is located to the north west of Tanzania's Maasai Steppe and east of the Great Rift Valley. The park is part of an extended ecosystem that includes Mkungunero (south) and Lolkisale (n-east) Game Controlled Areas
Tarangire gets it's name from the river that threads its way through the park. The river provides a permanent source of water for it's wildlife residents. During the dry season, from June to September, when the river bed is at it's driest, elephants dig deep into the earth to discover underground water. The water holes draw animals from the dry Maasai Steppe - wildebeest, zebra, buffalo and gazelle. Following in their path are lion, leopard and other predators.
Flood plains and grasslands cover an area of over 2,600 sq km. The scattered acacia woodlands, ancient baobab and palm trees within the plains, swamps and rivers add to the diversity and beauty of the park.
Tarangire has the highest concentration of ebony trees remaining in Africa - the hardest wood in the world.
Among the 500 plus birds recorded here are the kori bustard, ostrich, hornbill and screeching flocks of colorful yellow-collared lovebirds.
More recent residents of Tarangire are the Pancake Tortoise. Originally a Tanzanian species, they were confiscated from smugglers in the 1980's and brought to Tarangire for behavior and habitat research.
Located 120km south of Arusha town, Tarangire is a popular destination for a day trip as well as part of a longer safari itinerary.
Highlights: Guided walks on the park borders; spotting tree climbing pythons in the sausage trees; the ancient forests of baobab trees; rarer species - eland, kudu roan antelope and fringe eared oryx occasionally visit the park
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page updated 06/06/2012
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