Against the dramatic backdrop of dusty red tracks and a fiery sun hanging in the sky are the vast plains of the Tarangire National Park. The lazy river swells and shrinks to match the season but this part of the world is always teeming with a vast array of wildlife. Scorched plains, flooded skies and green tinged swamps allow the varying wildlife to build their homes in the rooftops of the towering trees, on the flat bellied grass or beside the cool waters.
Thick set pythons wrap around the branches, colorful yellow collared love birds call for a mate and lumbering herds of elephants seek for a swamp of cool mud to drown out the oppressive heat. This is Africa’s largest gathering of wildlife outside of the Serengeti and placed against the stunning African landscape it is a must see for safari lovers.
The croaking of Arcadias fills the air and the scent of jeweled fruit permeates from the trees, rub your eyes in amazement as you witness the animals gathering at a local watering hole to quench their thirst. The Tarangire National park is a feast for your senses and a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness Mother Nature’s creations in their natural habitat.
Elephant lovers will relish the opportunity to visit this special piece of Africa, the Tarangire houses no less than 2,500 elephants that trek across the landscape in herds. The best time for elephant spotting is at the end of the rainy season when the breathtaking big mammals gather beside the river and mud holes to soak languorously in the sun. Yet it’s not only elephants on offer, you can also spot other members of the big five including shaggy haired Cape buffalo and lions. Bird watchers will delight in watching the tawny eagle circle overhead and the bright feathers of the superb starling shimmering from the tree tops. Catch a glimpse of the Vervet Monkey clutching its young as it swings from branch to branch and admire the monogamous pairs of dik dik antelopes grazing side by side.
The animals and the vibrant landscape are not the only impressive factor of Tarangires beauty. The fabled Baobab “Tree of Life” is the most iconic tree in the whole of the national park. A thick silver trunk with sprawling branches gives this tree the fame of appearing upside down with its roots stretching to the sky. This tree has become a firm part of African heritage and appears in many myths and fables that populate the local tribes and communities. Also be sure to check out the Sausage tree. This tree grows along the river banks and is named so as its fruit appears to look very much like a sausage. Vibrant rich red flowers explode from the branches in summer and during the long cool nights the trumpet style petals part to release a sweet scent into the moonlight.
Tarangire is a year round great destination. The arid breeze blows across the landscape leaving it warm and dry in its wake. Daylight hours are hot and humid in the rainy season but as the stars come out the temperature drops to a comfortable and cool 10 degrees. Short spurts of rain are common in November and December but from March to May you get to see the floods move in. The long rain seasons are spectacular with flaming sunsets and dramatic dark skies stamped with rainbows. Despite not wanting to get wet this is a fabulous time for visiting the park and seeing the wildlife playing and grazing beside the bulging riverbanks.