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Tarangire National Park (North)

Tanzania

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Northern Tarangire is a popular stop on any classic Northern Tanzania safari circuit and with good reason

Northern Tarangire is a popular stop on any classic Northern Tanzania safari circuit and with good reason. Scenically very pretty, with its wide valleys and ridge lines dominated by Baobabs it also holds great game for much of the year. The compromise with the northern section of the park is encountering lots of other people and vehicles in high season. The main entrance gate (which can get pretty frantic at certain times of the day) is on the northern boundary as are many of the bigger lodges. There isn't a huge track network so even if you wanted to avoid others it's sometimes tough to do so. The plus is that game viewing can be excellent and is generally pretty consistent.

The dry season months (particularly July to October) are best for sheer volume of animals, with plains game (herds of zebra & wildebeest in particular) from across the Maasai steppe being drawn to the permanent waters of the Tarangire River which forms the spine of this park. However, even outside these months Tarangire is choc a block with elephant which, on their own, are a strong reason for visiting.

In the past the elephant would tend to migrate away from Tarangire during the green months, but nowadays, with many of their traditional routes becoming blocked by new cultivation and people in general, increasing numbers opt to remain year round within the park itself. This is great for game viewing in the short term but potentially lethal for the park whose vegetation struggles to cope with such a buffet queue - hence long term potentially a major problem for the elephant themselves.

If you want a richer, perhaps longer visit to Tarangire we would recommend the southern areas of the park where things are quieter and there are chances for walking safaris. But if it's a fast game fix you're after and you can turn a blind eye to the people and vehicles, then the camps in the North should tick most of the boxes, certainly for game.

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Vanessa Janion

Vanessa's 16 years in travel has seen her knowledge develop from sub-Saharan Africa into North Africa, Central and Southern America and the Galapagos. Consequently, she’s a veritable encyclopaedia of travel information and exceptionally cool, calm and collected in the face of the greatest planning demands.

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