Tarangire National Park
The fierce sun sucks the moisture from the landscape, baking the earth a dusty red, the withered grass as brittle as straw.
It is located on the North eastern part of Tanzania and itâ€™s somehow closer to the Ngorongoro Crater. Itâ€™s also closer to Lake Manyara which is also part of the ecosystem for the Tarangire National Park.
One of the most noticeable things on entering the park are the baobab trees that rise up form the grass. With their massive trunks, they are instantly recognizable. There are animals that usually move northwards of the park during the wet season including the wildebeests, zebras, Thompsonâ€™s gazelles, buffalos, elands and hartebeests. The elephant population in this park was estimated to be around 6â€™000 in 1987, but numbers are believed to have fallen since then due to poaching.
The number of birds recorded in Tarangire National Park has been estimated at approximately 300. These include migrants that fly south to spend October â€“ April away from the winter of the northern hemisphere. Here, you may spot various species of herons, storks and ducks, vultures, buzzards, sparrowhawks, eagles, kites and falcons, as well as ostriches. Other areas of interest within the park include the Lake Burungi circuit, the Lemiyon area, the Kitibong Hill circuit and the Gursi & Lamarkau circuit.
Also within the park is Babati (a small town approximately 170 km southwest of Arusha on the road to Dodoma) and Mt. Hanang (ninth highest peak in Africa â€“ 3â€™417 m).
How to get there:
Tarangire National Park is reached on the main Arusha â€“ Dodoma road. From Arusha, the road leaves the bustling town and enters the heavily cultivated countryside. Youâ€™ll pass maize, coffee and banana plantations. A few acacia trees start to appear and youâ€™ll probably see groups of Masai grazing their herds along the road.
About 85 km from Arusha, at Makuyuni, the main road up to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro branches off to the right. Continue along the Great North Road towards Tarangire, which is signposted -it is about 120 km from Arusha. The gate opens at 0630, although an earlier entrance is possible if you have paid the fee in advance.