The best time to go on safari in Tarangire is towards the end of the dry season (September to November), when animals from the surrounding ecosystem concentrate in large numbers near the Tarangire River, which is the only permanent water source in the area.
Although many visitors are anxious about the rains this can be a great time to visit the park. Dramatic skies and fabulous sunsets are not uncommon. Rain showers are usually heavy, but short, allowing plenty of time to get out and see animals indulging on the flush of verdant grass.
Lion are common throughout Tarangire, as are leopard, while cheetah seem to favour the more open areas of the south. Spotted hyena are always around, and while wild dog do sometimes pass through, sightings of them are rare.
Tarangire is typically combined in an itinerary with Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, forming the 'northern circuit'. These 3 reserves are close enough to each other, allowing visitors to drive all or part of the circuit.
Tarangire is an excellent reserve for elephant viewing and the famous baobab trees. The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit.
Walking is allowed at a number of camps allowing guests to experience something other than game drives. This is especially true if guests have transferred from Arusha the previous day and have just got off an international flight the evening before.
From around June to October, it's dry and the game returns to Tarangire's swamps, and especially, its river system. This is the best season for a game-viewing safari in Tarangire, which can be excellent.
Tarangire National Park is noted as a safari destination for its elephant population and spectacular baobabs of every shape and colour. The parks name is derived from the Tarangire River, the parks only source of permanent water. In the dry season this river is the lifeline, attracting much of the game. Huge herds of elephant, Zebra, buffalo, wildebeest and rhino and lion enjoy this terrain and are frequently seen.
The Tarangire Park is also synonymous with two of the rarer game species; the greater kudu and the Fringe-eared oryx. In addition, leopard and tree-climbing pythons often inhabit the trees. Due to the low volume of traffic in the park, the game is wild, being unaccustomed to vehicles, this offers a truly unique experience
For guests on the Full Game Package, two game viewing drives in open-topped 4WD vehicles are included in the package. Large herds of antelope of all sorts including: eland, lesser kudu, Kongoni, impala, Zebra, gazelles, buffalo, wildebeest, leopard, elephant, rhino and lots of smaller mammals.
The main rainy season, or the 'long rains', lasts during March, April and May. Afternoon downpours are the norm, which are heavier and more predictable beside the coast and on the islands. The humidity is high and daily temperatures reach the low-mid 30s (degrees Celsius).
The long dry season lasts from June to October, during which time the rainfall is unusual. Temperatures vary hugely with altitude and location, but it's usually a fine, clear sky and sunny weather.
During November and December there's another rainy season, which is known as the 'short rains'. These are much lighter than the long rains and less reliable. If it has rained during the short rains, then it normally dries up for a few months in January and February, which is Tanzania's 'short dry season', before starting to rain again in earnest in March.
Oliver's Camp is situated in the remote south-eastern part of the park, in the middle of Tarangire's unspoilt wilderness. A comfortable yet luxurious camp that retains the rustic accommodation feel.
Chem Chem's enviable remote location enables guests to experience a highly personalised safari. The concept of a 'slow safari' was born at Chem Chem Safari Lodge. Key is the ethos of a safari as a tangible, sensual experience beyond the confines of a vehicle, where on foot guests can see, feel, touch and smell the African bush for themselves.
Tarangire River Camp's location offers the splendour of the Great Rift Valley, stunning views over Lake Manyara, Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, and easy access to the Ngorongoro Highlands.
Mawe Ninga is a small and naturally-styled tented camp that is locally owned and Tanzanian managed. The real highlight of Mawe Ninga is its authenticity, closeness with nature, friendly staff and serene atmosphere.
Safaris in Tanzania begin at Arusha, which is situated close to the northern safari locations.
Sun Safaris will fly guests to Kilimanjaro International Airport, which is the primary receiving airport in Tanzania. This airport is only a few kilometres away from Arusha airport, which is the safari node of the country and where most light air transfers take off from.
Once guests have landed at Kilimanjaro, they will connect with a road transfer that will take them to Arusha airport. Depending on timing of guests' itinerary, they might spend a night in Arusha before heading off on a scheduled flight to an airstrip or airport nearer their safari destination.
Tarangire National Park is situated near to Arusha and getting to one's lodge in this reserve will be a quick and easy affair. Guests will take a light air transfer to Tarangire followed by a road transfer to their lodge.