Tarangire National Park Flora and Fauna
Smaller, less known and less visited than the protected area of Ngorongoro or the Serengeti Park. Tarangire Park has kept all its authenticity and beauty. Tarangire national park covers 2,850 km2 and is located at an altitude of 1,100 m. Until its foundation in 1970, the nomadic Maasai pastoralism lived there. It was their land, their Garden of Eden, for generations. Then the park was created, and they were moved by the government to stop interfered wildlife.
The park offers vast landscapes of rolling plains and Baobabs are particularly numerous there. Large seasonal swamps cover the southern part. A river, the Tarangire, which gave its name to the park, crosses these vast expanses, serving as a watering hole in the dry season (from July to November) for thousands of thirsty animals: zebras, buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, elands, Coke hartebeests, impalas, warthogs, dik-diks. There are also some large predators (lions, panthers and cheetahs), but they are much less numerous and can be seen by lucky if you have a well experience guide.
The cycle of wildlife in Tarangire National Park
The best time to visit the park is from August to October. During these drought months, the park serves as a seasonal retreat for swarms of animals. They move freely, according to the seasons, in a vast ecosystem which extends far north to Lake Natron and the steppes of Kenya.
This great cycle of wildlife begins as soon as the rainy season arrives in March. The animals then begin their migration north. Tsetse flies are frequent presence in this area. In April and May, it still rains and the vegetation is very green and then the wildlife arrives (June) and the sound courses and crowds of animals drink along the Tarangire river. When the rains stop you will be able to witness many wildlife from June and July, other animals from the north are return starting from August until October include elands, oryx and zebras. The annual migratory cycle also includes the nearby Serengeti Park where it takes on an exceptional scale among wildebeest. According to conservation specialists, the Tarangire national park host the large number of elephant per square compare to any other places in the country.
How to get to Tarangire National Park
The park is located approximately 120 km southwest of Arusha by road. From Arusha, take the direction of Dodoma. In Makuyuni, the main road branches off to the right to join the Serengeti and Ngorongoro parks. On the left, the road continues towards Dodoma and Tarangire National Park where there is signboard showing location from the road.
Flora and fauna in Tarangire National Park
The Elephants: They can be found in most of the places inside the park especially around the Tarangire river where they like drinking water. Tarangire park is believed to have a large number of elephants population in the region. Around 300 elephants can be found in the park and around the water streams.
The Baobab: A big trunk thick and a tuft of twisted branches planted loose on top. Humans use the baobab very little, although its young leaves are soft. Some locals hid their secrets in these trees, hence the respect and fear of this tree still inspires in Africa.
The baobabs that you see in Tarangire national park are often damaged by elephants. When they are hungry, they scratch the trunk with their tusks to eat pieces of bark. Besides the majestic baobabs, you can also see acacias trees. These trees are an ideal landmark for impalas, giraffes, cobes and hartebeest.
You will witness klipspringer and hyraxes evolve near the rock piles located in the center of the park. Lesser kudu and crescent cob seek out acacia commiphora, while Grant's gazelles frolic around acacia drepanolobium.
The Termites: Numerous termite mounds, isolated or leaning against the trunk of baobabs, punctuate the landscape of Tarangire Park. One can hardly imagine how these strange mounds of earth, sculptures of surrealist cinema, can be built by such small beasts as termites.
The secret of termites are sense of organization. They live in the dark, in colonies, and sometimes in millions under a single termite mound. Their society divided into castes and is based on the authority of a queen whose enormous abdomen can reach 20 cm long. Privileged, she is content to reign, living in the heart of a labyrinth of narrow galleries, in a special room.
She does not work, and spends most of her time laying eggs. Nearly 10,000 eggs a day! Termites ignore the anxieties of the demographic recession. The only male allowed to have sex with the queen is none other than the king. Around this unique queen, stand the termites-soldiers who ensure the safety of the place. They guard the entrances to the termite mound. Their food is provided by worker termites who spend most of the time to build these palace-fortresses from which they never leave. Except in the rainy season, when you can see them outside the termite mounds, looking for sites to establish new colonies.
The Pythons: Increasingly rare, Know first that they like wet and rocky areas. Here is a rare creature 3 to 4 m in length on average in an adult, a curious V drawn on the top of his head, and jaws capable of opening to 30 degrees in humans. The pythons leave the marshes as soon as the water level drops, and take refuge on the branches of the acacias, around which they wrap themselves.
Their favorite prey are small antelopes or gazelles, as well as rodents, hares, monkeys and small warthogs. Contrary to popular belief, pythons have no venom, they kill by suffocation. With a wise step, they drop from their branches on their prey and wham ! They curl up on them, and suffocate them before swallowing them whole, head first. It is nothing for a 6 m long python to swallow a 50 kg victim.
One problem, however, is that gazelle's horns and porcupine quills can pierce the python's skin. Fortunately, the gastric juices of this reptile are so powerful that very often the growths are quickly digested inside. So, what protrudes outside and no longer has any attachment ends up simply ... by falling.
This is an unknown force of nature! A python takes days or even weeks to digest such feasts. And, even if he is not a disciple of Gandhi, he can go up to two and a half years without eating, living on his own reserves. Sometimes a hungry or threatened leopard pounces on a python to defend itself. In addition, if it feels its young threatened, the warthog will throw itself recklessly on this reptile.
Tarangire national park is with no doubt among the best places to visit in Tanzania if you are real looking for an authentic wildlife Day Safari adventure from Arusha or multi-day tours. You can choose to sleep inside the national park, camping or lodge depend on your interest or take a night outside the park around Mto wa mbu town. Contact one of our expert to arrange a safari for you to this amazing place.