Tarangire National Park & Tanzania Car Hire For Safaris

Tarangire National Park Car Hire. Rent 4×4 Land Cruisers on self drive or with a driver guide for an ultimate wildlife-big 5 safaris in Tarangire National Park Tanzania.

Attention Elephant lovers! While the Tarangire National Park in Tanzania may not sound all that familiar, during the dry season, this overlooked treasure has the largest concentration of elephants in the world! 

Additionally, the park is known for its abundance of baobab trees and beautiful stands of acacia tortilis trees – those flat-topped acacias you’ll probably know from films like ‘The Lion King’ or ‘Out of Africa’. As Tarangire is conveniently located near Arusha, it is a wonderful first safari stop on your Tanzania self-drive roadtrip. 

Starting to consider a safari in Tarangire National Park? Then keep reading for more information!

Tarangire is a part of the northern circuit and is located just south of Lake Manyara so it is well located among Northern circuit parks.

Most common way to get to Tarangire is by road from Arusha and it takes about 2 hours from Arusha airport to Tarangire gate.

Tarangire is about 45 min drive away from Manyara and 2 hours drive away from Ngorongoro conservation area gate. From Central Serengeti, Tarangire is nearly 5.5 hours drive.

A wide selection of accommodation options ranging from basic camping to luxury lodges is available for you to choose from. Some of these accommodations are inside while some bordering the park, located in the surrounding wilderness areas. Most of the accommodations located inside are in wildlife rich areas.

How do I go from Arusha to Tarangire National Park
 
 

Most common way to get to Tarangire is by road from Arusha and it takes about 2 hours from Arusha airport to Tarangire gate.

Tarangire is about 45 min drive away from Manyara and 2 hours drive away from Ngorongoro conservation area gate. From Central Serengeti, Tarangire is nearly 5.5 hours drive.

 

Tarangire National Park

In Tarangire National Park, animal concentration peaks between July and November to early December. During this dry season, Tarangire has the second-highest wildlife concentration of any Tanzanian National Park. From November to May, some of the game leaves the park. Herds of wildebeest and zebra head northwest to the Rift Valley floor and the vast open areas of the Maasai Steppe. Nevertheless, we have visited Tarangire multiple times throughout the year and consistently had a wonderful safari experience. 

Tarangire is located 100 km southwest of Arusha, about 7 km off the main Arusha – Dodoma road. The turn-off at Kwa Kuchinja is signposted. The road is tarred and in perfect condition, and the journey from Arusha takes less than 2 hours. Are you a bit nervous about driving in Tanzania? Then, this journey makes an excellent first easy start.

To make the most out of your Tanzania safari experience, we recommend including Tangarire in a 9-day itinerary, adding highlights such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro, and Lake Manyara to your drive: 

  • Day 1: Arusha
  • Day 2: Driving from Arusha to Tarangire (150 km, 2.5 hours)
  • Day 3: Tarangire National Park
  • Day 4: Driving from Tarangire to Serengeti (260 km, 6 hours)
  • Day 5 & 6: Serengeti
  • Day 7: Driving from Serengeti to Ngorongoro (140 km, 3.5 hours)
  • Day 8: Ngorongoro Crater, then on to Mto Wa Mbu (200 km, 3 hours)
  • Day 9: Lake Manyara, then on to Arusha (115 km, 2 hours)

Check out our Northern Safari Circuit Itinerary for more detailed route information and the option to book your 4×4! 

For ages, the baobab has been a secret, precious tree to the area’s pastoralist tribes because of its multiple purposes. They store massive amounts of water in their swollen stems. Furthermore, the fruit and leaves are used in traditional medicine to treat problems such as fever and kidney disease. You’ll find plenty of baobabs scattered throughout Tarangire National Park. 

Interesting to know is that the West has also set its sights on the baobab tree. The baobab fruit has just been given EU approval to be used in smoothies and cereal bars. Food marketers have labeled it as the next superfruit; it is reported to have six times more vitamin C than oranges and twice as much calcium as milk. Does anyone fancy a baobab smoothie?

We recommend Tarangire for almost everyone interested in wildlife and at any time of the year!

With an area of about 3000 sq km, Tarangire provides a great opportunity to go on long game drives or take an adventurous walking tour and discover a variety of habitats with their unique geographical and biological makeups.

Huge baobabs & large elephant herds are the major highlights of Tarangire while it also hosts a good population of lions and great destination for birding year round. You will find several scenic view points across the park that offer great views of its diverse terrain and scenery.

In the Dry season (Jun to Oct), Tarangire river remains the only source of water in the region and the wildlife migrates from surrounding wilderness areas into the Tarangire national park. You will find a large number of elephants, wildebeests, zebras, hartebeests, gazelles, and buffaloes along with lions, leopards, hyenas and other predators.

In the Wet season (Nov to May), Wildlife sightings are still decent. You can still find elephant herds, most of the predators and many herbivores, though not as great in number as in dry season. This season however attracts many migratory species of birds making it the best destination for birding in North Tanzania. Also the scenery is lush and the park is less crowded making the game drives here a very enjoyable experience.

Tarangire is also the best destination for doing night game drives across all Northern circuit parks in Tanzania (only other option being at Lake Manyara NP).

Located just around 2 hours from Arusha airport, Tarangire is a convenient option to visit from Arusha on short trips.

We recommend clients to spend 2-3 days in the Dry season and 1-2 days in Wet season at Tarangire.

Tarangire’s biggest attractions are the large herds of elephants. During the summer season, Elephants are drawn to the river and the swamps of Tarangire, where they can wallow in mud and enjoy a cool bath to refresh themselves or graze on the grass nearby. Or they might be found near the Baobab and Acacia trees, enjoying the cool shade or snacking on juicy fruits, tree barks, and crunchy leaves. You’ll find elephants of all sizes, from cute little babies to imposing matriarchs.

Tarangire is also home to three more of the Big Five species: Lions, Buffalos, and Leopards. Lions and Buffalos will be very easily spotted. It is actually quite rare not to find them. Lions will be seen prowling about or lazing around under the shadow of the trees or you might even find a Lion resting in the branches tree! Buffalos will also be found taking a quick nap under the shade or grazing on the grass. Leopards on the other hand will be tricky to spot. They are amazing at camouflage and become invisible in the woodlands. If you are very lucky you might be able to spot one resting on the rocks.

Wildlife enthusiasts also visit Tarangire to spot the rare fringe-eared Oryx and long-necked Gerenuk. They can be seen grazing in the grassy plains.

Besides these, you will easily spot ungulates like giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, and hartebeests. Hippos can be found wallowing and grunting in the marshy pools. You might find a large python coiled up in the trees, sitting really still. You might also spot troops of baboons engaged in mischief or come across a group of Vervet monkeys having a fun time trying to steal items from you.

When it comes to vegetation Tarangire is most commonly known for its remarkable Baobab trees, but its vegetation is much more diverse than that. The arid region can also support Candelabras, Sausage trees, and aquatic forests like the woodlands of different species of Acacia that have flowing streams.

If you are a bird lover then Tarangire is one of the best spots for you in Tanzania. With a count of 550 species, the park has the highest concentration of bird species in Tanzania.

In the drier sections of the park with open savannas, you will find kori bustards, the heaviest flying birds, and ostriches, along with flocks of hornbills. The woodlands of Tarangire house beautiful Hoopoes, Brown parrots and many more. Barbets, swallows, starlings, swifts, lilac breasted rollers are common inside the park. Park also provides a haven for migratory birds coming from Europe and Asia. Water birds, land birds, and raptors travel to Tarangire and breed there. These include birds like Cranes, Ibises, hawks, falcons, cuckoos, and turtle doves. Tarangire boasts over 50 species of birds of prey! From cute but dangerous Pygmy falcons to big Lappet-faced Vultures!

Besides them, Tarangire also protects the endangered bird species of Rufous-tailed weavers, yellow-collared lovebirds, and ashy starlings.

Full-day game drives are the most common activity at Tarangire. You will be driven around the park in a 4×4 vehicle by your guide to explore the woodlands, grasslands, floodplains, and hills hosting their flora and fauna. Apart from game drives during the day, you can consider below additional activities:

Night game drives: Night game drives at Tarangire are done by a select few accommodations in/around the park and not by tour operators. A night game drive will be very different from a day game drive. Besides looking for nocturnal critters and listening to their sounds you will have a great view of the African night sky and admire all the stars. The feeling of being alone in the bush at night is quite unique. Some of the animals you might come across on night game drives inside the park are genet cat, african wild cat, bush babies, birds, black eared foxes and spring hares and if your lucky you might come across a lion or may be even a leopard. Wildlife sightings on night game drives outside the park are less frequent. To do a night game drive inside Tarangire, you need to stay at select accommodations inside or bordering the park and book this activity as an add-on. Service fees ranges between $100-150 per client depending on accommodation and a night permit fees of $59 will be charged on top.

Walking safari: You can also go on a walking safari to get a different perspective of the park. You might notice the little things that you couldn’t notice from your vehicles. You will be looking for tracks left by animals such as elephants and wild cats with the help of your guide. You will also notice little insects like the dung beetles and ant lions that are an important part of the ecosystems. Since there would be no noise created by the vehicle the sounds of the wild would also become more prominent. However, it is better to do this activity during the dry season as it won’t be muddy and there will be fewer tsetse flies to worry about. We offer walking tours inside Tarangire at $45 per person for 3-4 hours or at $60 per person for 5-6 hours walking tour.

Balloon Safari also takes place in Tarangire. It starts early in the morning around sunrise. The aerial perspective from the balloon gives you stunning views of the topographies of the park. Balloon safari costs $520 per person in Tarangire.

Maasai village visit Close to Tarangire, there are maasai villages that you can visit. These are a bit less commercialized than the the Maasai village tours that happen at Ngorongoro crater. You are expected to tip about $25 to the maasai village head at the end of your village tour.

The entry fee for Tarangire depends on the visitor’s nationality and age. For foreigners, the park fee is $59 per adult per day. This park fee is valid for 24 hours. However, you must note that the park fees will also expire if you step out of the park before completing 24 hours.

If your accommodation is inside Tarangire, then a concession fee of $59 per adult per night will apply. If you are doing night game drives, permit fees of $59 per adult will also apply on top of the service fees charged by accommodations for night game drives.

Available Fleets for Rental to Tarangire National Park

Land Cruiser V8

Planning cross border safari from Kenya’s Masai Mara to Uganda’s Bwindi to Rwanda’s Volcanoes and Tanzania’s Serengeti, book a Land Cruiser V8 with or without a rooftop tent for road safari within East Africa with Self Drive Kenya

Land Cruiser Safari Vehicle
Kilimanjaro Airport Transfers to Briston Serengeti Hotel

Land Cruiser HardTop

The Toyota land cruiser hardtop with a pop up roof an suitable for comfortably carrying at most 4 people. The car is also perfect for roadtrip adventures in Serengeti National Park because of the 4WD drive that supports it whenever it is stuck in Mud

Land Cruiser Lx.

The Land cruiser Lx is a a strong and an all terrain vehicle, that can easily be driven on the rough roads of Maasai Mara national reserve. The car can be rented with/without: rooftop tent and driver guide. It can also cross to Tanzania’s Serengeti.