From day one in Tarangire Park, our 6-day safari trip in Tanzania exceeded my expectations. Tarangire is not a huge park: 2,850 square km large, it is the 6th largest national park in Tanzania. Nonetheless, its incredible concentration of wild animals is very impressive. It is also famous for its giant baobab trees.
The five of us were very excited to board our 4WD for this new adventure. When I now look back, I find it hilarious how thrilled we were in front of our first gazelles… not even mention the first elephant! After a few hours in the park, we understood that gazelles were going to be part of the landscapes during this trip and that we would see more elephants as well… We finally accepted our driver’s recommendation not to stop for half an hour every time we spotted one.
The highlights of this park for me were the small and big herds of elephants that we could spot almost continuously. Not only the amount was impressive, but some were also coming very close to our vehicle. During the whole safari, I was agreeably surprised to see how wild animals ignore the cars and buses full of tourists, which allows very close encounters.
All other typical animals from the African savannah were around at Tarangire: zebras, giraffes (loved the baby one :), gazelles from different types, warthogs, wildebeest, baboons, lions, colourful birds, ostriches, and even cheetahs… What a treat for the first day!
A funny thing we learnt on that day: baboons are often spotted next to the elephants, as they find food in their poo. We indeed saw them sitting around the elephants’ poo, with their hands inside it to look for grains and select the proper parts to eat.
We spent our first night at a campsite just outside the park. It was a smooth start for our adventure in Africa, with magical encounters and an opportunity to rest after our exciting long trip from Australia. We spent the next day in Lake Manyara to discover a different facet of the safari.
Where is Tarangire National Park?
Tarangire National Park is in the north of Tanzania. It is an easy 2-hour drive from Arusha, often used as a base for Tanzanian adventures (safaris and Kilimanjaro or Mount Meru climbs).