Tarangire & Lake Burunge

One of Tanzania’s hidden treasures, Tarangire boasts Tanzania’s largest concentration of wildlife outside of the Serengeti and its swamps have some of East Africa’s best bird diversity with one of the largest arrays of breeding birds in the world.

Stunning for its prolific number of ancient baobab trees, its tree climbing lions, and for its large herds of migrating elephant, sometimes reaching 300 strong, Tarangire can almost feel like two different places. During the rainy season, it is green, lush, and wildlife is a little more scattered throughout. However, during the dry season, the only source of water is the Tarandira River and then the density of game rivals anywhere else in East Africa – except perhaps the Serengeti. Though shallow, it draws thousands of animals from the surrounding parched land to drink. Elephants dig into the riverbed to reveal underground water, and clamoring migratory wildlife, including wildebeest, buffalo, zebra, impala, eland, hartebeest and gazelle, gather to drink from diminished lagoons.  Lake Tarandira empties into Lake Burunge, on the outskirts of the park.  The fresh water lake is known as the “brown lake” because of the mud stirred up by its main inhabitants – catfish.  As this area is outside the national park there are many opportunities to undertake activities on foot, whether this is walking, tracking and some camps even offer the opportunity to test your fitness by running with the Maasai.

At just over 1,000 square miles, Tarangire is a breath of fresh air from the sometimes frenetic northern circuit and offers a freedom of experience that is rarely available in other national parks in Tanzania. A walking safari can last up to several hours and immersed in nature, observing elephant and other wildlife on foot or fly camping under the stars is to truly experience why Tarangire is not to be missed. Night drives to seek out nocturnal species and predators always gets you closer to the unique wildlife and immersed in the specialness that is Tarangire.

Those camps and lodges based within the National Park are renowned for their quiet and seclusion.  Those outside the park have been chosen for their unique experiences – for example, lakeside views or rooms elevated above ground affording views over the tops of the surrounding marula and baobab trees.