DAY TRIP TO TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Time to drive: 2 hours 30 minutes
Enjoy an early breakfast at your hotel, and meet your guide, all ready to set off on a great adventure for the day. During the drive to Tarangire, your guide will tell you about the areas you are passing through, and point out interesting flora and fauna you may see. Watch for Lion’s Paws (plants), peanut butter flowers, and coffee plantations. Watch for your fellow travellers on the road; often goats, cattle and donkeys crossing over, and people on all sorts of modes of transportation. There are a variety of birds you may see along the way as well.
As you approach Tarangire, you will see large numbers of Baobab trees, as well as craft collectives from the tribes who live in this area. At the entrance gate, stretch your legs and use the facilities if you would like, but watch for the Vervet monkeys who love to hang out in the parking lot and greet arrivals – they’ll definitely steal your snacks given half a chance!
Once you enter Tarangire national park, open your eyes wide as wildlife are sure to be there to greet you. Tarangire is most famous for its large families of elephants, but there are numerous other animals as well, from lions to cheetah to giraffe to zebra and wildebeest to warthogs and banded mongoose. Enjoy your first game drive of the day as your guide takes you to the places where you are most likely to spot interesting wildlife. Look down into the river valleys and see herds of elephants crossing the rivers. Watch animals grazing on the plains, and congregating at watering holes.
Enjoy your packed lunch in the middle of the day, and then a second game drive in the afternoon. The large numbers of Baobab trees along with termite mounds make for striking photography. You will also admire Acacia forest and Combretum wooded grasslands. Down by the river, watch the elephants play in the water, with little ones pushing one another under the water, as the elders watch. In the valleys, you may see elephants taking a dust bath. And in dryer river beds, watch for elephants digging down below the sandy surface to find water.
Once you have entered Tarangire, you may never want to leave! Enjoy watching the Jesus birds (Jacanas) stepping delicately out on the water, vultures circling, Egyptian geese and egrets in the swamp, eagles circling, and Lilac-breasted rollers posing for your camera. Watch out too for the playful banded mongoose families that drape themselves over termite mounds as they sleep huddled in the afternoon sun.
Your guide will keep a watchful eye on the time, and eventually, you will all have to drag yourselves away to return to your hotel for the evening. But Tarangire will stay with you long past your one day visit, and you may find yourself compelled to return for longer in the future…