Tarangire lies to the south of the large open grass plains of southern Maasai land and is the best-kept secret on the northern safari circuit. It offers wonderful panoramas of wide savannah grasslands dotted with open acacia woodland studded with large Baobab trees. The density of game is second only to the crowded Ngorongoro Crater.
This is a year-round park with distinct seasons offering different experiences, from dusty, dry and baking with animals clustered around the rapidly reducing Tarangire river, to the fecund green season full of new-born animals and chattering birds.
Tarangire is a dry season refuge for many migratory animals (elephants, wildebeest, zebra, gazelles, eland and buffalo), that spend many months of the year outside the park on traditional grazing corridors linking Tarangire with other protected areas.
Elephants can be seen in herds of up to 600 at a time, along with masses of wildebeest, zebra, eland, hartebeest, buffalo and oryx, who, migrate from the dry Maasai steppe to the gleaming Tarangire River in search of water during the dry season. The river may reduce in size, but always provides some water for these animals who gather in great numbers along its banks. Predators never go hungry here.
November to February is the time of plenty with succulent green shoots appearing just in time for the newborn wildebeest and zebra. By March everything is lush and wild flowers and butterflies are out in force. Birds are at their busiest and more than 550 species have been recorded.
Some of the Serengeti's largest buffalo herds are to be found in the pristine woodlands to the north and elephants abound in this area too. For excellent year round game viewing the Seronera valley in the centre of the park has abundant grazing and considerable numbers of animals including giraffes, warthogs, reedbucks and many other species that sustain resident leopards and large prides of lions.
In the south is the saline Lake Ndutu which attracts throngs of flamingoes and in the west the Grumeti River contains some of the largest Nile crocodiles you will ever see.