The stands of ancient baobab trees, large family herds of elephants, prolific bird life and dry season concentrations of wildlife make Tarangire the classic Africa of lore – feted by explorers, immortalized in documentaries and sought after by the discerning traveller.
Tarangire National Park derives its name from the Tarangire River that rises in the highlands of central Tanzania and winds its way through the length of the game sanctuary. Before becoming a national park, Tarangire was originally a hunting area. The river is the park’s lifeline and it irresistibly lures the herds of plain migrants from the parched surrounding areas to its shrunken – but permanent – brackish waters during the dry season. The animals share the permanent pools with flocks of Tarangire's diverse bird population(with more than 300 species recorded): green wood hoopoes, Fischer's lovebirds, white-bellied go-away birds, hornbills, cuckoos, and waterbirds like the goliath heron, purple gallinule, Egyptian goose and giant kingfisher.
The park boasts the highest number of breeding species for any habitat in the world. One of the more interesting is the ground hornbill. You may also find some of the many leopard that rest by day in the shady trees. The park is also home to kudu with their immense spiral horns, and oryx with their equally lengthy rapier horns. These shy, show-stopping antelope are common in Tarangire.
Other major attractions in Tarangire are include the tree climbing pythons, herds of elephants, and swamps. Tarangire is also noted for its baobab trees and splendid vistas of rolling savannah and acacia woodland. The strange-looking, centuries-old baobab trees are believed by the Maasai to be the first tree in creation.