Tarangire National Park

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Tarangire National Park covers an area of 2,600 sq kms (1,000 sq miles) with its park like country, acacia woodlands, ancient baobabs, open bush, plains, swamps and rivers and stands of palm trees. This very diverse range of vegetation attracts many animals and birdlife During the dry season the Tarangire river is the only permanent water source attracting high concentrations of wildlife.

Herds of up to 300 elephants scratch the dry river bed for underground streams, while migratory wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, impala, gazelle, hartebeest and eland crowd the shrinking lagoons. It's the greatest concentration of wildlife outside the Serengeti ecosystem - a smorgasbord for predators - and the one place in Tanzania where dry-country antelope such as the stately fringe-eared oryx and peculiar long-necked gerenuk are regularly observed.

Tarangire Park is also known for its baobab "forests" - giant trees believed to survive for several centuries. One tree was carbon dated to be over 3,000 years old. Practically every part of the tree can be used. Leaves, fruit, flowers, seeds and roots all have medicinal properties. The hollow trunk is used by the hornbill to build its nests. And some trees are used as water reservoirs. The trees fibrous bark is used for making ropes and mats and cloth by man and a source of nutrition by elephants. In the heat of the day family groupings of elephant gather under the shade of these magnificent trees.

The wet season is usually mid March through June with many parts of the park inaccessible but it is worth the journey especially for birdwatchers. The swamps, tinged green year round, are the focus for 550 bird varieties, the most breeding species in one habitat anywhere in the world.

Accommodation in permanent tented camps and lodges is available within the park and just outside the park boundaries.

The park lies 118 kms (75miles) south west of Arusha and is easily reached by road from Arusha or Manyara. There is an airstrip which is serviced by private charter flights.

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