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Tarangire National Park
Tarangire is less well known than other parks in the Northern Circuit but in terms of wildlife concentration it supports a similar range of large mammals to the Serengeti. And like Serengeti, Tarangire is part of a wider ecosystem with a great deal of migratory movement. Tarangire however is more densely vegetated, covered mostly in acacia and mixed woodland. This sometimes makes it difficult to see full range of predators. During the wet season most of its animals disperse into the Maasai Steppe while the larger Antelopes and Zebra move northwest to the rift valley floor between Lakes Natron and Manyara.
Tarangire becomes rich with animals in the dry months between July and November when large herds of game get attracted to the permanent waters of Tarangire River and make the park as alluring as Serengeti.
Concentration of Game
Tarangire is famous for its prolific Elephant herds that congregates along the river during the dry season. The colonial Dwarf Mongoose is characteristic of the park and often seen on termite hills. There is quite a healthy wildlife population in Tarangire, especially during the dry months when Tarangire River serves as one of the few water reservoirs in the area. Large predators include Lions, Leopards, Cheetah, Golden and Black Backed Jackals, Bat Eared Foxes and Spotted Hyena. Nocturnal predator includes Civet, Serval, Genet and African Wild Cat. Other mammals include: Hippo, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, Eland, Giraffe, Zebra, Wildebeest, Buffalo, Warthog, Baboon, Impala, Fringe-Eared Oryx and Gerenuk.
Like Lake Manyara, Tarangire is also rich in birdlife and up to 500 different species have been recorded. These include Raptors like Bateleur Eagle, Fish Eagle and Palmnut Vulture. Saddle-Billed and Yellow-Billed Storks and several other water birds are found at the river. Other prominent species include: Yellow-Necked Spur fowl, Orange-Bellied Parrot, Barefaced Go-away bird, and Red-Fronted barbet, Silver bird and Red and Yellow Barbet. Other species associated with dry areas are Vulturine Guineafowl, Donaldson-Smiths’ nightjar, Pink-Breasted Lark, Mouse-Coloured Pendulin Tit and the lovely Yellow-Collared Lovebird.