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The park is named after the river that crosses it longitudinally. It has a surface of 2,600 sq km (1,000 sq mi) and is characterized by several habitats, from the great prairies to swampland in the south, before the river flows into lake Burunge, at its northwestern-most tip. Situated at a distance of about 100 km from Arusha, it is the realm of elephants and giant baobabs.
The landscape in its northern part, cut through by the river, is just as flat as in the south at the beginning and becomes hillier heading northwards, made very picturesque by the undulations and the "umbrella-like" acacia trees.
Its central part, in the area of the Silale swamps, during the dry season is dotted with small ponds resulting from the heat which dries out the water. Groups of animals are often spotted here, since they come to this place in search of water and relief from the heat.
The southern part of the park is absolutely pristine and unspoilt also because of the difficulty to reach it, which also makes it the least visited one.
An oasis for the large mammals
The constant presence of water in the river Tarangire, especially during the dry season from July to October, makes it a sanctuary for both migratory and non-migratory animals that come here in great numbers, second only to the Serengeti.
During this period, up to 500 elephants a day can gather here, for the joy of the visitors who can feast their eyes on their majestic presence.
As a matter of fact, the Tarangire is one of the best places for spotting these giant animals. The river hosts many animal species: wildebeests, giraffes, zebras, ostriches, buffaloes, impalas, kudus, gazelles, warthogs, antilopes and others. Predators are also found in great numbers: lions, jackals, caracals, leopards, servals, hyenas and wild dogs.
All in all, it is the presence of water what makes the Tarangire one of the most popular safari destinations all year round. As well as the unique experiences it provides, such as the nighttime walking safari, the Tarangire Conservation Area represents the typical african landscape as we know it, with its acacia trees which make it so… heart breaking!
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