TARANGIRE NATIONAL PARK
Tarangire National Park is the sixth largest national park in Tanzania after Ruaha, Serengeti, Mikumi, Katavi and Mkomazi. The name of the park originates from the Tarangire river that crosses through the park, being the only source of water for wild animals during dry seasons. During the dry season thousands of animals migrate to the Tarangire National Park from Manyara.It lies a little distance to the south east of Lake Manyara and covers an area of approximately 2,850 square kilometers(1,100 square miles.)
The landscape and vegetation is incredibly diverse with a mix that is not found anywhere else in the northern safari circuit. The hilly landscape is dotted with vast numbers of Baobab trees, dense bush and high grasses.The park is famous for its huge number of elephants, baobab trees and tree climbing lions. Visitors to the park can expect to see any number of resident zebra and wildebeest in addition to the less common animals. Other common animals include waterbuck, giraffe, and olive baboons.
Home to more than 550 species, the park is a haven for bird enthusiasts who can expect so see dozens of species even in the dry season. The swamps are the focus of the largest selection of breeding birds anywhere in the world. Fischer's Lovebirds are a common bird sighting in the trees along the Tarangire River.The park is also famous for the termite mounds that dot the landscape. Those that have been abandoned are often seen to be home to dwarf mongoose.
Arusha National Park covers Mount Meru, a prominent volcano with an elevation of 4566 m, in the Arusha Region of north eastern Tanzania.The park is small but varied with spectacular landscapes in three distinct areas. In the west, the Meru Crater funnels the Jekukumia River; the peak of Mount Meru lies on its rim. Ngurdoto Crater in the south-east is grassland.
The shallow alkaline Momella Lakes in the north-east have varying algal colours and are known for their wading birds.Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania after Mount Kilimanjaro, which is just 60 km away and forms a backdrop to views from the park to the east. Arusha National Park lies on a 300-kilometre axis of Africa's most famous national parks, running from Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater in the west to Kilimanjaro National Park in the east.The park is just a few kilometres north east of Arusha, though the main gate is 25 km east of the city.
It is also 58 km from Moshi and 35 km from Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).Arusha National Park has a rich variety of wildlife, but visitors shouldn't expect the same game-viewing experience they find in other National Parks of Tanzania's northern citcuit.
Despite the small size of the park, common animals include giraffe, buffalo, zebra, warthog, the black-and-white colobus monkey, the blue monkey, flamingos and more. African Elephant are present, but rarely seen, similarly Leopard, but there are no lion in the park. Birdlife in the forest is prolific, with many forest species more easily seen here than elsewhere on the tourist route - Narina Trogon and Bar-tailed Trogon are both possible highlights for visiting birders, whilst the range of starling species provide somewhat less gaudy interest.