One of the smaller parks in Tanzania, Tarangire is a breath of fresh air to the safari adventurer. Situated within 40,000 acres of private wilderness in northern Tanzania, the Tarangire ecosystem is home to the second-highest concentration of wildlife of any Tanzania National Park after the Serengeti. It also has one of the most prolific elephant populations in all of East Africa, with herds of up to 300 elephants drinking from its small rivers and scratching the terrain surface for underground streams. The big cats live bountifully here and are sustained by large masses of wildebeest, buffalo, impala, zebra, gazelle, and more than 450 bird species congregating around the park’s lagoons. Indeed, many Ker & Downey visitors say that Tarangire National Park is the best bird watching destination in all of Tanzania.

Despite this surprising strength of wildlife, Tarangire National Park remains one of the most underrated and least visited parks in Africa. This is most likely due to the trumpeting popularity of its Serengeti and Ngorongoro neighbors, but Ker & Downey believes it deserves a lot more consideration. Days are spent on game drives and exploring the area on foot. Walking safaris are a relatively new feature within Tarangire National Park and are spectacular opportunities to experience the authentic, gilded romance of the constantly changing safari park. Ker & Downey’s professional guides lead you into the bush to learn how to track various animals and observe their natural behavior up close. Expert naturalists are also on hand to find you a resident lion pride and explain the individual characteristics and habits of each pride member.

But the resident wildlife only tells half of Tarangire’s story. The vast groves of epic baobabs are reason enough to visit, as are the abundant sun-blistered termite mounds and grassy savannah plains. Splitting the Tarangire National Park is the Tarangire River, for which the park is named, whose steep, meandering riverbanks are particularly wildlife-ridden during dry season. There is nothing quite like venturing back in time on a drive or walk through this breathtaking landscape of Tarangire, stopping for a sundowner along the river while the elephants roam the plains, the lions emit their might roars, and the zebras herald in the conclusion of the day.