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Because of its intrinsic qualities (scenery and wildlife) and its relatively few visitors (in comparison to the nearby Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara), this is one of the best parks in Africa. Baobab trees, granite ridges, mixed acacia and commiphoracombretum woodland and grassland cover this 1096 mi² (2850km²) national park. Tarangire’s most famous fauna are its tree-climbing lions and abundant elephants. The latter forms part of the park’s sizeable migratory population; other migratory species include wildebeest, zebra, buffalo, Grant’s and Thomson’s gazelle, and oryx. However, the Tarangire River and its tributaries also offer a year-round water source, enabling several animal species to permanently inhabit the national park. These include Maasai giraffe, waterbuck, lesser kudu, hartebeest, impala, eland, reedbuck, gerenuk, lion, leopard, cheetah, spotted hyena, mongooses, and wild dog.
Approximately 550 bird species have been recorded within Tarangire; bird-watching is best from December to May. Specialties include the northern pied babbler, Eastern chanting goshawk, black-faced sandgrouse, slender-tailed nightjar, coqui francolin, magpie shrike, D’Arnaud’s barbet, Lappet-faced vulture, yellow-necked spurfowl, Fischer’s lovebird, white-bellied go-away bird, rosy-patched bushshrike, and ashy starling.
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