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The nearest airport is Arusha, which is less than 2 hours' drive from the entrance (3 hr. from KIA), so unless you're in a rush, you're unlikely to utilize Kuro Airstrip in Tarangire. To get there, exit Arusha west and travel for an hour (100km/62 miles) on the tarred Great North Road that runs from Arusha to Dodoma (capital of Tanzania), looking for the turn-off to the main park entrance at Kwakuchinja village. It's about a 20-minute drive on dirt from this point, and you might allow time to stop for curios.

The main entrance gate has spotlessly clean ablutions; you can also purchase booklets, films, maps, and postcards here. Cost of the 24-hour entry permit for each person to Tarangire National Park is $35. Park hours are 6:30am to 6:30pm; entry and exit outside these times is not possible, and vehicles are not allowed to drive inside the park after dark, so plan your schedule accordingly. Though the gates are manned 24 hours (useful to know should you be running late), hours are strictly enforced by park wardens.

You could choose to use Tarangire as a base to visit Lake Manyara National Park (90km/56 miles; about 1 1/2 hours away) and even Ngorongoro Crater (150km/93 miles; about 2 1/2 hours away); Serengeti National Park is a bone-jarring 295km (183 miles) away, a drive that will take at least 6 hours.

Like the Serengeti, Tarangire has no real winter or summer seasons, but has a bimodal rainfall pattern, comprising brief rains during November or December and a heavier rainfall period from mid-March to May. During the dry season (June-Nov or Dec), game is concentrated along the river, including large elephant herds, prompting many to site this as one of the finest game-viewing parks in Africa. January to March, after the short rains have greened the park, are particularly beautiful months, game numbers are dispersed but reasonable, and, given low visitor numbers, this period can make for a very exclusive safari experience (be warned: insects can be unbearable). During the April and May rainfall period, animals are more widely dispersed and Tarangire is not really worth including in a Northern Circuit itinerary -- as the timing of rainfall can be erratic, it is best to check with a local ground operator if your dates are anywhere near this period.

If you spend 3 nights in Tarangire, you won't regret it, but unless you are here on a fly-camp walking safari with Oliver's, 2 will suffice. This allows you sufficient time to explore the northern section of the park, which is both more scenic and more game rich.

Prime Picnicking -- If you're looking for a beautiful spot to picnic, pick the site at Silale Swamp. It's relatively quiet, the tables and chairs have great views, and the public facilities are spotless.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.