Tanzania Swala 1

The Tarangire National Park received its name from the Tarangire River that crosses through the park. It is also the only source of water for animals during the dry season.

The Tarangire National Park is famous for its large herds of elephants that congregate under the spectacular baobab trees. The park attracts an abundance of zebra and is home to waterbuck, giraffe and kudu with their immense spiral horns as well as oryx with their lengthy rapier horns. Also in great abundance are impala, giraffe, buffalo, lion, and leopard. The park is also home to over 550 species of bird with yellow-collared lovebirds a common sight in the trees along the Tarangire River.



The Tarangire National Park has had 245mm of rain this month so the grass is tall and looking lush. Predator sightings have dropped a bit yet sightings of lion, cheetah and leopard in trees is unbelievable. The zebras and wildebeest have migrated outside the park except for the odd occassional herd. Young of all animals have arrived and elephant babies galore. The birdlife is also amazing with many migrants around.

Swala camp has become a little quiet compared to the dry season but our local lion pride, waterbuck and impala are seen daily in and around camp. We were fortunate to have leopards mating in and around camp. Tstetse flies and general insect populations are extremely abundant which makes life in the bush a little difficult especially for visitors from the city.

Swala Pool


The month started off with some excellent sightings as the Tarangire National Park - we only experienced brief showers - yet towards the end of the month the "small rains" arrived. To date, we have had 90mm of rain and the change is amazing - the shades of green; and insects and smaller creatures are out in their thousands.

The herds have spread out quite a bit and the river and swamps are not the main area to target anymore. Young animals are all around -there have been many kills witnessed. Lions and leopards have been seen in their numbers - and many elephants and leopards have been spotted too.

Swala Elephants


The Tarangire National Park is looking very green and with the 30mm of rain - we have gorgeous new borns appearing - baby zebra, impala, monkeys and waterbucks. Quite a bit of the game has headed to the Masaai Steppe following the rain in and around the area - but the Tarangire is still full of animals - with wildlife teeming arounf the waterholes and rivers. 

Fringe eared oryx has been seen this month and also huge herds of buffaloes - numbering in the hundreds. There were also many elephant and leopard sightings. Sightings of cats overall were excellent this month - lions were seen every day and cheetah were sighted a few times. 

Lions Swala


The Tarangire National Park offered incredible sightings of wildlife this month. Wild dogs were seen a few times during the month - but they have now moved on and haven't been found again. Cheetahs were spotted a few times as well as the tree-climbing python, famous to this area.

The sightings in the camp have been plentiful and very impressive - lions, elephant and buffalo are in camp almost every night with an average of 30 - 70 elephant bulls in camp at any one time. Giraffe, kudu ,bushbuck, eland, zebra, waterbuck, impala, dik dik and on occasion, Coke's hartebeest have been resident in and around camp.

Swala Walking Safari


The Tarangire produced excellent wildlife sightings in August; with four different leopard sightings by one vehicle - our record for the month. Cheetah and wild dog sightings are up - Kuro Airstrip has been the current area of viewing. Lions have been seen daily in camp (at night) and around the park.

Due to the dryness, the main areas of game activity are along the river and Silale - and should be until December when rain arrives. Days have been hot - 28 degrees celcius (82 fh) - although it cools down every evening.

Walking safaris have been great with mainly general game and plenty of elephant sightings. In camp it was incredible - with elephants (25 - 50) continually coming in and out of camp for a drink. Zebra herds, eland,kudu,bachelor groups of buffaloes, giraffe have also appeared in camp. Fringe eared oryx were spotted twice this month close to camp, plus the lesser kudu.


SIGHTINGS - July 2014

It has been an amazing time for the Tarangire - in camp and around the park. Silale Swamp is still producing the best sightings due to the large amounts of water and grazing.

The entrance of the park has large numbers of zebra and wildebeest. Vast areas have been burnt which is assisting with huge concentrations of game in these areas all over the park and obviously good areas for predators too.

There have been lions in camp every night or territorial roaring has been heard every night just out of camp. Zebra herds and elephant herds in camp permanently and kudu,warthog and eland are just starting to utilise the waterhole. Our resident leopard is in camp often too, though mostly vocalization and tracks been seen - elusive as ever. The 30th of July was incredible for guests - seeing lion,cheetah,leopard and wild dog around the Silale Swamp.

Zebras Swala


The Tarangire is a lot drier than previous years and has been great for sightings. Buffalo, elephant and lion sightings were frequent. Leopards were seen quite often; with hyenas and cheetahs being spotted less frequently.

The zebra and wildebeest have arrived early and many kills were observed. Tree climbing pythons have been spotted with all movement around and also in Silale
swamp. Two kills were made in camp by lions - of waterbuck and zebra.

Sightings of smaller predators including black backed jackal, bat eared fox, genets and serval were quiet common. Our small spotted genet in camp has had two young and is often around the lodge in the evening - making for an amazing experience for guests. Walking safaris have been great too - with many elephant encounters and one lion sighting so far.

Swala March

sightings - MARCH 2014

The Tarangire did not disappoint this month! Elephant herds were seen every day at Sanctuary Swala. Lion sightings were excellent and quite frequent in March. Buffaloes were seen quite often - only bachelor groups though; and the shy leopard made an appearance a few times too.

Cheetahs were seldom seen - but were a beautiful sight for guests when they did make their rare appearance.

Lions made a few kills inside the camp area - a brilliant sighting!
The area was beautifully green - there was 177mm of rain in March!

Swala - feb 2014

sightings - February 2014

Guests staying at Sanctuary Swala in February had some unique sightings including seeing serval and a few honey badgers - animals not often seen in the bush. There have also been a lot of lion kills, mainly buffalo. The resident leopards and cheetahs have been very busy killing warthogs and small impalas. The large herds of elephants and buffaloes have remained in the area and we've had great lion sightings  - spotting them almost every day this month.  

Swala - Jan 2014

sightings - january 2014

Great sightings this month included that of a female cheetah with her three cubs. The elephants are still all over the area and often come into camp to drink from the nearby waterhole. 

The tree climbing pythons have taken to the swamps and haven't been seen for a while. The lion sightings remain good, and although it can be difficult to see them due to the long grass, we luckily have some of the best guides able to spot just about any animal in the bush. The surrounding area is looking lush and green with almost all of the Baobabs in leaf.

Swala - Dec 2013

Sightings - December 2013

This month has seen a few honey badgers moving around the camp. The ongoing rains have turned the bush green and with that, there are also many new-borns around. Local residents in and around camp include impala, waterbuck, kudu, giraffe, jackal and ground hornbills seen daily from the main lounge deck area.

The birdlife is still amazing and the vervet monkeys provide day-long entertainment. Other sightings this month include lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, hyena, cheetah and more of the tree climbing pythons.

Swala - Oct 2013

sightings - October 2013

Guests staying at Sanctuary Swala during October had another phenomenal month of game viewing.  Sightings of the area's notorious tree climbing pythons, cheetah, wild dogs, hyena, buffalo and leopard all increased from last month. Plains game and baboons can be seen almost the entire day in and around camp providing endless entertainment for guests who decide to stay in camp. From now until April the park enters its prime bird watching period, as migrant species flock to the area.

Swala - Nov 2013

Sightings - November 2013

The lions sightings in and around camp have been amazing. Guests witnessed a zebra kill at the waterhole right in front of the camp. They also saw mating lions and buffaloes being chased by lions towards the pool area. The rains have started turning the surrounding area to all shades of green. There is a hive of activity around the baobabs - bees, bats, bush babies, birds, monkeys and impala all eating the flowers that have dropped onto the ground. The Tarangire is still excellent for elephant sightings and there are also large numbers of buffalo around - in one drive we encountered three different herds of over 1000 strong.

Swala - Sept 2013

SIGHTINGS - September 2013

The camp has had an incredible game viewing month, most of which guests didn't even have to leave camp to see. We had very vocal lions almost permanently in camp at night. A herd of elephants made the camp surrounds their home and our guides spotted a coalition of two male cheetahs walking around camp and one of our guests even spotted a leopard drinking from the pool. The Marabou storks are roosting in trees around lodge and most of our guests were able to see a few  tree climbing pythons. Other interesting sightings include seeing a white Baboon. We suspect he suffers from leucism - a condition characterised by reduced pigmentation in animals. Unlike albinism, it is caused by a reduction in all types of skin pigment, not just melanin.

Swala - Aug 2013


The Tarangire National Park is famous for its tree climbing lions and pythons - which is exactly what one of our guests recently spotted. It is thought that they prefer to lounge in the branches of a sausage tree where the fruit of the tree helps disguise the twitch of its tail. Another unique sighting this month was of a serval. These medium sized cats are strong but slender with long legs and a short tail. They are nocturnal and as opportunistic predators - mostly hunts birds, reptiles, insects and frogs.