Most travellers to northern Tanzania are on their way to the world-famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater; few realise that the region is also home to one of the country’s most rewarding reserves – the Tarangire National Park.

Yet despite its easy accessibility, Tarangire is the least-visited destination on the so-called Northern Safari Circuit. Don’t let that put you off however: a Tarangire safari at the right time of year can deliver some of Tanzania’s best game viewing.

Best known for its elephant herds and tree-climbing lions, Tarangire is home to all the classic African savannah species plus a few unusual ones – such as the long-necked gerenuk – that you won’t see in the Serengeti. It’s home to all the big predators and with 550 species of bird on the tick list, it’s a fabulous destination for bird watchers.

But it’s Tarangire’s dry season that will have you reaching for the superlatives. Between June and October, the Tarangire River (running north-south through the park) attracts huge numbers of elephant, buffalo, giraffe and many antelope species. Go on a Tarangire safari at this time of year to see concentrations of animals rivalled only by those in the Ngorongoro Crater but, in the case of Tarangire, in a largely crowd-free environment.