Candelabra trees, doum palms and dense woodland adorn the fascinating Burungi circuit that loops through the western region of the park. As you travel along the traditional road clockwise from Engelhard Bridge, you'll drive south and west along the Tarangire river through flat-topped acacias to within 1 mile of the Kuro ranger post before turning your landrover right into woodland as you head towards the park's western boundary. Before you reach the boundary you'll turn right again -following the boundary northwards to bring you back to Engelhard Bridge. The complete game loop is approximately 50 miles. During the drive you will see the fascinating candelabra tree with its dark green, succulent branches, among other wonderful types of flora and fauna. The thornless, succulent branches of the candelabra trees have a milky sap that is poisonous and will burn skin on contact.
Keep your eyes open for Lesser Kudu, a strikingly beautiful and unusual looking little antelope that often hides in the thick bush that blankets this area of Tarangire. They are a very shy antelope, and spend most of the day hidden in dense thicket, venturing out only in late evening and early morning. Adult male Kudu are grey and don a pair of large spiraled horns. The females are more of a brown color and do not have horns. Both males and females have about 13 vertical white stripes around the body, with distinguishing white patches of fur around the neck and throat.
The river valleys on the Burungi Circuit are lined with magnificent borassus palm trees. It is interesting to note that the wood from this tree is termite resistant. Small birds called palm swifts nest in the branches attaching a small bunch of feathers, glued together by saliva, to the mid-rib of a tree branch. From a ground perspective, gazing up at the tree tops from several meters away, these little nests look like a mass of cobwebs. The Borrasus palm also produces a tasty fruit that is edible, and a good palm wine can be tapped from the tree. Interestingly, both lions and elephants like the taste of the edible fruit that grows on the palms.
After turning west into woodland scattered with African ebony trees, it is quite possible to see Africa's largest antelope the eland. Elands are massive animals, almost cow-like in their build, with big males weighing up to 900 kg and measuring almost 2 meters in height at the prominent hump near the neck. The eland is a very skittish animal in spite of their massive size. Both males and females have spiraled horns that grow straight back from their heads. The female eland are reddish fawn in color, while the older males are more of a grey. Both sexes have characteristic lateral stripes draped around the barrel of their bodies.
Near a kopje, approximately 5 miles short from the park boundary, is a spectacular view of Lake Burugi glittering in the distance. Lake Manyara, the three rolling peaks of Milima Mitatu and the Gregory Rift Wall form a scenic backdrop. Lake Burungi, as well as Lake Manyara, are shallow soda lakes rarely reaching depths of more than 2 meters. The water contains various minerals, mainly calcium and sodium. Since these lakes are formed by natural depressions in the land, they have limited outlets and the minerals can sometimes get very concentrated. Sometimes, during drought years, the lakes will completely evaporate, leaving behind white soda deposits that glitter like snow in the sunshine.
Once in the valley, you will re-enter thick bush and if you are paying attention you might even catch a glimpse of a bushbuck. These pretty antelopes of medium build have a grey or brown coat and light spots on their haunches. Both males and females have bushy white tails that are raised like a flag when they are alarmed and leap for cover. Male bushbuck have a pair of straight, spiral horns.