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Tarangire Lemiyon Triangle View Full Tanzania Map

Lemiyon is the first region of Tarangire National Park that one initially comes across after turning off the Great North Road at Kwacuhinja village and passing through the park's entry gate. This pristine area is tucked in the northernmost end of the park, and if viewing a map one can see it lies within a triangular shaped zone with the eastern and western boundaries forming the sides and the Tarangire River establishing most of the base. To the west is the Burungi Circuit, Lake Burungi and the Tarangire river; to the east of the road is the Matete region.

The surrounding landscape is comprised of broken grassland and varied woodlands, including an extensive region of various types of acacia trees. The earth here is made up of dark black volcanic matter, very fine in texture, and is called "black cotton soil". The most common trees here are the flat topped or the "umbrella" acacias, stretching their thorny canopies over the grasses below like a great sunshade and forming impressive silhouettes against the horizon. Mahogany trees soar overhead, and Toothbrush bushes peek above the grassy landscape in their vivid green garb.

The most striking form of vegetation in this area of the park is certainly the impressive baobab trees that loom alongside the road with their colossal silvered trunks and mass of gnarled branches. Hauntingly beautiful, these massive trees are rumored to host ghosts and spirits, and in truth do seem to take on a personality all their own. They appear almost surreal in nature and seem to dwarf the animals that graze underneath them. Baobab trees are hollow, and in a practical sense serve the rest of nature as reservoirs for water, nesting trees for hornbills and even wild bee hives.

Vast flocks of red-billed quelea birds whirr about, seeking seeds in bushed grasslands. Tarangire offers especially good raptor viewing and even the non-birding enthusiast will be astounded by the abundance and diversity of these powerful airborne predators. Raptors regularly seen include the tawny eagle, long-crested eagle, martial eagle and fish eagle.

A bird of prey that is seen often in this area is the bateleur eagle. This large and beautiful raptor has rich brown upper body feathers, a striking orange beak and a very short tail. Immature bateleur eagles have lighter brown almost chocolate colored feathers. The bateleur eagle is generally seen soaring through the skies over Tarangire, and is capable of sensational aerobatics. When hunting prey, it is capable of descending through the air with great speed and power.

Both wildebeest and zebra can be seen grazing or frolicking over the rolling countryside here. Also common are hartebeest, gazelle and elephants.

Commonly encountered predators in Lemiyon include lion, leopard, hyena and jackal. Wild African Hunting dogs may also be encountered, although these are rare. Nocturnal creatures include the civit and genet cat. Genet cats are slender and beautiful creatures, very lithe and catlike, with short grey fur, a narrow muzzle and round ears. The tail is thickly ringed with dark brown and it has endearing little white patches below large expressive eyes. Genets usually sleep away the heat of the day in a tree, and become active only at night or in the early morning.