Extending for 50 kilometers along the bottom of the rusty 600 meter high Rift Valley escarpment, the Lake Manyara National Park is a spectacular gem, with a scenery inscribed by as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa” by Ernest Hemingway
The packed together game viewing circuit across the Manyara area offers a near microcosm of the safari experience in Tanzania.
From the park entrance gate, the road twsist through an area of verdant jungle-like ground-water forest home to hundreds of physically powerful baboon troops that are seen lying down casually by the roadside. the blue monkeys dash lightly between the very old mahogany trees, elegant bushbuck walk suspiciously through the plains, and the big forest hornbills hoot harshly up in the high trees.
Different from the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.
Inland of the floodplain, is a thin stretch of acacia woodland which is a well liked area and home to the legendary Manyara tree climbing lions plus the strikingly tusked elephants. You can see Troop of stripy mongoose run between these acacia, as the very small Kirk’s dik-dik feed in their shade. You can also see Pairs of klipspringer silhouetted up on the rocks in a field of scorching hot springs which steams and bubbles near the lakeshore in the park’s distant southern area.
Lake Manyara NP offers the perfect introduction to the birdlife of Tanzania. over 400 species of birds have been recorded here, and even on one’s first visit to this park they may be able to see about 100 different species in just a single day. Among the Highlights in the park are the thousands of pink flamingos which are on their continuous migration, and other big water birds like the storks, pelicans and the cormorants.
Size and location of Manyara National Park
the park covers an area of 330 sq km or 127 sq miles, of which 200 sq km or 77 sq miles are covered by the lake during the high tides.
Lake Manyara National Park is located in the northern part of Tanzania and its entrance gate is one and a half hours drive -126 km or 80 miles west of the town of the town of Arusha over a newly well-surfaced road, near the ethnically varied market of Mto wa Mbu town.
How to reach Lake Manyara National Park
The park can be reached by road, or using a charter or a scheduled flight coming from Arusha, to Serengeti as well as Ngorongoro Crater.
Activities to enjoy in Lake Manyara National Park
Game drives at night or during the day time, picnicking, mountain bike tours, canoeing when water levels are high, forest walks along the escarpment, Cultural tours, abseiling and bush lunches or dinners.
Best time to visit
in the Dry season from July to October to see large mammals;
in the Wet season from November to June to watch birds, canoeing and exploring the waterfalls