manyara national park
Lake Manyara National Park is known for its breathtaking panoramic views.
This is a smaller park with trees close to the road like a rain forest when you enter the park, Tarzan and Jane scenery as you come in deeper into the park you sooner or later come to the lake itself which now also offers canoeing.
Its beauty lies in its diversity including vast wildlife, open grasslands, forests and the water of Lake Manyara.
Manyara is best used as a soft introduction to a safari.
The scenic beauty of Manyara is the main reason to travel here and certainly deserves a visit.
The extensive marshlands
attract a variety of birds including pelicans and flamingos.
Sometimes the lions in Lake Manyara National Park can be found relaxing in the branches of the trees to escape the bothersome tsetse flies.
But the game viewing pales into insignificance compared to the quality of game viewing on offer in Tarangire, the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti.
Being famous for its tree-climbing lions, flamingos, breathtaking scenery and the soda-ash lake in the centre makes it reason enough to visit here for a day.
Missing it out when driving straight passed Manyara,
is ultimately a bit of a shame...we just question its quality as a big
game viewing park but why worry when you’re about to go onto the
Laken Manyara is a lovely scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater.
Described by Hemingway in the "Green Hills
of Africa", this once prime
hunting ground is today a national park of unsurpassed beauty.
Lying on the floor of the Eastern Rift Valley, Lake Manyara spreads out in a shallow depression starkly dominating the scene and standing out against a backdrop of the sheer red cliff of the western escarpment.
One enters Manyara from the village of Mto wa Mbu or 'Mosquito Creek' - the only place in Africa where one can hear the four major language groups.
The entrance of Manyara Park is dominated by a rich ground water forest.
Here elephants feed on the fallen wild fig and blue monkey, velvet, baboon, bushbuck, waterbuck nocturnal aardvark, civet, pangolin and leopard can be seen.
The lake itself takes up much of the park leaving a strip of land running down its shores where game concentrates.
Overall it’s a great introduction to a Tanzania safari, but a park that is not a patch on its neighbours.
It’s not a first choice of ours simply because of the low volume of game and the fact that the game driving areas are so small.
But a lovely little park to stop off at and have lunch at the start of your safari.
Buffalo and hippo wallow in the nearby Hippo Pool where most of the park's 380 species of birdlife can be spotted.
The vegetation eventually merges into flat topped acacia woodland where, in the heat of the day entire prides of lion can be seen stretched on the branches of these trees - a habit endemic to Manyara lions.
Famous for its tree climbing lions, good elephants and baboons, Manyara is often visited for an afternoon's game drive on the way to Ngorongoro.
Along with these amazing tree-climbing lions there are the usual browsers and grazers as well as the interesting banded mongoose.
Lake Manyara: What game will you see
Lake Manyara's game concentrations are not nearly as high as surrounding parks but there are a number of unique species that are reason to safari here.
Lake Manyara's tree climbing lions are the parks main attraction.
Why these lions habitually climb trees is still up for debate but viewing a pride relaxing in an acacia tree is an incredible site.
The park is also famous for its elephant, huge number of baboons and due to its varied landscape has an impressive range of other game including wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, flamingo, zebra, warthog, waterbuck, dik-dik and impala.
The birding here is very good, especially raptors.
Two thirds of the park is dominated by the slightly alkaline lake which is home to a seemingly endless variety of waterbirds.
Lake Manyara: When to go
Lake Manyara is consistently good as a soft game viewing park at anytime of the year. There is a seasonal migration pattern in the region which means that Manyara is officially at its peak from July to October.
However, since it is such a small park, season is not the deciding factor to go here, it is whether you are in the area and have the time.
Bordered by the Great Rift Valley this park is famous for its tree climbing lions and hot water springs.
Manyara is a vast alkaline lake that is home to many species of birds including pink clouds of flamingos.
Lake Manyara: What activities are on offer
The main activity for visitors to Lake Manyara is day time game driving.
Recently the park has started to offer night safari and the camps deep inside the park are offering short walks.
Staying on the Rift Valley, outside the park however does open up a wealth of activities with walking, village trips, hiking, and other activities such as mountain biking available at some lodges.
Lake Manyara: An overview of where to stay
The most famous lodge at Manyara is &Beyond's Lake Manyara Tree Lodge; a luxurious property that offers the only accommodation in the park.
Nestled on the top of the Rift Valley with superb views looking down into the park are the much more affordable Kirurumu Tented Camp and Lake Manyara Serena Lodge.
We also use lodges in the nearby Karatu area for safaris to Lake Manyara.
The best of these being either Plantation Lodge or Gibbs Farm, both
allowing equally convenient access to Lake Manyara and
Recommended lodges in this area:
Enjoy 3-5 star luxury accommodations with all the trappings whilst relaxing in Africa.
Facilities available include en-suite bathrooms, swimming pools (in most of the lodges, but restricted to certain camps), lounge, bar, laundry and services.