Welcome to Lake Manyara National Park well known for the tree climbing lions, the soda ash lake that attracts thousands and pink flamingos, one of Tanzania’s biggest elephant population and breathtaking scenery! This travel guide offers you the most updated information about the attractions, Lake Manyara accommodation, getting there and so much more. Enjoy your safari in Tanzania!
Location of Lake Manyara National Park
Located in the northern part of Tanzania, Lake Manyara National Park is 126 kilometers west of Arusha Town. The park covers an area of 330 sq km / 125 sq mile including a lake surface of 230 sq km / 89 sq miles
Lake Manyara Wildlife
Lake Manyara has a big number of elephants, so many giraffes; zebras, wildebeests, impalas, waterbucks, and warthogs, the less-known shy Kik’s dik dik as well as the Klipspringer that dwell along the ramps of the escarpment. Leopards are hosted within the scattered forests and escarpment, while the healthy population of lions that are widely known for their unique tree climbing capability. In addition, you will not fail to notice the very large number of baboons in this park which can live in sizeable troops of up to 200 members.
The Tree Climbing Lions of Lake Manyara NP
One would wonder, are there tree climbing lions in Lake Manyara National Park? Well, there is a thriving population of unique lions in the park which have the capability to climb tree; being nocturnal animals the animals spend most of their day resting up in the big fig trees and at sunset they descend when the temperatures are cooler. This is one of the only two populations of these unique lions the other being in Ishasha area in Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bird watching in Manyara
With a Bird list of more than 350 species and an alkaline within the park’s boundaries, Lake Mmanyara National Park is without a doubt one of the best places to visit on a Tanzania Birding Safari. Large flocks of pelicans and pink flamingos are usually spotted in the middle of the lake. While the spoonbills, egrets, herons, stalks and other waders converge around the edges and water meadows. Other habitats such as the evergreen forests and other woodlands serve as a safe haven to many other species like the crowned eagles, created guinea fowl, and the noisy silvery cheeked hornbills.
There are various areas within the Park. Behind the splendid scenery of the Great Rift Valley’s steep escarpment in the west is the narrow area that safeguards the area between the escarpment and Lake Manyara. The silvery bowls of salt deposits facilitate the ability of the alkaline Lake Manyara to expand contract with the seasons. Grassy floodplains neighbor it so closely while bands of mixed acacia woodlands in the far end. There are also patches of ever green forests next to the escarpment that are watered by the perennial underground waters coming from the bottom of the escarpment.
Marvel at the large elephant herds
Lake Manyara National Park is home to a large number of elephants just as the neighboring Tarangire National Park and during your visit you will get a chance see them foliage around
The most commonly used mean of exploring this small but impressive northern Tanzania Game Park is through game drives. During the peak Tanzania safari season, the park is normally crowded with several safari vehicles especially during the afternoon game drives
Track the tree climbing lions
A large number of tourists that visit the Lake Manyara National Park do so to set eyes on these exceptional lions that have a unique character. These can be seen while in the comfort of your safari vehicles during the game drives as they rest on the large branches of the fig trees.See the large troops of baboons
On your Safari to Lake Manyara you will be impressed by the large troops of social baboons as they cater for their young ones, feed and play about.
Visit the ‘pink’ lake with flamingoes
The Alkaline Lake Manyara attracts a large number of pink colored flamingoes that form some sort of pin ‘blanket’ covering the lake surface. It is a breathtaking view to marvel at thousands of flamingoes all in one area. In addition, you won’t fail to notice a number of other wildlife within the shallows of the lake such as hippos.
Explore the Lake Manyara tree-top Walkway
This amazing canopy walk that gradually rises in height extends for over 360 meters offering you an opportunity to walk through the verdant tree top of the forest and see some of the unique wildlife including birds and monkeys.
In only 1 hour and 30 minutes you are able to reach Lake Manyara National Park by road from Arusha and in less than an hour still, if you are coming from the Ngorongoro crater. a number of areas within the northern part of the park get very busy with large numbers of tourists more so in the afternoon. You are advised to stay within the park or nearby for at least two nights to enjoy it to its fullest.
Established in 1960, Lake Manyara National Park is mainly visited by holidaymakers en route to other destinations on the Northern Safari Circuit of Tanzania like the Ngorongoro Crater, and some tourists do not even spend the overnight as a way of cutting down on their safari budget.
However we highly recommend holidaymakers particularly when visiting during the busy peak tourist season (July to November) to spend at least a night in order to better experience the rich diversity of wildlife in this park and avoid any disappointments since the number of tourists in the park is generally high at this time of the year
When it come to Where to Stay, while on your visit to Lake Manyara National Park; it is usually best to reside either inside the park at any of the permanent camps like the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge or opt for a mobile tent which is more budget friendly. This will present you with the perfect way to adventure the park. that way, you will be able to begin your safari much earlier compared to other visitors who will be visiting the park on a mere day tour, giving you an in-depth exploration into the park on your Lake Manyara Tanzania Safari. You will definitely enjoy the best wildlife experience if you stay inside the park.
Two main gates, that is in the north and the south make up the 2 main entrances to Lake Manyara National Park. The northern gate has a number of accommodations located along it hence making it very busy as most of the visitors opt to use the northern part of the park. As you move towards the far south, the gate is rarely used considering that it also has controlled access. and there are just a few lodges and camps permitted to use this gate.
Combining Lake Manyara with other Northern Tanzania Safari Parks
Because of Lake Manyara National Park’s ideal location on the northern safari circuit of Tanzania, it can easily be combined with other destinations along this circuit such as the popular Serengeti National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater as well as Tarangire National Park
3 Day Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro
Day 2: Lake Manyara NP
Day 3: Ngorongoro – Departure
5 Day Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro
Day1: Arrival – Lake Manyara NP
Day 2 – 3: Serengeti NP
Day 4: Ngorongoro
Day 5: Departure