The park can be accessed either through the southern or northern gates. The northern gate is more commonly used since most accommodation is located in its vicinity. It is 90 minutes drive from Arusha.
As part of the famous northern safari circuit, Lake Manyara National park can only be visited by very few people in isolation. Majority of the safaris to this particular circuit, of Lake Manyara National Park, start their journey from the town of Arusha.
The best way to get there is by flying into the Kilimanjaro International Airport. (KIA).From Arusha, this airport is located in a distance of about 46 kilometres .Using a domestic flight, it is also possible to fly to Arusha Airport (ARK) while flying into the Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam .Booking a cheap flight from Nairobi in Kenya is another option to explore and take a shuttle bus to Arusha. At such occasions you can always be picked up by your tour operator from Tanzania as well as dealing with any other ground operations like ongoing flights. Situated at the top of the rift wall, there is also another airport, Lake Manyara Airport (LKY)
There are also charter flights from Arusha and the Serengeti to Manyara’s airstrip. Here, it is a 10 minutes drive from the park after landing at Manyara airstrip on the escarpment. Domestic flights can be arranged with a domestic carrier. In addition to this, charter flights between parks are in most cases booked by your tour operator as part of your safari package.
On the Road
Located southwest of Arusha, Lake Manyara National Park is in a distance of 126 kilometers (also 78 miles.) and can easily be reached by car. You can also flexibly get there from Bahati, the capital of Manyara region.
By car, one can also take a trip (road safari) to the newly tarred road from Arusha which only takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to reach the entrance gate. Considering that Manyara Park is on the way to Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti which are the other parks of the northern circuit, most people prefer to take a circuit by a safari vehicle.
You would need to rent a vehicle to enter the park via the gateway village Mto Wa Mbu which is accessible by bus.
All year through, there is a good access to this park, note: the best time for large mammals is the dry season that comes between July to October while November to June the wet season which is best for birds.
Lake Manyara stretches over 330 square kilometers of the Northern Rift valley floor, in the south west of Arusha. This park was established in 1960 and has its main point of focus as Manyara Lake. In the whole of the East African Rift, Ernest Hemingway identified lake Manyara as the most luxurious place, its impressive setting that he once extolled with the documentary maker, Collin Willock. Passionate safari tourists like to get to the world famous Serengeti and Ngorongoro getting there more often through the Manyara National park. Within a considerably small location, Lake Manyara Park hosts a range of important microcosm of the safari experience in Tanzania.
Manyara is the easiest to reach, being the first stop from Arusha.