Lake Manyara National Park is located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, and offers excellent game-viewing and birdlife.
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is flanked by the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley. This is one of Tanzania's most diverse of national parks, a modest (325kmē) and is a combination of Rift Valley lake, open plain shoreline, dense woodlands and steep mountainside.
Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. The park provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania's birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.
The Park has a large elephant population and is most famous for its tree-climbing lions. It is, however, a myth that this is unique to Manyara, as lions regularly climb trees throughout Africa. It is possibly most notable here as the large concentration of game and density of the vegetation make climbing a tree an opportunity to escape getting in the way of the elephants!
The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colourful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. From the entrance gate, the road winds through the forest and brings visitors to the open plains of the lake shore.
By road (2 hours), charter or scheduled flight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.