Lake Manyara National Park nestled between the Great Rift Valley and the sodiforous lake is one the most picturesque parks of Tanzania. Located 125 Km off the west of Arusha Town, it is one of the oldest national parks on the northern circuit.
Lake Manyara is one of the underrated parks of Tanzania. Even though it may lack the size and variety of other northern-circuit safari destinations, but its scintillating landscapes and views with its myriad flora and fauna compensate it more than enough.
It has one the diverse vegetation and has 11 ecosystems ranging from savannah to marsh to evergreen forest. It supports one of the highest biomass densities of large mammals in the world. The lake constitutes a majority of the national park, i.e. 70% of the park, 231 sq km area of the 329 sq km park.
The park with lush forest carpeting the rough walls of the Rift Valley escarpment, and the shimmering waters of the lake packed with waterbird are a sight to behold.
Manyara is famed for its tree-climbing lions and pink flamingos. You can easily elephants, buffalos, hippos, zebras, giraffes, monkey and baboons in large numbers in and around the lake. Apart from the varied wildlife, Manyara is known for its bird population with over 400 species. It is known for thousands of pink-hued flamingos that pack the lake. Besides flamingos, pink-backed pelicans, herons, storks, sacred and glossy ibis, and black egret can be spotted at the Park.
Lake Manyara National Park offers you interesting wildlife, varied scenery, cultural sites, and mesmerizing landscapes in a short period of time. However, this stunning park is often missed or dash through en route to Ngorongoro Crater. So, while you northern circuit tour don’t miss out this stunning park!
Lake Manyara National Park offers good watch for wildlife all year long. Apart from the wet season the park with its lush green vegetation and waterfall flowing down is a sight not to be missed. However, the best to view wildlife is during the dry season, June – October.
Lake Manyara National Park is famed for its tree climbing lions and its rich bird population. Elephants, wildebeests, giraffes, buffaloes, zebras, impalas, waterbucks, warthogs and huge troops of baboons can be spotted at the park.
It is a paradise for birdwatchers and is the perfect destination birdwatching as you can easily spot more than 100 bird species in one day. You can also spot 300 migratory bird species including the famous pink-hued flamingos, raptors and long-crested eagles at Manyara.
Lake Manyara itself is one of the major attractions of the park. This alkaline lake with the escarpments of Rift Valley cliff as its background is scintillating.
Lake Manyara National Park is very easy to access and you can either reach the park by road or flights.
It is just 90 minutes drive away from Arusha which from Ngorongoro Crater it takes barely one hour to reach Lake Manyara. Bus services from Arusha are also available.
You can take a domestic flight from Kilimanjaro International Airport or Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam to Arusha town, from where you can go by road to Manyara. You can also take direct chartered flights to Manyara’s airstrip from Arusha and Serengeti.