Lake Manyara National Park is a smaller sized park dominated by its lake and situated on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti in Northern Tanzania. Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, 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. With short rains starting from November to December and long rains from February to May. The dry season is from late June to October.
The park is located in Northern Tanzania, 126 km west of Arusha town along the Makuyuni-Ngorongoro road, strategically located along the high way to Ngorongoro and Serengeti and is easily accessible by road.
Through charter or scheduled flights to Manyara and Kusini Airports.
The park can be accessed throughout the year. However June to October is the best time for large mammals and November to July is ideal time for bird watching.
The Lake forms the most spectacular sight, home to vast numbers of waterfowl such as the Lesser Flamingo.
Lions climb the trees to escape uncomfortable wet feet and have developed the habit such that even in the hot season, you can see them climbing trees despite the dangers of having claws that are unsuitable for such activities that the leopard enjoys with far less hazard.
The trail meanders through hot springs and the lakeshore around a marsh and finally onto the lake. The boardwalk will give visitors a unique view and wonderful photo opportunities at every turn of the trail.
You'll see plenty of baboons, although the lions are harder to catch a glimpse of (as are the leopards). And the thick jungle near the park entrance, is the ideal habitat for blue monkeys and hundreds of varieties of birds.
Ernest Hemingway called Lake Manyara "the loveliest [lake] ... in Africa." The National Park, which is relatively small compared with the nearby Tarangire National Park and very different to Ngorongoro Crater.
Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded. Even a first-time visitor to Africa can reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. A big array of water-associated birds including pink-backed pelicans, herons and storks, sacred and glossy ibis, and black egret are easily seen around the hippo pool. When the water level is right, the lake is also home to thousands of pink-hued flamingo, but it isn’t usually possible to see the big flocks due to limited roads near the water’s edge. More than 50 birds-of-prey have been recorded including the crowned eagle and African hawk-eagle. Migratory birds are present from November to April.