Lake Manyara National Park stretches along the base of the majestic Rift Valley escarpment, offering breathtaking views praised by Ernest Hemingway as the most beautiful in Africa. The park’s compact game-viewing circuit provides a microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. Lush groundwater forests are home to baboons, blue monkeys, bushbuck, and forest hornbills, while the grassy floodplain attracts large herds of buffalo, wildebeest, zebras, and strikingly dark giraffes.
Size: 330 sq km (127 sq miles), of which up to 200 sq km (77 sq miles) is lake when water levels are high.
Location: In northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km/80 miles) west of Arusha along a newly surfaced road, close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.
Legendary Tree-Climbing Lions and Acacia Woodland Wildlife
Lake Manyara’s renowned tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants roam the narrow belt of acacia woodland. Banded mongoose dart through the trees, while the tiny Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. The park also boasts sightings of klipspringer silhouetted on rocky outcrops, overlooking a field of steaming hot springs near the lakeshore. This unique ecosystem offers an unforgettable wildlife
A Birder’s Paradise with a Dazzling Array of Species
Lake Manyara is a haven for bird enthusiasts, with over 400 recorded species. Even first-time visitors to Africa can expect to spot around 100 species in a single day. The park is particularly famous for its pink-hued flamingos, which migrate perpetually. Pelicans, cormorants, storks, and numerous other waterbirds add to the avian spectacle, making it a birdwatcher’s paradise.
By road, charter or scheduled flight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
What to do
Game drives, night game drives, canoeing when the water levels is sufficiently high.
Cultural tours, picnicking, bush lunch/dinner, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
When to go
Dry season (July-October) for large mammals;
Wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.
One luxury treehouse-style camp, public bandas and campsites inside the park.
One luxury tented camp and three lodges perched on the Rift Wall outside the park overlooking the lake.
Several guesthouses and campsites in nearby Mto wa Mbu.