Tanzania’s Lake Manyara, it brings a whole new meaning to the word scenic. Nestled along the base of a high Rift Valley that is 600 meters in height, Lake Manyara even caught the admiration of American author Ernest Hemingway.
When you visit Lake Manyara National Park, it will give you a glimpse of a Tanzanian safari adventure. Surrounding this alkaline lake, is a lush groundwater forest, which is home to many wildlife species including blue monkeys and forest hornbills. But the mainstays of this luscious lake environment, and one of the main reasons why travelers make their way to Lake Manyara are the baboon troops. In fact, the national park houses the biggest concentration of baboons in the world.
Across Lake Manyara is a grassy floodplain that expands eastward. From here, you will also get to view the volcanos that tower the Maasai Steppe’s. These grassy plains are home to wildebeest, zebras, giraffes, buffalos and the unique tree-climbing lions. As the name suggests, these lions typically climb acacia trees and they make an incredible sight. Hopefully you will be able to get a great photo!
If you are fascinated about birdlife, Manyara is the perfect place to watch magnificent flying creatures in action. Frequenting the lake area are approximately 400 bird species. Even if it is your first time bird-watching, you will most likely dozens of birds like pelicans, storks, cormorants on a daily basis. In addition to the water birds, you will also get the chance to see the migration of hundreds of beautiful pink colored flamingos.
Lake Manyara National Park is a perfect vacation destination for families as there are activities at the lake area that are suitable for children. Because of the wildlife diversity around the lake region, it has become a popular spot for game drives both day and night. You can also go canoeing when the water levels are high. If you are traveling with a group, you can easily have a relaxing picnic while taking in the scenery. Other activities available in the national park area include mountain bike tours and forest walks. Learn more about the traditional way of life at a local village by signing up for a cultural tour.
This National Park can be visited all year round, but if you want to see large mammals, plan your visit during the dry season, which is between the months of July and October. The period between November and June, which is considered the wet season, is ideal for bird watching as well as for canoeing and waterfalls trekking.
Lake Manyara lies in northern Tanzania. Its entrance gate is about an hour and a half drive from the city of Arusha. The park is close by Mto wa Mbu village, which is known for its ethnic diversity. Aside from getting there by driving, you can also catch a charter flight to the lake region from Arusha. As for finding accommodation, there is plenty to choose from. Within the park grounds, there are a couple of public campsites and luxury treehouse-layout dwellings. There are also lodges and tented camps located on the Rift Wall just outside the park that overlook the lake.