Destinations | Lake Manyara National Park

This beautiful Park is situated at the base of the Great Rift Valley Escarpment It is comprised of forests, woodlands, grasslands, and swamps. Since it is only 130 km from Arusha, it can be visit as a day excursion.

From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where larges Baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside and Blue Monkeys scamper nimbly between the trees.

Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large Buffalo, Wildebeest and Zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do Giraffe.

Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara's legendary tree-climbing Lion and impressively tusked Elephant. Squadrons of Banded Mongoose dart between the acacias, and Kirk's Dik-Dik forages in their shade. Pairs of Klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs ‘Maji Moto’ that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lake shore in the far south of the park.

More than 400 species of birds has been record, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of Lesser Flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large Waterbirds such as Pelican and Stork.

About Lake Manyara National Park:
Size: 330 sq km, of which up to 200 sq km is lake when water levels are high.

In northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km) west of Arusha along a tarmac road, close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.

Getting there:
By road, charter or scheduled flight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

What to do:
Game drives, canoeing when the water levels is sufficiently high. Cultural tours in Mto waMbo, mountain bike tours, and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.

When to go:
Year round, but the wet season (November-June) special for birds

Gazelles, Impala, Buffalo. Wildebeest the famous tree climbing Lion, Hyaena, Baboon, Giraffe, Hippo, and a great number of smaller mammals and 350 species of Birds

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