LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara national park is one of Tanzania’s smallest reserves covering 648.7sqkm. It is spectacular, scenic, and incredibly diverse. The park trees shelter lions and this earned the park a tagline “Home of Tree climbing lions”. The park derives its name from the Soda Lake and Euphorbia tirucalli plant which is known as Emanyara in Maasai Language.
The park has diverse habitats from dense woodlands, steep mountain slopes, valleys, soda lake, and forests. The shores of the soda lake host pink flamingoes which are part of the over 400 bird species here. The park has a third of it as a dry land that hosts its incredible wealth of wildlife. Earnest Hemmingway once described the setting of Lake Manyara National park as “The loveliest he had seen in Africa”.
With the forested entry to the park, grassy flood plains, and the alkaline lake centerpiece, the nature of the park harbors life like hippos, impalas, wildebeests, buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, zebras, legendary tree-climbing lions, elephant herds, the largest concentration of baboons, Bushbabies, skyes monkeys, all introduced to you by the expert guides who are also passionate birders.
The park is on the rift valley floor and hosts hot springs that have a temperature of 76.5oC, which are an important source of food and minerals to flamingoes and other life at the park.
ACTIVITIES AT THE PARK
From the bird-fringed shores of the soda lake, normally the pink-hued flamingoes and pelicans that shade the water of the alkaline lake with a pink reflection, grassy plains, and tall trees, the park teems with wildlife that can be watched on drives through the park. Encounter the lions as they lounge in trees, leopards, troops of baboons, zebras. Maasai giraffes, klipspringer, Did-diks, impalas, waterbucks, and several birds. Visitors to the park can also engage in the night game drives through the diverse ecosystems for an opportunity to encounter nocturnal birds (owls, nightjars) and watch the wilderness from a whole different perspective, unlike daytime.
Lake Manyara N.P has natural walking trails to take you through the park on foot. Follow the trails created by animals to areas with a concentration of wildlife that offers a chance to get close to nature under the guidance of an armed ranger. Visitors can also explore the Marang’ forest above the escarpment that is home to species like Elephants, buffaloes, blue monkeys, leopards, and forest birds.
The park is a birding hotspot and provides a perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife with highlights of the pink-hued flamingoes. It offers an opportunity to sight up to 100 species a day. Avians can watch birds from the Majimoto board walkway, canoes on the lake, and game drives. Some of the species at the park include the Abdim’s stork, African fish eagle, African grey hornbill, African hawk eagle, African jacana, African spoonbill, Baglafecht weaver, Comb duck, Crowned eagle, Great white pelican, Greater flamingo, Grey crowned crane, Hummerkops, Hottentot teal, Lesser flamingo, Little stint, Pied avocet, Pied kingfisher, Pink-backed pelican, Sacred ibis, Saddle-billed stork, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, Southern ground hornbill, Spur-winged goose, Von der Decken’s hornbill, Yellow-billed stork, among others.
Walk on one of Africa’s longest canopy walkways at Lake Manyara National park. The walkways have intermittent view decks around trees and give great views. Canopy walks are not common in Africa despite being great ways to explore the forest fauna and canopies from a different view.
L. Manyara national park has an incredible array of life (birds, plants, and big game). These usually concentrate along the shores of the alkaline lake to graze on the plant life that grows here. Canoe rides get visitors close to these and also capture the spectacular view of the steep escarpment covered with evergreen forests. The opportunity for canoeing in Tanzania’s national parks and the rest of Africa’s parks is relatively small and Lake Manyara national park is one of the few where the activity takes place.
Accessing the park
Lake Manyara national park has two main entrances, one in the north and the other in the south. The northern gate is the famous one because the majority of the accommodation facilities are concentrated here. The park is 115km from Arusha city via Makuyuni-Ngorongoro road. Visitors can also take scheduled flights from Arusha Airport or Kilimanjaro International Airport to the park.
A visit to the park can be included together with a safari to the famous park in the northern sector.
Reach us for a Lake Manyara National park tour.