Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is among the most interesting national parks found in Tanzania and is home to a large number of different wild animals. It covers an area of just 330 square kilometers which makes it the smallest in the country, with two thirds of this area covered by a lake. Lake Manyara which is a soda lake is the most dominant feature in this park and its size varies depending on the wet or dry season. It is after this lake that the park was named.
Although this park is popular for its resident population of tree climbing lions, the big cats here are hardly seen, however there are very many elephants in the park which are actually the key attraction in Lake Manyara National Park.
Wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park
There is a variety of wildlife living in this park with the most dominant and prevalent being the huge elephants. The park is also popular for the unique tree climbing lions. Among the animals here are the huge buffaloes, wildebeest and zebras which commonly gather in the grass plains. Other animals include hippos, giraffes, occasional bushbucks and klipspringer among others. There are also a number of different primates living in this park among which are blue monkeys and the baboons.
Best time for viewing wildlife
For the best views of wild animals we recommend that you visit during the dry season, when the vegetation is thin and there is hardly any rain. During that time the animals congregate around the water sources. This is from mid-June up to October.
Bird watching in Lake Manyara NP
This park is home to more than four hundred (400) ird species which have been recorded. even an inexperienced birder will have an opportunity to see more than 5050 species in a single day. the most dominant of these are the thousands of pink flamingoes. other species include: pelicans, storks and cormorants, plus various migratory bird species that arrive from November up to April, Black-heron, little bee-eater, Martial eagle, Glossy ibis, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, African fish eagle, Silvery-cheeked hornbill, African jacana, African grey hornbill, Great white pelican, Greater flamingo
Best time for bird watching
Bird watching is good all year round, however from November to April is when you will get the best views as the migratory species from Europe as well as northern Africa are present.
How to get to Lake Manyara National Park
This park is part of Tanzania’s popular northern-safari circuit and majority of the safaris here begin in Arusha town. The best way to get there is by flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport – JRO, found just 46 kilometers from Arusha, alternatively you can fly directly into Arusha Airport using the domestic flights.
Alternatively you may use road transport either the public busses from Nairobi to Arusha or using private vehicles normally arranged through your tour operator.
However you can also access this park while connecting from other tourist parks such as:
From Ngorongoro Crater it’s a 2 hours drive covering about 80 kilometers.
From Tarangire National Park it’s approximately 2 hours over a 100 kilometers about 100 kilometers.
What to do in Lake Manyara National Park
There are a number of activities you can enjoy while on a Tanzania safari among which are: Game drives, mountain bike tours, night game drives, forest walks, abseiling, canoeing once the water level is high enough, picnicking and cultural tours.
When to go to Lake Manyara NP | Best Time to Visit
Watching wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park can be visited all year round, however for the wildlife views; we recommend that you visit during the dry season mid June up to October.
June to October (Dry Season): During that time the vegetation is thinner and the animals are easier to see since they gather together around the water sources. there is hardly any rain, the sun is bright and the mosquitoes are very few.
Where to Stay in Lake Manyara / Accommodation
There are a number of accommodation facilities in and around the park including budget accommodation, mid-range accommodation as well as luxury accommodation and among these are: Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge, Kirurumu Tented Lodge, Lake Manyara Wildlife Lodge, Migunga Tented Camp, Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp, Lemala Manyara Tented Camp, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge and Escarpment Luxury Lodge.