Lake Manyara stretches far and wide at the base of the rusty 600 meter Rift Valley escarpment; the park is a scenic gem, that will offer a visitor a glimpse of the Tanzania safari experience. Ernest Hemingway remarked that it is “the loveliest he had seen in Africa”.
From the entrance gate, visitors will go through a lush jungle with a lot of groundwater that supports the forests growing nearby. In the forests, you will see large troops of baboons which can sometimes be as big as 100 baboons per troop. Blue monkeys and bushbucks are also a common sight in the jungles near the gate.
After the forest you will enter an expansive grassy floodplain that extends all the way to the alkaline lake that dominates the park; on the horizon, volcanic peaks that rise from the Maasai Steppes can be seen clearly. Large herds of buffaloes, wildebeests, and zebras reside in these grassy plains; giraffes also call the acacia forest on these grassy plains home. Inside the grassland is a narrow strip of acacia woodland which is favored by the world famous tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara; elephants and giraffes also reside in these woodlands.
Lake Manyara National Park provides a perfect introduction to Tanzania’s rich bird life; over 400 species have been recorded inside this park. If you invest a day in the park, you will most likely see about 100 bird species. The most notable of the birds are the thousands of pink-hued flamingos that descend on the lake every year as part of their annual migration cycle; other water birds such as pelicans, cormorants, and storks can also be seen on the lake.
Popular activities inside Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is a microcosm of Tanzania’s rich wildlife experience; come see over 400 bird species and do night game drives (Lake Manyara is the only park in Tanzania that allows night game drives).