Fairend Safaris

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is located in Arusha which is found in Northern Tanzania. It was named after Lake Manyara which covers two-thirds of the park’s total area. The park is famously known for flamingoes, tree-climbing lions which can only be seen in this park, and Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda, and the highest concentration of elephants in all of Tanzania. The Park is comprised of diverse geographical features including marsha lands, acacia woodlands, and rocky slopes. It is a birding paradise inhabiting over 400 bird species.

How to get to Lake Manyara National Park

Travelers visiting this park can use either road or air means to access the park. 

By road, travelers can drive from Arusha to the park which is 126km away and it takes about a 2 hours drive to get there via the northern gate.

By air, travelers can fly to the park from either Kilimanjaro or Arusha Airports using chartered flights to airstrips located in the park.

Top attractions

Wildlife species

Lake Manyara National park is home to a wide range of wild species which are permanent residents of this park. The animals that can be found in Manyara Park include tree-climbing lions, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, impalas, and baboons among others. These can be seen around the lake as they quench their thirst.

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara is a soda-alkaline lake that was formed due to volcanicity. The lake covers two-thirds of the park and hosts most aquatic features like hippos, crocodiles, large flocks of flamingos, and other water birds.

Birds

The park hosts over 400 bird species thus making it a birding paradise. With its small size, the park has a great number of birds especially large flock of flamingos that are found at the salty Lake Manyara. The park hosts both migratory birds which come for only breeding and permanent residents.

Hot springs

The hot springs are found in the narrow strip beneath the rift valley escarpments in the Western part of Lake Manyara. They were formed due to volcanicity and they produce heated groundwater that is a result of geothermal. The hot water rises from the uppermost part of the earth at an average boiling temperature of 60 degrees Celsius which can boil eggs.

Great Rift Valley Escarpment

The Rift Valley escarpment rises for about 1600 meters above sea level and its walls create a good scenic view, especially along the main gate. It provides a good aerial view of the park and guests can have a stopover before they proceed to the Ngorongoro crater.  

Activities to do in Lake Manyara National Park

Game drives

Travelers are able to see the wild species in their natural habitat. Game drives are conducted in the morning, afternoon, and night. Travelers are accompanied by guides or rangers who guide them to parts of the park where to find the animals.

These are usually done in 4WD vehicles and the animals to look out for include tree-climbing lions, hyenas, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, baboons, monkeys, elephants, and leopards among others.

Birding

Lake Manyara National Park is home to over 400 bird species including both migratory and permanent residents. Birding can be done throughout the year however, the most preferred time is during wet seasons. During this period, birds are nesting and migratory birds are available hence birders have a long list to see. The most cited birds are Flamingos, Geese, ducks, swans, Rufous-tailed Weaver, lovebirds, Fischer’s Sparrow Lark, Grey Crowned Crane, Two-banded course, Narina Trogon, Emerald Cuckoo, Crowned Hornbill, Schalow’s Turaco, and Crested Guinea fowl among others.

Treetop walk

Travelers who are adventurous can participate in a treetop walk. They will swing from the canopy of the trees as they enjoy the aerial views of the park. This can be done by travelers who are not terrified of heights.

Boat cruise

Boat cruises are done at Lake Manyara however, these are done in specific periods. Especially when the water levels are high during rainy seasons. Travelers should always get enough information before engaging in this activity.

Visit Hot springs

Travelers can visit the hot springs which are located in the Western part of Lake Manyara. Visiting these unique volcanic features is a great adventure as travelers can witness the hot water boil eggs and bananas.

Where to stay

There are a number of accommodation facilities that travelers are choose from. These range from luxury, mid-range and budget facilities. Some of the facilities include Lake Manyara Serena lodge, Lemala Manyara camp, Lake Manyara plantation lodge, Isoitok Camp Manyara, Andbeyond Lake Manyara tree lodge, Manyara Ranch Conservancy, Lake Burunge tented camp, Manyara wildlife safari camp, Lake Manyara view lodge and Haven nature camp and lodge among others.

When to visit  

Lake Manyara National Park can be visited throughout the year. However the best time to visit depends on the activity you are interested in. Travelers interested in birding can visit during rainy seasons and those interested in game drives and other activities may visit during dry seasons. The dry season is from June to October and the wet season is from March to May.