An Overview
7-National Parks2
12-1 day Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara National Park is widely regarded as the best introduction to Tanzanian safari. It stretches for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600 metre high Rift Valley and promises a magnificent scenic drive. When compared to game viewing offered by the likes of Tarangire and Ngorongoro, Manyara falls short in terms of number of species, but with its world famous tree-climbing lions and thousands of flamingos, it doesn’t fail to captivate your imagination.

 

A drive through Manyara is a relaxed drive and certainly deserves your time. Lake Manyara itself sits in the middle of the park. The lake takes up much of the park leaving a strip of land running down its shores where game is concentrated. The pink flamingos are the most visible inhabitants of the lakeshore but there are hippos and some other animals, making the lake quite an active habitat. Manyara is often visited for an afternoon’s game drive on the way to Ngorongoro.

 

Lake Manyara is not known for large concentrations of game but there are a number of unique species that make this safari worth your while. The world famous tree-climbing lions are the main attraction in this park. Nobody knows definitively why these lions habitually climb trees but viewing a pride relaxing on a branch of an acacia tree is quite a site. The park is also famous for its huge number of elephants and baboons and due to its varied landscape has an impressive range of other game including wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, flamingo, zebra, warthog, waterbuck and impala. For bird lovers, the birding here is also very good, especially raptors.
While at Manyara: 
The main activity for visitors to Lake Manyara is day time game driving. Recently the park has started to offer night safaris and the camps deep inside the park are offering short walks. Staying on the Rift Valley, outside the park however does open up a wealth of activities with walking, village trips, hiking, and other activities such as mountain biking available at some lodges. There is also an agricultural and fresh produce market town of Mto Wa Mbu which is situated next to the entrance of Lake Manyara National Park. Here you will be able to buy all your safari souvenirs at a reasonable price.

 

Best time to visit:
Lake Manyara is consistently good as a soft game viewing park at anytime of the year. However, due to the seasonal migration pattern within the region Manyara is at its peak from July to October. Since it is such a small park, season is not the deciding factor to go here, it is whether you are in the area and have the time.