Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara, Tanzania stretches for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.

The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.

From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees, dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.

Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

Extra Activities To Take During Safari

Once the filming location for the famous Tarzan movies, verdant Lake Manyara National Park is especially popular with bird watchers.
One of only two places in Africa where visitors can see tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park offers a number of additional activities such as night game drives and cycling safaris.

Night Game Drive
Many of Africa’s animals, especially its predators, are particularly active after dark. While it is not possible to drive within the park after hours, by driving along the fringes of the park it is possible to spot a variety of animals with the aid of a spotlight.
It is important to note that, as with all activities focused on wild animals, we cannot guarantee that you will see anything while on a night game drive.

Cycling Tour
For the adventurous, it is possible to enjoy a guided 2-3 hour cycling tour that takes you down into the Great Rift Valley and to the market town of Mto Wa Mbu.
The ride takes you along the shores of Lake Manyara and through groundwater forest, with the opportunity to see a number of animals along the way.

Horse Riding
If you’re of a more old-school mindset and want to see Africa as its earliest European explorers might have, it is also possible to take guided horseback safaris in and around Lake Manyara National Park.
Tours can last anywhere from a few hours to multiple days (spanning multiple parks).

Lake Manyara is a seasonal lake, meaning that during the dry season it all but disappears. However, when waters are high enough, it is possible to take a guided canoe safari through the park to see its resident hippos, cape buffalo, and water birds.

Get 30% off your first purchase

Need Help?