Encompassing an area of 330 square kilometers (200 square kilometers occupied by the lake, Lake Manyara National Park has declared a game reserve in 1957. Later upgraded into a national park after three years. It is located between the escarpments of the Great Rift Valley and is 130 km from Arusha.
This park can be visited on day tour excursions. In addition to the Majimoto (hot Sulphur springs) at the southern end of the park. This protected area is composed of woodlands, swamps and grasslands.
Tucked at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara National Park tempts travelers with its spectacular beauty. The park’s lush habitats isn’t only restricted to birdlife, but there are also abundant animals such as hippos, giraffes, elephants and buffaloes.
Lake Manyara is known most for the tree-climbing lions that spend most of their time in branches of acacia trees that are about 6-7 meters above the ground.
This protected area is occupied by lush forests that are home to blue monkeys, troops of baboons, buffaloes and more. Its flat topped acacia woodlands are roamed by prides of lions that can be seen stretched on the tree branches.
Besides the rarely seen tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara is inhabited by banded mongoose, grazers and browsers. Part of this area is occupied by alkaline lakes that are home to a variety of water birds.
To add on that, Lake Manyara play hosts over 400 species of birds. Some of these species are pelicans, red-billed quelea, storks, sacred ibis, cormorants, Egyptian geese, African spoonbill, white-faced duck and flamingoes.
These excursions are offered daily and grants visitors opportunities to walk through the forest with experienced and armed ranger guides to provide protection. The tour includes visits to old trees that have existed for over 200 years. There are near the rift valley escarpment. This area offers a beautiful view of the park and surrounding villages.
Offered in a suitable vehicle with pop up roof, Gam driving is one of the best ways to see Lake Manyara’s diverse Wildlife. Besides being home to the famous tree climbing lions, Lake Manyara delights travelers with views of numerous wild animals during day varying from the smaller mammals (dik-dik, rabbits) to giant elephants, buffaloes and zebras.
It is not that all species are common during day more the nocturnal species. Therefore the best time to see them is at night. Safari jeeps used for night game drive differentiate themselves from those used during day with top roof lights and are open on both sides.
This is offered on Lake Manyara and allows tourists to interact with the fishermen who spend most of their time fishing. From the local canoes that are made from fig tree species, tourists take in the natural beautifulness of this alkaline soda lake.
Meanwhile Lake Manyara National Park is recorded with over 500 species of birds. This makes it a must for bird watching excursions in Tanzania. There are many unique species to see including the pink flamingo that migrates from Lake Natron to Lake Manyara. Other species on the list are pelicans, weavers, turkey, goose, marabou storks, and hundreds of yellow-billed storks.
Lake Manyara is dotted by abundant campsites that treat tourists with good accommodation in the wild and as well engage in varied activities. There are both luxury and budget camps, so it is your choice to choose what you are more interested in.
However Lake Manyara National Park is traversed by numerous trails that are perfect for hiking expeditions. Make sure to partake in this activity while in the Park for body fitness and health. It also offers endless views of the Park’s beauty.