Lake Manyara National Park
Nestled against the magnificent backdrop of the Great Rift Valley’s western escarpment, lies a captivating, elongated park that spans the area between the escarpment and the mesmerizing Lake Manyara. This narrow strip of paradise showcases a stunning tapestry of landscapes and wildlife.
Lake Manyara National Park beckons with its ease of access, a mere 90-minute drive from Arusha and a tantalizing hour from the iconic Ngorongoro Crater. It’s no wonder that the park’s northern side can become bustling and vibrant, particularly during the afternoon hours. To truly savor the park’s unparalleled charm, we highly recommend either immersing yourself within its borders or indulging in a two-night stay nearby, granting you the privilege of embarking on a full-day safari from the crack of dawn.
Two main gateways grant entry into the park—the northern and southern gates. While the northern gate boasts popularity due to its proximity to a plethora of accommodation options, the southern gate remains relatively untouched, boasting restricted access and a select few camps and lodges.
Spanning a modest area of approximately 330 square kilometers, with a significant portion submerged beneath the lake’s tranquil surface, Lake Manyara National Park may be considered small by African standards. Yet, within its compact boundaries lies an ethereal beauty and a haven teeming with diverse wildlife, especially an extraordinary array of avian creatures.
Enthralling encounters await as you traverse the park, encountering herds of majestic elephants, mighty buffalo, and graceful wildebeest. Delight in the presence of elegant giraffes, zebras, waterbucks, warthogs, and impalas that grace the landscape. Keep your senses keen to spot the elusive Kirk’s dik-dik and agile klipspringer, who find solace amidst the slopes of the escarpment. Leopards find sanctuary within the broken forests and rugged cliffs, while the legendary tree-climbing lions, though not exclusively unique to this park, are renowned residents of Manyara. Prepare to be awe-struck by the sight of enormous troops of baboons, Africa’s largest, numbering in the hundreds.
As the sun casts its golden glow, over 400 species of birds take center stage, gracing the park with their vibrant presence. These feathered wonders choose to call Lake Manyara their permanent abode, ensuring a captivating spectacle for avid birdwatchers. With over 100 different species of birds often encountered in a single day, Lake Manyara emerges as a veritable haven for those who seek the mesmerizing melodies and enchanting flights of these captivating creatures.