This charming and often under-rated park is often used as an overnight destination and afternoon game drive on the way to Ngorongoro. It will not offer what neighbouring parks offer in terms of density of game viewing, however the unique scenery and ecology provides a boon for the discerning traveller.
Lake Manyara offers a landscape of diverse habitats, from its Rift Valley soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountain slopes. Apart from a spectacular setting, the park is famous for its unusual tree-climbing lions and the vast elephant herds it was established to protect. The lake itself takes up much of the park, leaving a strip of land running along its shores where game concentrates.
The shores of the lake, encrusted with pink flamingo, attract more than 400 species of birds, many of them waterfowl or migrants. Large herds of buffalo, cheetah, Masai giraffe and impala roam the lake shores and the forested valley slopes.
A Lake Manyara safari is a fascinating experience, as the park also features a ground-water forest, acacia tortilis woodland and hot springs called Maji Moto. Troops of several hundred olive baboon appear alongside Sykes monkey and short-eared galago. Cape clawless otter, Egyptian mongoose, hippo and klipspringer are other park residents.
4.5 / 5
Watching wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park is good all year, but at its best from late June to October, during the Dry season. However, this very scenic park is at its most beautiful during the Wet season, from November to May, when the vegetation is lush and waterfalls cascade down the escarpment.
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