The mosaic national park
Lake Manyara is a lovely scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater. The lake itself takes up much of the park leaving a strip of land running down its shores where game concentrates. Famous for its tree climbing lions, good elephants and baboons, Manyara is often visited for an afternoon’s game drive on the way to Ngorongoro.
Although it is one of Tanzania’s smaller wildlife enclaves, it is a spectacular reserve that boasts an incredible diversity of terrain, as well as plant and animal species. Established specifically to protect the elephant herds that have made this area world renowned, the park provides an excellent and varied wildlife experience. An incredible array of habitats, as well as a wealth of biodiversity, is crammed into a relatively small area in Lake Manyara National Park.
Apart from the elephants, it is famous for tree-climbing lions, as well as the thousands of flamingos that inhabit the lake shore. Large herds of buffalo, cheetah, giraffe, hippo and impala can be encountered. The lake supports an incredible diversity of birds, particularly water fowl and migrants. You can easily pick out the mosaic of the Park’s different habitats. In the tall trees of the ground water, forest monkeys leap from branch to branch; on the slope of the escarpment elephants stand in the shade of a baobab. In the acacia woodland lions lie draped along the branches of umbrella trees; in the pools along the lake shore the hippos wallow; and in the lake itself wade colorful flamingos.
The large variety of mammals, reptiles and birds in the Park and the different types of vegetation, all within a small area, make Lake Manyara a diverse and particularly memorable place to visit.
When is the best time to visit?
You can really visit the park anytime of the year although the peaks are during the dry months between June and October.
What is there to do?
There are a range of activities to do in Arusha NP. Walking safaris which are always accompanied by a ranger are very unique; there are very few national parks that allow such an intimate and close safari on foot inside the boundaries of a national park which makes this activity worth trying out.
You can also explore the far reaches of the park by vehicle, taking in some of the lovely views and keeping an eye out for wildlife. There are many lovely picnic sites where you can stop for a picnic lunch.
Another great activity here and one not found in other national parks in Tanzania, is a canoeing safari which allows you to explore the Momela Lakes.
How about accomodation?
Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, situated just outside the park is the closest option but there are many other options in the area. Onsea House and Machweo and the famous Hatari Lodge are popular choices but we also reccomend hotels in and around Arusha town like The African Tulip, Arusha Coffee Lodge and the more budget friendly option The Outpost Lodge.
Check out some pics taken in Lake Manyara National Park.