Lake Manyara national park is a beautiful protected area located in Tanzania in the Arusha and Manyara regions, with Arusha, Babati as the closest city. This park stretches over Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley, covering a total area of 325 square kilometers, with Lake Manyara covering 230 square kilometers.
Lake Manyara national park is located in the northern safari circuit of Tanzania, along the route leading to Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti national park. The park is part of the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve, which was established by UNESCO in 1981 as part of the man and the biosphere program.
Historically, Lake Manyara national park derives its name from a plant called Euphorbia tirucalli, also known as Emanyara in Masai. These trees were planted in the area by Masai people in order to protect their livestock from poachers and predators such as lions and leopards. Prior to its designation as a national park in 1957, Lake Manyara served as a Masai settlement and a sport-hunting venue.
Tourist attractions in Lake Manyara national park
Lake Manyara is a shallow alkaline lake covering a considerable area of Lake Manyara national park; it is a significant attraction in the park with a surface area of 230 km2 and a depth of 3.7 meters. Lake Manyara is the seventh-largest lake in Tanzania, with a surface elevation of 1,045 meters above sea level. It is an excellent wildlife location, with thousands of flamingos coloring the lake’s shores pink. Lake Manyara is an excellent location for wildlife and canoeing safaris.
Lake Manyara national park is home to numerous wildlife species that thrive in marshlands, acacia woodlands, the savannah grassland-dominated area of the park, and the forest galleries. The park is renowned for its tree-climbing trees, elephant population, and the largest troop of baboons in Africa, with over 100 individuals. Lake Manyara national park is also home to hippos, antelopes, zebras, Thomson gazelle and Grant’s gazelle, wildebeests, waterbuck, impalas, warthogs, giraffes, cape buffalo, and numerous other species. Lake Manyara national park is home to numerous predators, including lions, leopards, African wild cats, spotted hyenas, bat-eared foxes, genets, honey badgers, and occasionally cheetahs and African golden cats.
Lake Manyara national park is an exceptional habitat for bird species, with the majority of bird species residing on the banks and in the middle of Lake Manyara and the remainder in the savannah woodlands. Over 400 bird species, including migratory species from Eurasian locations, raptors, and distinctive and endangered species (Rufous-tailed weaver, Ashy starlings, and black-collared lovebird), call Lake Manyara national park home. Bird species in this park include pink shaded flamingoes, pelicans, crowned eagles, crested guinea fowl, slivery checked hornbills, egrets, stilts, herons, spoonbills, stalks, wanders, Narina trogon, pangani long claw, crowned hornbills, Schalow’s turaco, emerald cuckoo, crowned plover, two-banded courser, black-faced sun grouse and many more.
Maji Moto springs
Maji moto springs are a magnificent feature located in the park’s southern region; their name is derived from the Swahili word for hot water. Maji moto springs is encircled by palm and fig trees, creating a small paradise within the park. The springs heat to approximately 60 degrees Celsius and the water forms a pool where park visitors can swim.
Activities for tourists to do in Lake Manyara national park
Lake Manyara national park is a premier destination for thrilling game viewing, and this encounter provides the chance to explore the park on a game drive with a safari guide. On this experience, you will visit the magnificent lake Manyara, where you will see thousands of animals drinking water and birds, then drive through marshlands, woodlands, and acacia-dominated terrain, spotting animals such as tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippos, antelopes, zebras, Thomson gazelle and Grant’s gazelle, wildebeests, waterbuck, impalas, giraffes, cape buffalo, and many others.
Lake Manyara national park provides both day and night game viewing, with night game viewing providing a very exciting safari experience and new perspectives on the park. This is an opportunity to spot nocturnal animals and predators in Lake Manyara National Park. Using a spotlight, you will be able to detect nocturnally active lions, leopards, African wild cats, spotted hyenas, bat-eared foxes, genets, honey badgers, servals, and the occasional cheetah.
Lake Manyara national park is one of the finest protected areas in Tanzania for birding, with over 400 bird species inhabiting the park’s lake, grasslands, and forest galleries. Birding in Lake Manyara national park provides the opportunity to observe beautiful and colorful bird species, such as thousands of pink-hued flamingoes in the lake’s waters and shores, flocks of pelicans, the rare pangani long claw, silvery-checked hornbill, crowned eagles, crested guinea fowl, slivery checked hornbills, egrets, stilts, herons
The finest location for birding in Lake Manyara national park is Lake Manyara, which is always teeming with thousands of pelicans and pink flamingos; the park’s large bird population makes it a birder’s paradise.
This is one of the few protected areas in Tanzania that provides canoe safaris. Canoeing brings tourists near to the aquatic life of Lake Manyara, where they can see thousands of flamingos, pelicans, and other animals coming to drink water.
Visit Masai community
Masai local community is located on the outskirts of Lake Manyara national park; historically, the Masai people were the original inhabitants of the park, and a visit to the Masai community provides a cultural and traditional tour of Lake Manyara national park. In the Masai community, you will see circular huts/bomas made of grass and mud, be entertained by traditional dances and music, and observe traditional dress consisting of stripped shukas, as well as other aspects of the indigenous cultural heritage.
Accommodation in Lake Manyara national park
In Lake Manyara national park, visitors can stay at a number of lodges and camps that are open year-round. These include the lake Manyara hotel, lake Manyara bush camp, andbeyond lake Manyara tree lodge, Africa safari glamping, lake Manyara kilimamoja lodge, lake Manyara wildlife lodge, Migunga tented camp, lake Manyara serene safari lodge, and lake Manyara Tortilis camp, among others.
How to reach the national park of Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara national park is located approximately 126 kilometers south-west of Arusha, where the majority of safari excursions to the park begin. The park is accessible by road and air from Arusha. By air, flights are available from Arusha airport to Lake Manyara airport, which serves Lake Manyara national park and the Manyara region. By road, there are well-maintained routes leading to the park that take approximately one to two hours to travel.
Climate in Lake Manyara national park
The national park of Lake Manyara experiences two rain seasons and one dry season, with the rain seasons consisting of both brief and long rains. Short rains are encountered from November to December, and long rains from March to May; Lake Manyara national park experiences 161 mm of precipitation in April. The arid season occurs during the months of July, August, and September, with September being the month with the lowest average rainfall.
January, February, and March are the warmest months in Lake Manyara National Park, with average high temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, while June and July have the lowest average high temperatures, at 25 degrees Celsius.