National Parks

Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania

Encompassing a soda lake, woodlands and mountains, Lake Manyara National Park is a diverse Tanzania destination which boasts abundant wildlife.

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Big game

game drives

Game drives

Everything you need to know about Lake Manyara National Park

If you’re looking for a scenic wilderness experience that will take you into many diverse habitats, Lake Manyara National Park with its fascinating soda lake, verdant woodlands and awe-inspiring mountainsides should have a place of honour on your list of Tanzanian safari destinations. Here, ground water forests, acacia thickets and hot springs interspersed with savannah bushland makes for a varied and fertile environment that supports a fascinating array of African creatures.

Where is the reserve located?

The park is found on the route from Arusha to Ngorongoro, located between the epic Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara. As such, it’s very easy to access and often only enjoyed as an add-on daytrip in between visits to the nearby crater etc. However, there is so much to enjoy, what we always recommend a lengthier stay, so visitors are able to truly experience the park’s many attractions.

About the reserve

What type of wildlife will we see?

At just over just 330 square kilometres, the park is quite small when compared to the rest of its Tanzanian counterparts, but it still boasts plenty of awe-inspiring wildlife. The area is perhaps most famous for the black-maned tree-climbing lions that make their way nimbly among the treetops, but it’s also home to healthy herds of Maasai giraffe, baboon, elephant, hippo, buffalo, impala and more. The closer you get to the shore of the lake, the more diverse the birdlife becomes – profusions of pink flamingos, pelicans, storks, herons and more cluster close to this water source.

Top experiences to enjoy at Lake Manyara

The park has plenty of offer in terms of immersive activities. The famous tree-climbing lions are at the top of most visitor’s must-encounter list, but you can also take a strong along a series of suspension bridges that provide intimate glimpses into life in the treetops of the parks ancient forests. Alternatively, hop on a bicycle to enjoy a scenic guided bike ride that will take you through the vibrant Mayoka community, all the way to the lakeshore where you’ll be able to don rubber boots and wade into the water to take some pictures of the striking flamingos. Or make your way to Mto Wa Mbu town at the entrance to the park, where you can take a half-day tour to interact with local farmers, artisans and craftspeople to learn more about their way of life.

When to visit

The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from June to September, although game watching is good throughout the year. If you dislike crowds, opt for the low season months of April and May, when the northern section of the park is not quite as congested with visitors. Although November to May falls within the rainy season, it’s absolutely beautiful when the scenery grows lush and abundant, and rates are also likely to be lower.

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