Home Tanzania National Parks and Game Reserves Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is situated approximately 126 km south west of Arusha. The park can easily be reached in one hour and fifty minutes drive from Arusha and it is just about an hour drive from the Ngorongoro Crater. Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, stretching for fifty kilometers along the base of the six hundred metre high Rift Valley escarpment and it is very close to Tarangire National Park.

Including your circuit through Lake Manyara offers you a true Tanzanian Safari experience.  To view the park and get the most out of it, it is recommended to either stay within the park or have one or two nights nearby where you will have a full day game drive. Most people often visit the park with a hurry either en-route or from the crater without even spending a night. This leads to a rushed experience that might disappoint the traveler as they are likely not to get the most experience from the park.

Lake Manyara National Park is famous for the flamingos that occupy the lake. On the wet season they occupy the edges of the lake in thousands making it look pink, but on the dry season very few can be spotted as most of them migrate to other regions.

The park is made up of 330 km2 of arid land, forest and an alkaline lake which occupies most of the land as much as 200 km2 during the wet season but becomes less to almost non-existent on the dry season.

More than 400 species of birds have been recorded here and most of them are residents. The abundant bird species makes it a paradise for birdwatchers. Travelers to the park specifically for bird watching are guaranteed to see more than 100 different bird species in one day.

Other animals that can be spotted throughout the year include lions, Leopards, buffaloes, elephants, dik-dik, gazelle, hippo, blue monkeys, zebras, giraffe, waterbucks, warthogs, impalas, huge troops of baboons and other wild animals that inhabit the park.  

The parks vegetation comprises of grassland plains, mixed acacia woodlands and patches of the evergreen forests which are sustained by perennial groundwater springs from the base of the escarpment.

More about Lake Manyara National Park

  • The size of the park is 330 sq km, 200 sq km of it is occupied by the water when the water levels are high mostly on the wet season.
  • It is situated in the northern Tanzania, about one hour and fifty minutes drive west of Arusha, close to the culturally diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.
  • The park has two main entrances with the gate on the north mostly used as many of the accommodations are situated on the northern part unlike the southern gate.

How to get there
The Park can easily be accessed by road, scheduled flight from Arusha or chartered flights. It can also be accessed en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.

What to do

  • Game drives
  • Mountain bike tours
  • Cultural tours
  • Forest walks
  • Night game drives
  • Picnicking
  • Canoeing
  • Bush lunch/dinner

Best Time to Visit
The Park is open and can be visited all year round. The dry season which lies between July to October is the best time for viewing large mammals and the Wet season November to June is best for bird watching, canoeing and the waterfalls.

Where to Stay
There are public bandas, campsites and one luxury tree house style camp inside the park. There are also other luxury camps and lodges perched on the Rift Wall outside the park overlooking the lake. Mto wa Mbu has also campsites and guest houses where visitors to the region can spend their night.

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