Situated between Tarangire National Park and the famous Ngorongoro Conservation Area, followed by the world-renowned Serengeti, Lake Manyara is often overlooked as a safari destination. At 330 square-kilometres of which more than half are often submerged in water, it certainly is one of the smaller national parks – in African terms.
Here’s why we think it’s worth visiting Lake Manyara National Park on your safari, nevertheless.
See large numbers of elephants
Just like neighbouring Tarangire, Lake Manyara is home to many elephants. The gentle giants roam the acacia woodlands and evergreen forests fed by high groundwater levels. Lush and thick vegetation offers plenty of feeding grounds for the elephants.
Observe the social baboons
Lake Manyara National Park is known for its large troops of baboons. While not everyone’s favourite, these highly social animals are a joy to observe as they interact amongst each other. Watch young ones learn the ropes of life while older animals battle for a spot higher up the hierarchical ladder.
Look for tree-climbing lions
Tree-climbing lions are a more than rare sight – for many years, only two prides on the continent were known to climb up trees. One pride in Uganda’s Queen Elizabeth National Park and one in our very own Lake Manyara National Park. While today you can also spot tree-climbing lions in the Serengeti and Tarangire National Park, it is still a very exciting sight.
The lions are said to avoid tsetse flies and other bugs by climbing the trees, as well as enjoying the cooler breeze and taking advantage of the extended views across the park.
If you only have one day to go on safari, you can look for the tree-climbing lions on a day trip to Lake Manyara National Park with us.
Enjoy the out-of-the-car experience
Many hours on safari are spent in your safari vehicle. While it is dangerous and forbidden to leave your car at most spots in the national parks, you can do so at Lake Manyara: walk through the tree canopy at the “Treetop Walkway” and look out for monkeys and birds. A local guide will accompany you and share their knowledge.
While seeing wildlife is not guaranteed, taking a walk through the treetops is a great opportunity to get out of the car and take in the sounds and smells and colours of your surroundings.
Watch flamingos soar
Water is life in the African bush and the soda lake is an oasis for plenty of wildlife. Besides different kinds of antelopes, the bird life of Lake Manyara is spectacular. Proud pelicans and colourful flamingos call the lake and surrounding swamps home.
You will also see plenty of hippos in the shallow waters of Lake Manyara.
Despite its smaller size, Lake Manyara National Park has its very own charm. It stands out from its world-famous neighbours thanks to its rich and lush aquatic landscapes and ample wildlife. Its close proximity to Arusha makes Lake Manyara a perfect day trip destination. Fewer safari vehicles, especially in the morning hours, give you the opportunity to appreciate every moment you immerse yourself in this tranquil park in Tanzania’s Northern Circuit.
Join us on a safari to Lake Manyara National Park and see it for yourself – get in touch!