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lake manyara national park

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park: Background Info

Lake Manyara National Park provides a unique wilderness experience. Including diverse landscapes such as the Rift Valley soda lake, open grasslands, dense woodlands and stunning mountainsides. In the north of Tanzania, Lake Manyara National Park centres around its eponymous alkaline lake, a key habitat for hundreds of bird species. Between November and April, thousands of greater and lesser pink flamingos gather on its shores, along with pink-backed pelicans, yellow-billed storks, grey herons and pods of hippo.

Surrounding the lake are marshlands, grassy plains and acacia woodlands, home to tree-climbing lion and long-tusked elephant. Giraffe strut across the grasslands, where herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest graze. As well as enjoying game drives and walking safaris, you can visit the Maji Moto hot springs to soak in the warm, clear water under the shade of leafy trees.

Lake Manyara National Park: Destination Preview

lake manyara national park

Wildlife

Lake Manyara is a birder’s heaven (it’s frequented by 300 migratory avians), and the water from its Crater Highlands-supplied springs makes it a forested redoubt for all the most glamourous large mammals, including the famed Manyara tree-climbing lions (it’s a little irreverent, but tree-lounging might be a better description).

If you’ve seen Out of Africa (if not: you owe it to yourself) you’re familiar with Lake Manyara. It’s the lake that Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen fly over in a biplane, the lake that heart-thumpingly seems to burst into life, when tens — hundreds! — of thousands of flamingos lift from its waters.

This park is known for its large elephant population. The big cats are present, but not seen that easily. The forest patch is home to habituated troops of olive baboon and blue monkey. Buffalo, giraffe and several antelope species are easily encountered on a drive.

Birdlife

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania's birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded and you can reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. A big array of water-associated birds, including pink-backed pelicans, are easily seen around the hippo pool. When the water level is right, the lake is also home to thousands of pink-hued flamingo. More than 50 birds-of-prey have been recorded including the crowned eagle. Migratory birds are present from November to April.

Although it is good throughout the year, the best bird watching in Manyara is from November to April, when you can spot the migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa. This is also the time many birds can be seen in their breeding plumage. For wildlife viewing, the Dry season (from June to October) is best.

Lake Manyara National Park: Location

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