Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smaller Tanzania National parks. Although many Tanzania safari tours skip it, we highly recommend you make the detour. The dramatic western escarpment of the Rift Valley forms the park’s western border. To the east is the alkaline Lake Manyara, which covers one-third of the park, but shrinks considerably in the dry season. During the rains, the lake hosts millions of flamingos and other birdlife.
While Lake Manyara National Park lacks the raw drama of other northern circuit destinations, its vegetation is diverse. It ranges from savannah to marshes to evergreen forest (11 different ecosystems in all). Lake Manyara National Park supports one of the highest biomass densities of large mammals in the world.
They include Elephants, hippos, zebras, giraffes, buffaloes and wildebeest are often spotted. Leopards and hyenas are also here. Lake Manyara national Park is also home to a famous population of tree-climbing lions.
Brief History of Lake Manyara National Park
Contrasting with the surrounding forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.
Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and elephants. Gangs of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.
Attractions in Lake Manyara National Park
Located in the northern part of Tanzania, Lake Manyara National Park is 126 kilometers west of Arusha Town. The park is sized 330 square kilometers of which 220 sq kilometers form a lake when the water levels become high in the rainy season. Alternating to the nearest Park of Tarangire National Park through the kwakuchinja corridor the parks share world animals. They can be seen easily nearby the roads towards Lake Manyara and Serengeti National parks.
Flora and Fauna of the Park
Out of the 330 square kilometers, definitely two thirds of it is underwater. By African levels, Lake Manyara National Park is a small park. On the contrary however, it is very dazzling and contains enormous wildlife more so birds.
The Wildlife Animals in Manyara
The game in Lake Manyara includes plenty of elephants, wildebeest along with so many giraffes, and buffalo. The numbers are very famous in terms of the zebras, impala, warthog and waterbuck. On the slopes of the escarpment, you may need to search a little hard for the tinny and renowned shy kirk’s dik dik and klipspringer.
A good habitat for lions among Lake Manyara National Park’s healthy lion family that are popular for their tree climbing character is made perfect by the broken forests and escarpment. Often widely regarded as Africa’s largest, huge troops of baboons which often number as hundreds are immediately definite to most of the guests.
Birding in Lake Manyara
The life of the birds here is exceptionally differing as regards to the habitants. Often; you will be able to see flocks of pelicans and pink shading of distant flamingos in the middle of the lake. Amongst the margins and floodplains, feeding so many egrets, stilts erons, spoonbills, stalks and other waders. The woodlands equally yield with the so much water around. But the more interesting species will be viewed in the evergreen forests; for example, crowned eagles, crested guinea fowl and the silvery cheeked hornbills.
Set under the magnificent of the Great Rift Valley’s steep western escarpment is a long narrow park that keeps the area between the escarpment and Lake Manyara safe. The shallow lake Manyara is an alkaline lake which expands and contracts according to the seasons within a long silvery bowl of salt deposits. Within the vicinity of the lake are wide grassy flood plains and further as you move away, are bands of mixed acacia woodlands. Leaving that aside, patches of captivating evergreen forests, that are kept going by perennial ground water springs from the base of the escarpment are next to the escarpment.
The road circuit is limited and can be covered in about 3 to 4 hours where you can see the animals that are always on the move. It is therefore worth to revist. Most safari companies organize for afternoon visits but taking a morning one is far much better as there are fewer other vehicles yet with more wildlife activity.
The heart of Masaai Country houses Lake Manyara National Park. Here is where you can visit the unforgettable appealing red-robbed pastoralists who are populous in a boma. Outside the park, undertaken can be mountain bike tours, and escarpment forest walks. When water levels are suitable, canoe safaris are also offered.
|Languages spoken||English, Kiswahili|
|Currency used||Tanzania Shillings (TSHS)|
|Area (km2)||330 SQ. KM|