Lake Manyara National Park
Are you planning to go on safari in Lake Manyara?
Talk to our experts about the perfect planning for your holiday.
Covered by green vegetation, there’s no better place in the country to enjoy life than in Lake Manyara National park. The park is considered to be among the most beautiful natural parks on the planet. In the shadow of the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, the park is referred to as an introduction to amazing East Africa safaris. The scenic beauty of this park makes it worth enough for a visit, the game viewing is highly exceptional when compared with that of Tarangire, Ngorongoro, and Serengeti.
Famous for its tree-climbing lions, flamingos, impressive scenery, and the soda-ash lake at the center, Manyara offers a spectacular safari. The Park has more than 400 bird species, thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration and other large water birds such as pelicans & storks are simply a joy to watch.
The park is often visited for an afternoon game drive on the way to Ngorongoro Crater or Serengeti National Park. Its greener natural forests make the park so specia compare to other parks in Tanzania which are dominated by savannah vegetation.
- Tree climbing lions
- Amazing bird life especially flamingos
- Lake Manyara national park is famous for its tree-climbing lions, not very common to the kings of the jungle.
- Lake Manyara covers two-thirds of the total area of the national park
- Since the park was initially established to protect the elephants from extinction due to excessive poaching, it is not uncommon to see a large number of elephants on a safari.
- Every year, Lake Manyara National Park receives migratory birds from Europe and North Africa making it the best bird viewing spot.
- One of the few parks where night game drives are permitted
- Lake Manyara is home to over 400 species of bird including pink flamingos.
- Wildlife spotting opportunities such as tree-climbing lions, elephant herds, and huge numbers of baboons can be seen here.
- Game drives in the park are best done very early in the morning to view predators before going back to their hiding areas or during the afternoon in the grassland and woodland plains.
- Canoeing is an exciting activity in the park where you will paddle close to animals like hippos in the water, view elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks, giraffes, and warthogs among others drinking water along the shores, water birds like pink flamingos, and have beautiful views of the scenery, sunrise or sunset among others.
- Mountain biking in Lake Manyara National Park is an incredible activity where you will be able to explore the park (by) bicycle
Best time to visit: Dry season from June to October
Better time: Short season from November to February
Fair: Wet season from March to May (Best time for birdwatching)
Since the park is beautiful all year round, April and May can be a bit challenging due to heavy rains that may force the wild animals to gather (deeper in) the bush looking for a proper shelter hence making the wildlife viewing somehow difficult.
However, this is the best time to see the flocks of birds. You can see the migratory birds such as flamingos, cormorants, white pelican, yellow-billed stork, pink-backed pelican, and many other bird species that are likely to be found in Lake Manyara.
Two airways lead you to Tanzania & Lake Manyara
Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA)
However, for your safari goals, Kilimanjaro International Airport serves you the best.
Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) is situated 46km/29mi east of Arusha, the gateway of Tanzania’s most popular Northern safari circuit including Serengeti.
From Arusha, it is a scenic 2-3 hours drive to Lake Manyara National Park.
Tanzania’s main airport is Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) located 13km/8mi southwest of Dar es Salaam. This is the entry-point for visitors to the southern parks (Mikumi, Selous, Ruaha national parks).
Moving on from Dar es Salaam to Arusha you can fly or drive. However, a drive will take 10-12 hours via public transport. You can also get a transfer from Dar es Salaam to Arusha via private vehicle, however…this is expensive.
There (are) llocal flights from Dar es Salaam to Arusha which land at JRO Airport or Arusha Airport.
We usually advise guests to minimize unnecessary costs by flying to Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Lake Manyara Wildlife
Although the concentration of games in Lake Manyara is not high as compared to its neighboring destinations such as Ngorongoro and Serengeti, the presence of many unique species gives strong reasons for a safari in Manyara.
The park is famous for Lake Manyara’s climbing lions. The event of tree climbing Lions is still a long and unfinished debate. This is not an experience to miss at all.
Lake Manyara National Park is also famous for the herds of elephants and a huge number of baboons. The varied landscape attracts a range of other games including wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, flamingo, zebra, warthog, waterbuck, giraffe, dik-dik, Impala, and more.
The birding here is also very good, especially Flamingos whereby guest can enjoy their natural vocals (on) the lake while having their picnic lunch and possibly celebrating the best moments of their African Safari.
How many flamingos are there on Lake Manyara?
Depending solely on the time you will visit the Lake Manyara National park, you may spot a thousand flamingos flocking on this soda-ash Lake. The predictions for the number of Flamingos are quite impossible as they flit between here and other East African lakes.
The main visitor’s activity is daytime game driving, although Manyara has started to offer night safaris recently. Set in the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, the park has a lot of activities to explore such as game drive, Canoeing, Cultural tours, Mountain bike tours, treetops, and Bird watching
A game drive
Game drives in Lake Manyara National park give you a chance to maximize your safari experiences. Just relax and explore the uncounted number of wildlife during your safari. The game drives can be done in the early morning, afternoon, and early evening.
Night game drives
Night game drives are only permitted in very few parks in Tanzania, with Lake Manyara being one of those rare parks with such an event, you have the opportunity to see wildlife more awesomely. The night game drive is usually magnificent as you will get the chance to see nocturnal animals like leopards and more.
Speaking of bird-watching safaris in Lake Manyara National Park, nothing to hide when approaching this scenic park. If you are lucky enough you may spot the flocks of birds specifically the migratory birds like; flamingos, cormorants, white pelican, yellow-billed stork, and pink-backed pelican.
When the water level in Lake Manyara is high, visitors may experience the impressive landscape and beautiful nature through canoeing.
Lake Manyara National Park is surrounded by many cultural activities, just to highlight here are some of them; visiting community development projects, visiting local communities, and farm tours
Mountain bike tours and the Treetop
Biking around the slope of Lake Manyara is another memorable event not to miss. Maximize your safari experiences in this scenic Park full of activities to explore.
The weather may get cold in Lake Manyara National Park due to its high altitudes hence warm clothes are highly recommended.
Dry season: from June to October
Wet Season: from November to December
Mixed dry weather and the wet season: January & February
Wetter Season: March to May
Do you need expert tips on planning for your next safari in Africa?
Share your email here