Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is a scenic gem in the northern tourism circuit of Tanzania, and it stretches along a 50km wide floor of the great east African rift valley. Visiting Lake Manyara park is the most rewarding time to view the rare tree-climbing lions of Tanzania only found in Lake Manyara national park and Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda.
Regardless of the small size of the park, it is something you do not want to miss during your safari to the northern circuit of Tanzania. The national park is located below the cliff of Manyara escarpment astride the floor of the great east African rift valley. Lake Manyara is one of the small national parks with in the northern circuit of Tanzania and it covers up an area of about 330 square kilometers of which the biggest part is where the great Lake Manyara sits, about 220sq.km, especially when it is the rainy season.
The park is a wildlife endowed protected area alternating with the famous and quiet Tarangire national park through the Kwakuchinja corridor. This makes a free movement of animals from Tarangire to Lake Manyara national park. Along the main northern access road, you can spot a lot of animals, especially towards Lake Manyara and Serengeti national parks. Despite the small size of the national park, it has a number of varied ecosystems that act as shelters for a lot of animals like birdlife, plus the ecosystems offer an awesome view.
The national park is located along the northern road as you are heading to Serengeti national park. Lake Manyara national park is located south west of Arusha, about 126 km which can easily be reached by road, however for swiftness, you can opt for air transport. The park is bordered by the vast marang forest reserve which is located on the escarpment. In the east, Lake Manyara is bordered by the Kwakuchinja wildlife migration corridor from Tarangire national park. Lake Mayara in the west and Engaruka basin borders Lake Manyara park to the north.
The national park is an alkaline soda composed lake whichzbing lions are a unique feature of the park, and they are rare in the northern circuit; the tree climbing lions can also be in Queen Elizabeth national park in western Uganda.
Activities in Lake Manyara National Park
Game viewing is the most demanded and commonest activity in Lake Manyara national park, as it is in other national parks in the northern circuit. The park is unique because it is the only park in the northern circuit with a few tree-climbing lions. The tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara national park are spotted hanging up in the huge ancient mahogany and the old candelabrum acacia trees with big branches on the Game Drive Safaris.
Besides the tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara national park is home to a lot of other wildlife like giraffes, elephants, impalas, zebras, baboons and during the great migration of the wildebeest, you can spot a few in the park during a game drive. The park harbors wild cats like lions, leopards, cheetahs, and hyenas which prey on the small herbivores. The game drives in Lake Manyara national park are better conducted with the help of an armed ranger; for safety reasons.
You can also enjoy bird watching in Lake Manyara since it harbors a number of bird species like the forest birds which inhabit the groundwater forests, the swamp birds, and the water birds which flock Lake Manyara shoreline. The national park is a safe haven for over 350 species of birds which include the common flamingoes, different storks, herons, egrets, cormorants, pink glossy ibis, sacred ibis long-crested eagle, the grey crowned crane, the spoonbills; all these dwell within the groundwater forest of this Manyara park.
Other birds that inhabit the woodland of Lake Manyara national park include; guinea fowls, noisy silver cheeked hornbill, crown eagles among the rest. The best session to see the birds in Lake Manyara park is the dry season from November to July; this is the time when the park receives many other migratory birds from southern Europe and northern Africa.
Canoeing is yet another interesting activity you can do during your visit to Lake Manyara park. Canoeing in Lake Manyara national park is done on Lake Manyara itself despite the fact that it is a salt lake. Canoeing at Lake Manyara is a chance for you to see a lot of interesting features associated with this gigantic lake. You can have a chance to see the large silver bowls of salt deposits along the shores of Lake Manyara. Canoeing on Lake Manyara will expose you to a view of the gorgeous escarpment covered with a blanket of a verdant forest, plus a lot of water birds fly in the skies above Lake Manyara.
Camping is another activity you can do in Lake Manyara park and it is one epic adventure in the true African wilderness. The park has a lot of campsites supplied in the most epic places, majorly five campsites are known, of which three campsites are private and the other two are public. To camp in Lake Manyara, make sure to carry your best camping gear, it adds a feeling of a real adventure in the wilderness. All the camping sites in the park are supplied with toilets washrooms and water plus a good restaurant where to eat very delicious meals prepared with a touch of African culture.
The guided nature walks in the park are conducted from the forests on the cliff of the escarpment. The nature walks are led by a guide who is well versed with the area in the park who leads the way through the walking trails already established in the national park. the guided nature walks will take you to very interesting places in the park, plus, the nature walks are an opportunity for you to see a lot of birdlife in the forest, different plants, and trees, Lake Manyara among others, guided nature walks are areal exposure to the natural environment in Lake Manyara national park.
Picnics are made really epic in Lake Manyara national park, however, the park has lovely picnic areas free from all the predators and the tsetse flies. The park has 3 major established picnic grounds and they are well supplied with toilets bathrooms, however, you have to carry a packed lunch which you can enjoy as you view the natural surroundings of plants, warthogs, and birds.
You can visit Lake Manyara any time of the year to enjoy a lot on the “to-do list”. However, the best time to visit the park is called the dry season; it is experienced from June to October. The dry season is the best time for game viewing in Lake Manyara park. However, for birders, your time is long, from November (for migratory birds) to July. You can book with your favorite tour company for the best of Lake Manyara park adventures.