Lake Manyara National Park
Safari in Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is situated in the Arusha and Manyara Region of Tanzania, and is one of Tanzania’s smaller parks. This national park in Tanzania is easy to access using road transfers. A full day safari is recommended to explore Lake Manyara National Park, to see the best the park has to offer.
Visitors of Lake Manyara National Park often access the park enroute to the Crater as a mini Tanzania safari. Lake Manyara National Park’s wildlife comprises of giraffe, zebra, waterbuck, leopard, tree-climbing lion and baboon.
Lying at the base of the Great Rift Valley, the saline lake of Manyara is ideal for bird watching as large flocks of lesser flamingoes, pelicans and yellow billed storks head to the lake as their breeding ground in certain seasons. Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
The picturesque lake is renowned for its tree climbing lions (a trait caused due to the thick marshy ground), dusty herds of nomadic elephants with exceptional tusks and hundreds of migratory birds that congregate on the shimmering lake surface such as long crested Eagles and Grey-headed kingfishers.
Lake Manyara National Park accommodation is offered at Tanzania game lodges.
- Game drives
- Walking safaris
- Cultural tours
- Canoeing and fishing
Things To Do In Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is a unique destination that offers visitors a wide variety of activities and experiences to enjoy. Here are some of the different Lake Manyara National Park Activities:
Game Drives – Set Off On An Overland Safari Adventure!
Game drives usually during the daytime are the best way to explore the diversity of wildlife in the Lake Manyara National Park.
- The wildlife species can be seen in their natural habitat occupied with their daily activities.
- Lake Manyara is covered with mahogany trees and therefore an excellent place to spot giraffes, monkeys, and buffalos.
- While on its vast stretch of savannah plains one can easily spot zebras, impalas, warthogs, elephant herds, cheetahs, and hippos among many others.
Spotting tree-climbing lions taking a rest on the tree branches is also a common phenomenon in the Lake Manyara National Park.
Night Game Drives – Discover The Nightly Magic Of The Bush!
Lake Manyara National Park is among the few Tanzania National Parks that offer night game drives. Sometimes these animals are difficult to spot during broad daylight but nocturnal animals can be easily seen during the night. Night Safaris are done in special safari jeeps with open sides and tops for ensuring uninterrupted night game driving and viewing.
Animals like lions, leopards, porcupines, civet cats, jackals and so many others can be seen taking strolls at night. Therefore, do not forget to plan for a night game drive in Lake Manyara National Park during your next Safari in Tanzania and experience the thrill and excitement on an entirely different level.
Canoeing – Paddle Your Boats Along The Lakeshores!
Just like Night safaris, Lake Manyara National Park is among the few places in Tanzania where you can go canoeing. Canoeing on Lake Manyara offers ample opportunity to spot aquatic wildlife like water birds, hippos along with many other animals on the shore gathered to quench their thirst.
Walking Safaris – Authenticity Captured On Foot!
Lake Manyara National Park offers an extraordinary opportunity to discover its varied wildlife most distinctly. This National Park is a scenic beauty and nature walks are an excellent way to explore its various facets.
In the company of armed guides for the safety of tourists from dangerous animals, walking safaris in the Lake Manyara National Park are one of a kind that takes you close enough to nature and ensures close encounters with the wildlife.
Treetop Canopy Walk – Walk On Top Of The Natural World!
Moving along the treetop walkway is another major activity to undertake during the Lake Manyara National Park safari. It is an incredible way of discovering the beauty of the park.
Canopy walk ensures ultimate views and amazing bird-watching experiences. You will also come across playful monkeys jumping and entertaining throughout the route.
When To Visit Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park receives two main seasons in a year- the dry season and the wet season. Each season has its share of benefits and unique offerings.
The Dry Seasons In Lake Manyara National Park
There are two spells of the dry season in Lake Manyara National Park. The short dry spell prevails in the months of January and February. However, the long dry spell is experienced from June through October.
- During these dry spells, more and more visitors do approach the park for outstanding game-viewing opportunities.
- Because limited water sources and vegetation are getting thin and short, spotting wildlife becomes easier.
- As a result of limited water sources, visitors can spot maximum wildlife forms concentrated in certain places which means more glances of prey-predator play.
This makes the dry season a suitable time to explore the vast wilderness and richness of Lake Manyara National Park.
The Wet Seasons In Lake Manyara National Park
The time from November through May marks the wet season in Lake Manyara National Park. After rain the park comes back to life, there is more greenery with taller grasses and amazing scenic beauty that provides ample photographic opportunities.
- Of course, overgrown grasses hinder game viewing but that is so wonderfully compensated with the distinct birding safaris.
- Migratory birds make their way to the park making it all the way more beautiful and appealing.
- The wet season is a great time to explore the beauty and uniqueness of the park as it is less crowded and more open.
Here’s a quick comparison of both the dry and wet seasons of Lake Manyara National Park:
|SEASONAL COMPONENT(S)||DRY SEASON (From June to October)||WET SEASON (From November to May)|
|Weather||Dry and Cool||Humid and Warm|
|Vegetation||Thin||Lush and vibrant|
|Wildlife||Concentrated on watering holes||Dispersed across the park.|
|Accessibility||Good||Some areas can get very wet|
Below is a monthly breakdown of visiting Lake Manyara National Park based on each month of the year. This will assist you in deciding which month you’d like to visit the park based on your preferences.
|January||– Peak of the wet season- Lush surroundings- High Humidity- Excellent birdwatching experience- Warm temperatures|
|February||– Good wildlife sightings- Lush landscapes- Fewer tourists- Warm temperatures|
|March||– The transition period between the dry and wet seasons- Mild weather- Fewer tourists- Great birdwatching- Cool temperatures|
|April||– The wet season continues in full flow- Lush surroundings- Many animals give birth- Fewer tourists- Cool temperatures|
|May||– This month marks the end of the wet season- Birdwatching is still great- Lush landscapes- Cool temperatures|
|June||– The beginning of the dry season- Animals concentrate around the different water sources- Cooler temperatures|
|July||– The peak of the dry season- Excellent wildlife sightings- Peak tourist season- Cooler temperatures|
|August||– Large crowds- Cooler temperatures- Great wildlife viewing opportunities|
|September||– Warm temperatures- Lots of crowds- Good wildlife viewing|
|October||– End of the dry season- Good wildlife sightings- Fewer Tourists- Warm temperatures|
|November||– Beginning of the wet season- Lush green surroundings- Great birdwatching safaris- Warm temperatures|
|December||– The wet season continues- Many animals in the park prepare to give birth- Fewer Tourists- Great time to go on birdwatching safaris|
The Best Time to Visit Lake Manyara National Park depends on your interests and preferences. The dry season from June to October is the best time for wildlife sightings, while the wet season from November to May is ideal for birdwatching and lush landscapes. Plan your visit accordingly and enjoy the beauty of this superb park.
Birdlife Of Lake Manyara National Park
No other Tanzania National Park comes close to providing the best birdwatching experience than Lake Manyara National Park. Over 400 different species of birds have been recorded in the park and one can expect to see more than 100 of them in just a single day of Tanzania Safari Packages. Below are some of the birding highlights of Lake Manyara:
Common bird species:
- African jacana
- Comb duck
- Pied Kingfisher
- Sacred Ibis
- Southern ground hornbill
- Little stint
- Saddle-billed stork
Endemic bird species:
- Pied Avocet
- Spur-winged goose
- Pemba white-eye
- Uluguru Bushshrike
Near endemic bird species:
- Pemba Sunbird
- Moreau’s sunbird
Migrant bird species:
- Black-tailed godwit
- Barnacle goose
- Common nightingale
- Greater and Lesser Flamingos
A Dreamland Of Flamingoes
The most probable birdwatching highlight of Lake Manyara National Park, and the aspect for which the park is most famous – is the population of flamingoes.
- Lake Manyara National Park Safaris allow you to see both greater and lesser species of flamingoes.
- Greater flamingoes have whitish-pink feathers, pink legs, and black-edged wings. Lesser flamingoes weigh almost half compared to the greater species.
- Both species are pretty much the same in appearance, but they can be easily distinguished by their much pinker plumage and black bills.
- At times, extensive stretches of azure waters are painted pink by thousands of flamingoes huddled together on their legs.
- And at other times, pink spots create a polka dot-like pattern on the surface of the water.
Seeing a plumage of flamingoes take flight is going to be an experience that will knock your shoes off! You’ll witness the wings beating the air, hear the harmony of their sounds, and see the glorious spectacle of the communal lift.
Lake Manyara National Park Entrance Fees
Lake Manyara National Park entry fee is paid by the tourists to make an entry into the park premises. The entrance fee varies according to the citizenship status. So, with that in mind here are the entrance fees of the park for both residents and non-residents:
|CATEGORY||Entrance Fees (for ages 16 yrs. And above)||Entrance Fees (for individuals from the ages of 5 to 15 yrs.)|
|Residents||– High Season: 29.50 USD- Low Season: 26.55 USD||8.85 USD|
|Non-Residents||High Season: 59 USD- Low Season: 53.10 USD||17.70 USD|
Central Highlights Of Lake Manyara National Park
Now that we’ve covered all the major aspects of Lake Manyara National Park Safaris, it’s time for a refresher! Here are some of the central highlights of Lake Manyara National Park:
- The centrepiece of the park – Lake Manyara, provides a stunning backdrop for wildlife sightings.
- Home to an extensive array of wildlife – ranging from mammals and primates to several herbivores, antelopes, and tree-climbing lions.
- The park is home to the largest population of baboons on the planet.
- The varied vegetation ranges from lush forests to open grasslands.
- Unique habitats like an umbrella, acacia, sausage, and baobab trees provide a life-nurturing force for a variety of wildlife and birdlife.
- The best Tanzania National Park to see a full display of high-flying avians with more than 400 documented species of birds.
- The wet season of the park brings with it several migratory birds, with the highlight being the plumage of beautiful pink flamingoes.
- The soothing Maji Moto Hot springs are located inside the park’s premises, and visiting here is the most relaxing and refreshing.