Lake Manyara National Park
Size: ca. 330 km²
Distance from Arusha ca. 126 km
Our most popular tour in Lake Manyara National Park: Day Trip to Lake Manyara NP
Lake Manyara National Park is the only Rift Valley- National Park in Northern Tanzania. Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti. The entrance gate is close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto Wa Mbu.
The protected area extends over 35 km and is on average only 4 km wide, wedged between the approximately 400 m high Rift Valley escarpment and the alkaline Lake Manyara. The lake occupies two-thirds of the park. Seasonally it is home to hosts of pink shimmering flamingos. Only the southern end of the lake with its large marshy areas is outside the park boundaries.
The park is famous for its lions dozing on tree branches. For a long time, the Manyara was the only park in Tanzania where this atypical behaviour can be observed. Watching this atypical behaviour is also possible in the Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks. There are different theories. In Manyara it seems to be escaping the tsetse fly, which banish the animals mainly on acacia trees.
The population of elephants has declined sharply in recent years. They prefer to stay in the groundwater forest along with waterbucks, bushbucks, Anubis baboons, green monkeys and black-headed diadem monkeys. Less common are leopards and civets.
On the Mto wa Mbu River wallow and cool big hippo families. On a pedestrian bridge you have an elevated view of the swampy landscape on the lake. Many water-birds join the colossi. The rich birdlife is about 350 species. Hallmarks of the park are in particular hornbills.
Worth seeing are the hot springs Maji Moto Kubwa. These are located at the very south end of the park. From the car park, a long jetty leads over the landscape soaked with hot water. Information boards explain the geothermal activity.
Worthwhile is the Canopy Walk of about 370 m in length, which was put into operation in 2016. It is located at the beginning of the park. You move at a height between 4 and 18 m. The Treetop Walkway runs along treetops and gives a wonderful impression of the wet biotope.
In the classic film „Out of Africa“ led the legendary flight of Robert Redford and Meryl Steep to Lake Manyara.