Lake Manyara National Park is best used as a soft introduction to a safari. The scenic beauty of Manyara is the main reason to travel here and certainly deserves a visit. But the game viewing pales into insignificance compared to the quality of game viewing on offer in Tarangire, the Ngorongoro and the Serengeti. Being famous for its tree-climbing lions, flamingos, breathtaking scenery and the soda-ash lake in the centre makes it reason enough to visit here for a day.
Laken Manyara is a lovely scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater. The lake itself takes up much of the park leaving a strip of land running down its shores where game concentrates. Famous for its tree climbing lions, good elephants and baboons, Manyara is often visited for an afternoon’s game drive on the way to Ngorongoro.
Overall it’s a great introduction to a Tanzania Safari, but a park that is not a patch on its neighbors. It’s not a first choice of ours simply because of the low volume of game and the fact that the game driving areas are so small. But a lovely little park to stop off at and have lunch at the start of your safari.
Lake Manyara National Park: What game will you see
Lake Manyara’s game concentrations are not nearly as high as surrounding parks but there are a number of unique species that are reason to safari here. Lake Manyara’s tree climbing lions are the parks main attraction. Why these lions habitually climb trees is still up for debate but viewing a pride relaxing in an acacia tree is an incredible site. The park is also famous for its elephant, huge number of baboons and due to its varied landscape has an impressive range of other game including wildebeest, buffalo, hippo, flamingo, zebra, warthog, waterbuck, dik-dik and impala. The birding here is very good, especially raptors.
Lake Manyara National Park: When to go
Lake Manyara is consistently good as a soft game viewing park at anytime of the year. There is a seasonal migration pattern in the region which means that Manyara is officially at its peak from June to November. However, since it is such a small park, season is not the deciding factor to go here, it is whether you are in the area and have the time.
Lake Manyara National Park: What activities are on offer
The main activity for visitors to Lake Manyara is day time game driving. Recently the park has started to offer night safari and the camps deep inside the park are offering short walks. Staying on the Rift Valley, outside the park however does open up a wealth of activities with walking, village trips, hiking, and other activities such as mountain biking available at some lodges