Lake Manyara is a shallow alkaline lake located in the northern part of Tanzania. The lake is situated in the Manyara Region, between the Great Rift Valley and the Manyara Escarpment. Lake Manyara National Park, which is home to the lake, covers an area of about 330 square kilometers and is known for its diverse wildlife and bird species.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a popular destination because of its breathtaking scenery, the enormous soda lake full of flamingos and outstanding bird life. You can see huge troops of baboons roaming around in the forest, but also herds of elephants and if you are lucky even some tree-climbing lions. Around the soda lake, one can spot a variety of wildlife, like buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, wildebeest and zebras. You can also enjoy excellent hippo sightings at the shallow Hippo Pool. Sometimes you can find big numbers of them taking a cooling mud-bath and hiding from the hot sun.

Rift Valley Escarpment

Lake Manyara is also a perfect place to see the spectacular 400-meter-high Rift Valley Escarpment. The Great Rift Valley is a long rift in the earth which runs down the eastern side of Africa. It was formed about 20 to 25 million years ago when the earth’s crust tore apart. This enormous feature is even visible from outer space and looks like two lines running down Africa. It provides unique and diverse habitats. Enjoy acacia woodland, jungle forest, mountain cliffs, hot springs, grassy areas, acacia woodland and the huge soda lake.

Most common animals in Arusha National Park

  • Zebras
  • Hippos
  • Giraffes
  • Lions
  • Elephants
  • Impalas
  • Wildebeest
  • Buffaloes
  • Flamingos
  • Baboons, Blue monkey

Lake Manyara facts

  • Giant soda lake that covers almost two-thirds of the park
  • World’s largest population of baboons
  • Park stretches along the Rift Valley Escarpment
  • Hippo pool
  • Hot Springs
  • Birding hotspot: 400 species of birds

Excursions and activities in Lake Manyara National Park

  • Night game drive
  • Canopy Walk/ Treetop Walk
  • Mountainbike tour Lake Manyara
  • Cultural tour Mto wa Mbu
  • Visit Maasai tribe
  • Visit Hadzabe tribe

Travel time to Lake Manyara

  • Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park: 2,5 hours’ drive
  • Lake Manyara National Park to Tarangire National Park: 1 hour
  • Lake Manyara National Park to Ngorongoro Conservation Area: 1 hour
  • Lake Manyara National Park to Serengeti: 3,5 hours

Best time to visit Lake Manyara

The best time to see large animals in Lake Manyara is during the dry season, from July to October. If you are a bird lover you can better visit the park from November to June. During this season you can spot thousands of flamingos as well as pelicans, African Fish Eagle, hornbill, Hamerkop, Black heron, little bee-eater and much more.




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