Where to go, what to do while in Tanzania.
LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara’ scenic views can be summarized into the words of Ernest Hemmingway – “The loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
Located southwest of Arusha; beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breath-taking views.
The park has a good supply of wildlife and is known for its legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephant. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on the grassy plains. The hippo pool is a good place to see these creatures up close. The lake is a seasonal home to large flocks of flamingos, and a wide array of water birds can be found on the shore at all times.
The acacia woodlands deeper in the park are famous for the renowned “tree climbing lions”. These large cats have evolved over generations to add tree climbing to their daily activity.
The lake itself receives its water primarily from the Simba River in the north and the Makuyuni River in the east. However, the rift valley also provides a lot of water mainly in the rainy season. The ground water forest also feeds the swamps that eventually flow into the lake.
Attractions/ what to see and do
- Game viewing/drives
In Lake Manyara National Park, you will find Africa’s largest concentration of elephants. The park also offers an array of opportunities to travelers to see other animals such as the mongooses, dik-dik, hippos, buffalos, antelopes and baboons.
Lake Manyara National Park is said to have the largest population of baboons in all of Africa.
- Lake Manyara
An isolated lake subject to intense evaporation during the dry season, Lake Manyara is a slightly salty lake that is home to hippopotamus, flamingoes, and a large variety of aquatic life. Despite its salt content, it is safe for animals to drink and is a popular watering hole for the park’s animal population.
An incredible array of bird life thrives on the alkaline soda of Lake Manyara. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Also seen here are Yellow-billed storks and herons, all merging together to provide a spectacular show to the onlooker.
Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park. One of the real highlights is the flamboyance of flamingos that stain the soda lakes pink.