Lake Manyara National Park is located in northern Tanzania, between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley. Located beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley, the park offers varied ecosystems, incredible bird life, and breathtaking views. The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of birdlife that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoops and grazes by the thousands of colorful specks against the grey minerals of the lakeshore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky.
Bird Watchers’ Paradise
Lake Manyara National Park provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s wildlife, especially birdlife. Its groundwater forests, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants, and storks. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.
The Unique Wildlife
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience. From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside; the blue monkeys scamper nimbly between the ancient mahogany trees; dainty bushbuck tread warily through the shadows, and the outsized forest hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.
Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to pay a visit to this park. A unique spectacle in the wildlife world, they make the broken forest and escarpment make for good habitat. In addition to the lions, the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world, a fact that accounts for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.
Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, Lake Manyara National Park is surely a worthy stop in its own right