Lake Manyara National Park offers stunning vistas, centered around a vast soda lake teeming with flamingos and a rich array of bird species. The forested areas are frequented by large troops of baboons and elephants, and with some luck, you might even spot tree-climbing lions. Surrounding the lake, you’ll encounter a variety of wildlife including buffaloes, warthogs, giraffes, wildebeests, and zebras. The shallow Hippo Pool is an excellent spot for observing hippos as they wallow in the mud to escape the heat.

The Magnificent Rift Valley Escarpment

A striking feature of Lake Manyara is the impressive 400-meter high Rift Valley Escarpment. This dramatic geological formation, part of the Great Rift Valley that stretches along East Africa, was created 20-25 million years ago when the Earth’s crust split apart. Visible from space, it forms a distinct line that offers diverse habitats including acacia woodlands, lush jungles, mountain cliffs, hot springs, and expansive grassy plains alongside the soda lake.

Activities and Excursions in Lake Manyara National Park

Visitors to Lake Manyara can indulge in a variety of activities:

  • Night Game Drives: Experience the park’s nocturnal wildlife.
  • Canopy/Treetop Walks: Explore the forest from elevated walkways.
  • Mountain Biking: Tour around Lake Manyara on two wheels.
  • Cultural Tours: Visit the Mto wa Mbu village, Maasai, and Hadzabe tribes.
  • Visit Masai Tribe
  • Visit Hadzabe Tribe

Travel Logistics

  • From Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park: A 2.5-hour drive.
  • From Lake Manyara National Park To Tarangire National Park: 1 hour.
  • From Lake Manyara National Park To Ngorongoro Conservation Area: 1 hour.
  • From Lake Manyara National Park To Serengeti: 3.5 hours.

Expert Tips

It’s more adventurous combining a game drive with activities such as a cultural mountain bike tour, canoeing, or the Treetop Walk. For accommodation, guests highly recommend Lake Manyara Hotel for its breathtaking views, welcoming staff, and excellent cuisine.

When to Visit Lake Manyara National Park

For large wildlife sightings, the best time to visit Lake Manyara National Park is during the dry season from July to October. Bird enthusiasts should plan their trip between November and June to witness an abundance of flamingos, pelicans, African Fish Eagles, and more.