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Lake Manyara National Park

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Lake Manyara National Park Overview

Nestled within Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park stands as a gem of Tanzania’s Northern Safari Circuit. Established in 1960, the park spans 325 square kilometers, offering a picturesque blend of lakeside wilderness. At its heart lies Lake Manyara, an expansive alkaline lake covering around 230 square kilometers, yet never surpassing three meters in depth. Its waters ebb and flow with the seasons, expanding during heavy rains from March to May and November to December. This dynamic rhythm creates a captivating environment for photography enthusiasts, with each visit promising a unique experience.

Alongside the iconic lake, the park boasts diverse habitats including wetlands, floodplains, and forests. These varied landscapes support a rich array of wildlife, from majestic elephants and tree-climbing lions to vibrant bird species. Lake Manyara National Park offers an immersive safari experience, where visitors can witness the natural beauty and biodiversity that Tanzania is renowned for, ensuring memories that last a lifetime.

Northern Tanzania

124 square miles (320 square km)

Things to Do in Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park offers a wealth of activities for visitors to immerse themselves in the beauty and diversity of this iconic destination. Here are some top things to do in the park:

Things to do in lake manyara national park


  1. Safari Drives:
    Explore the park’s diverse landscapes and encounter a variety of wildlife on a thrilling safari drive. Keep your eyes peeled for elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and the famous tree-climbing lions.
  2. Birdwatching:
    Lake Manyara is a paradise for bird enthusiasts, with over 400 bird species recorded within the park. Bring your binoculars and spot colorful flamingos, pelicans, storks, and countless other avian species.
  3. Canoeing:
    Experience the tranquil beauty of Lake Manyara up close by embarking on a guided canoeing excursion. Glide through the calm waters of the lake and observe wildlife from a unique perspective.
  4. Cultural Tours:
    Learn about the local Maasai and other tribes with a cultural tour of the surrounding villages. Gain insight into their traditional way of life, customs, and rituals, and interact with community members.
  5. Walking Safaris:
    Join a guided walking safari to explore the park on foot and get closer to nature. Walk along the forested trails and discover hidden gems while learning about the park’s flora and fauna from experienced guides.
  6. Picnicking:
    Take advantage of the park’s designated picnic areas and enjoy a leisurely lunch surrounded by nature. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax and refuel amidst the stunning scenery.
  7. Scenic Lookouts:
    Visit viewpoints like Msasa Hill or Endala Hill for panoramic views of the park and its surroundings. Marvel at the sweeping vistas and capture breathtaking photos of Lake Manyara and beyond.

To truly immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Lake Manyara National Park, nothing beats a classic game drive. The main circuit can be completed in just a few hours, allowing you to witness the park’s diverse wildlife at different times of the day. Early morning and evening drives offer the chance to see animals when they’re most active, while nighttime drives reveal the park’s nocturnal inhabitants under the glow of a spotlight. For a unique perspective, explore the park’s mysterious forests from above on a nearby treetop walkway, offering stunning views from 18 meters high. Alternatively, take to the water and paddle across Lake Manyara by canoe, experiencing the park from a whole new angle.

Conveniently located just an hour and a half from Arusha, Lake Manyara National Park is easily accessible and forms an integral part of Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. Extend your adventure by visiting the vibrant village of Mto wa Mbu or immersing yourself in Maasai culture at a local boma, adding a cultural dimension to your journey through Tanzania’s natural wonders.

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