Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic park, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
Despite the fact Lake Manyara National Park is only 330 square kilometers in area, of which about 230 square kilometers are lake, it contains a large variety of habitats: the rift wall, the ground water forest, acacia woodland, areas of open grassland, the lake shore, swamp, and the lake itself. From the entrance gate, the road winds through jungle-like forest where hundred-strong baboon troops can be seen along the roadside, as well as blue monkeys, bushbuck and outsized forest hornbills.
The grassy floodplain and its expansive views across the alkaline lake, to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes is home to large buffalo, wildebeest, zebra herds and giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance. Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, where the small Kirk’s dik-dik can also be spotted.
Manyara has more than 400 species of birds. The highlight is thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Lake Manyara N.P., we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Africa