TANZANIA - LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
depth guide to the seasons, animals, birds and wildlife
habitats of Lake Manyara in Tanzania
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unusual park lies in the shadow of the Great
Rift Valley whose reddish brown escarpment wall
looms 1,950 feet high (600 metres) on the eastern
horizon. Waterfalls spill over the cliff and
hot springs bubble to the surface in the south.
Much of the park
often appears to be in a heat haze created
by the soda lake - Lake Manyara. The lake
attracts considerable birdlife, and its surrounding
terrain contains such a rich mosaic of different
habitats that it supports a large number of
The park is accessed
by road via the village of Mto wa Mbu, an
eclectic market town where several tribes
have converged to form a linguistic mix like
nowhere else in Africa.
Such diverse surroundings attract equally diverse
species such as monkeys, antelopes, zebras,
hippos and crocodiles, buffalo, giraffe and
a high density of elephants. The park is particularly
known for its tree-climbing lions, who may be
seen sleeping off the heat of the day on a branch
instead of a shady spot on the ground like most
inhabiting the lake include pelicans, storks,
cormorants and Egyptian geese. Flamingoes colour
the lake pink as they arrive to feed at the
lake during their migration. One unforgettable
sight is a giant flock of red billed quelea
who gather in their thousands and waft over
the water like a giant swarm of insects.
Season: Short rains are November and
December when it gets hot and humid, and the
long rains are from March to June. These are
the best times for bird watching, waterfalls
Dry Season: typically it is
dry in the cooler winter months of July to October,
which is the best time to view game.
• Diverse scenery and animals
• Tree-climbing lions
• An abundance of elephants
• Water birds in abundance
The park is 78 miles (125 km) west of Arusha
town, from where it is a half an hour flight
or a two-hour drive.
It attained National Park status in 1960.
The park is 127 miles² (330 km²) of
which 89 miles² (230 km²) is Lake
Tanzania National Parks contact details: Tel:
+255 (27) 254 8040, Fax: +255 (27) 254 8216,
This is a malarial area.
Follow the links below to Tanzania's premier wildlife regions
and game reserves.
Reserve Index | Wildlife