By managing to squeeze a majority of Tanzania‘s diverse habitats, animals and birdlife into just one, and by most standards, small national park (33,000 hectares) Lake Manyara is a very popular park, made even more so for its tree-climbing lions, thriving herds of giraffe and broad range of bird species.
Set between Arusha and the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara National Park runs along the Rift Valley escarpment and where two-thirds of its hectarage lies under the waters of its alkaline lake. Spot baboons, blue monkeys and bushbuck in its evergreen forests, buffalo, wildebeest, giraffe and zebra on its flood plains, whereas its acacia woodland is popular amongst its leopards and those tree-climbing lions.
One of the main draws to the park is its variation of birdlife. Thanks to its watery terrain there are healthy populations of large waterbirds such as flamingo, cormorant, pelican, stork, stilt and much more to discover.
When to go
All year round; the dry season (July-October) is better for spotting large mammals, whereas the wet season (November-June) is better for birdlife
What to do
- Game drives, night drives, birdwatching
- Bush picnics