Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest national parks in Tanzania covering 330sqkm and was established as a national park in 1960. Lake Manyara National Park is located in the Manyara region of Tanzania at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment.
Lake Manyara National Park is named after Lake Manyara which covers the largest part, it also has a variety of beautiful nature surroundings like the groundwater forest, Mahogany trees, swamps, hot springs, grassy plains, acacia woodlands, rocks and volcanic peaks, this makes the park a home of various wildlife like animals, birds and plants. Some of the wild animals in this game include the the famous tree climbing lions, tusked elephants, baboons, wildebeest, giraffe, blue monkey, buffalo, water-buck, impala, warthog, zebra, klipspringer, kirk’s dik-dik, birds like pink-hued flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, storks, plants among others. These altogether make it a must visit to Lake Manyara NP when in Tanzania.
HOW TO ACCESS LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara National Park is about 320 km from Dares Salaam and its either accessed by road or air transport. By Road, the journey takes around 10 hours due to the bumpy roads to Manyara.
By Air, a flight can be scheduled from Julius Nyerere International Airport to Manyara Airstrip or to Arusha Airport and then drive to the park.
The Lake Manyara National Park’s vegetation and its physical features, give life to different wildlife species, with a total of over 45 mammals, 480 birds, this making it relatively biodiverse. Some of these unique species of Manyata, include, lion, baboon, elephant, bushbuck, wildebeest, giraffe, blue monkey, warthog, zebra, klipspringer, kirk’s dik-dik, buffalo, impala, zebra, waterbuck. The Lake Manyara National Park also inhabits unique and various birds like the african grey hornbill, african hawk eagle, african jacana, crowned eagle, great white pelican, greater and lesser flamingo, grey crowned crane, little stint, pied kingfisher, pink-backed pelican, among others.
Lake Manyara National Park climate is humid. It has two dry seasons (June-September) and (December-February). The park also has two wet seasons along one from (March-May) and a short one from (October-November), heavy rains with thunderstorms be common, but it is unusual for rainfall to last throughout the day.
ACTIVITIES TO DO ON LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK SAFARI IN TANZANIA
Birding is one of the best activities done in this game Park, it has over 480 bird species, making it a great destination for a birder. The park has good birding spots with various species that are eye-catching and interesting to watch like the african hawk eagle, crowned eagle, african grey hornbill, african jacana, great white pelican, grey crowned crane, little stint, saddle-billed stork, silvery-cheeked hornbill, southern ground hornbill, spur-winged goose, von der decken’s hornbill, yellow-billed stork among others. The shores of Lake Manyara inhabit mostly the pink-backed pelicans, herons and storks, cormorants, african fish eagle, sacred and glossy ibis, and black egret and at peak seasons, it also inhabits the pink-hued flamingo. Bird watching is good all-round the year but the best time is from November to April since migratory birds arrive from Europe and North Africa and also the residential birds nest. Birding can be done with experienced rangers available at the parks headquarter.
Lake Manyara National Park is good for game driving due to a variety of wild life, during the drives through the park and along the water sources, different animals like tree climbing lions and big pythons are seen up on the trees waiting for prey, hippos seen in the waters of Manyara, rhinos, buffalos, antelopes among others are easily spotted. Some birds like the pelicans, ostriches among others are also easily spotted. The game drives are done at any time, a ranger should lead the drive for directions and so as to cover every detail. Game drives are best during dry season since the roads are good and easily accessible.
Lake Manyara National Park offers the opportunity to explorer the wild on foot, these are offered by the different hikes made around the park, to the volcanic peaks, forest, swamps and along the shores of Manyara lake as you see different wildlife. During the walking various wildlife like animals for example rhinos, hippos, giraffes, antelopes, zebras, lions, buffalos, butterflies, insects, plants and birds are quietly and closely observed. Apart from wildlife, the walks give you the clear sight and feel of the beautiful sceneries and landform of this park. These walks are led by an armed experienced guide.
ACCOMMODATION IN LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
There are so many accommodation facilities located in and around the park. These facilities offer different types of accommodation including lodges, cottages and luxury camps. Around the park are good accommodation facilities like lodges, hotels among others.