Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park lies in the Great Rift Valley in the shadow of a 600m-high escarpment and is famous for flamingos as well as tree-climbing lions.

The national park is comprised of arid grasslands, acacia woodland and a soda lake, which attracts large flocks of flamingo and pelican when full. Whilst small in size, Lake Manyara National Park is nevertheless very picturesque and its wildlife are fairly habituated to humans.

Birdlife here is exceptional, with over 400 recorded species while the lions in the park are renowned for relaxing in the trees when not hunting. The forests support large numbers of baboon, blue monkey and shy antelope such as bushbuck, whilst the grassy plains are inhabited by buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe. Elephants are also common, while Manyara has a good hippo pool to observe these giant, semi-aquatic mammals.

A visit to this park combines well with the celebrated Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, which are to the north of Lake Manyara. Very close to the park’s southern boundary lies the sun-baked yet strangely enchanting Tarangire National Park, well worth a visit for its high elephant densities and ancient baobab trees.


Why should I visit Lake Manyara?

  • A small but very scenic park south of the Serengeti ecosystem
  • Seasonal flamingo-viewing on the soda lake
  • Incredible birdlife all year round
  • Opportunities to observe unusual tree-climbing lions
  • Acacia forests filled with primates and antelope
  • Plains inhabited by wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo
  • A great hippo pool

When is the best time to go to Lake Manyara?

The dry season (June to September) is when animals tend to congregate at remaining waterholes in Lake Manyara National Park. However, the northern section of the park might be crowded in these months. To have the place to yourself, visit just after the wet season, which is generally between March and April.

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Tanzania Sample Itineraries

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Our Recommended

Luxury accommodation at Lake Manyara

The following are some of the lodges and tented camps that we recommend in the Lake Manyara region. For information on additional accommodation not featured, please contact us.

Chem Chem Lodge

Set on a private wildlife concession between Tarangire and Lake Manyara national parks, Chem Chem Lodge comprises eight exquisite tented suites.

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge features 27 tented guest rooms that are simple yet comfortable, and breathtaking views of Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley floor.

Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

The only permanent luxury lodge in Lake Manyara National Park, Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is a collection of magnificent tree houses built on stilts nestled in ancient mahogany forest.

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Tanzania Overview

What is the best thing to do in Tanzania?
A wildlife safaris is an absolute must as Tanzania is one of Africa’s great wildlife destinations. Witnessing tens of thousands of wildebeest and zebra in the Serengeti is an unquestionable highlight, whilst the Ngorongoro Crater is one of the natural wonders of the world. A trek to the top of Africa’s highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro – is a bucket-list experience for any adventure enthusiast.

What is the climate like in Tanzania?
Much of the Serengeti is over 5,000ft so temperatures vary between 22°- 29°C. It is generally sunny and windy, with rain falling between November and May as isolated showers. The low-lying Rift Valley is much hotter (30°-35°C), while the coast is hot and humid. The Ngorongoro Highlands can be cool to cold at night.

How do I get to Tanzania?
There are only two European airlines – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and Turkish Airlines – that fly directly into the country. Otherwise, flying via the Kenyan capital of Nairobi (where far more major airlines fly to including British Airways and Air France) is another option. From here travellers can then fly to numerous airports in Tanzania.

For travellers coming from the United States at least one stop is required. The easiest airlines for connections are either with KLM or Qatar Airways via Doha. From Doha there are also direct flights to Kilimanjaro International Airport.

What can I combine Tanzania with?
Tanzania is often combined with other countries including neighbouring Kenya or either Uganda or Rwanda for a trek to see the gorillas. A few days on the beautiful beaches of Zanzibar is a very popular way to end a Tanzanian safari.

Want to know more about Tanzania?
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