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.