Lake Manyara and the Manyara National Park sit at the Western end of the Great Rift Valley and form part of Tanzania's renowned Northern Circuit with the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. It is one of Tanzania's most scenic parks, dominated by the shimmering lake, but also featuring open grassland areas and Acacia forests.
For visitors looking to explore the park, you can either stay in the park itself or close by if you are looking to combine your visits here with the nearby Tarangire National Park. Inside the park itself, &Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the leading option, offering stunning rooms and the superb guides, food and service. The more modest Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge should not be discounted though, even though it is slightly larger it has a superb location within the park and boasts what we feel is the most beautifully located swimming pool in Tanzania, perhaps in all of Africa. Outside the park in their own wildlife concession, both Chem Chem and Little Chem Chem offer visitors another luxury option and the chance to combine time at Lake Manyara with the Tarangire National Park.
The park offers a high density of big game, including Manyara's famed tree-climbing lions which can often be seen up in the Sausage Trees around the park. There are plenty of elephants here, as well as buffalo, giraffes, zebras and wildebeest. The lake itself is known for boasting large flocks of flamingos and the contrast of their pink against the shimmering blue waters of the lake makes for some fantastic photographic opportunities. It is also a fantastic spot for birding enthusiasts, with almost 400 species of birds found in the park, so get those binoculars and bird books at the ready!
Probably the least celebrated part of Tanzania's Northern Circuit, Lake Manyara is a truly wonderful wilderness area which leaves visitors in awe of the beautiful landscapes and fantastic game viewing that the park offers. A must see.
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It is good to watch wildlife all year long in Lake Manyara National Park but the best time is during the dry season which runs from late June to September.
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