Lake Manyara National Park

Stretching for 50km along the base of the rusty-gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment lies Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara is a scenic gem. Offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. Discover one of Tanzania’s best kept secrets. Lake Manyara, a small breathtaking National Park with an immense natural richness the home of over 400 bird species, including the thousands of flamingos that tint the soda waters of the Lake pink and the famous tree climbing lions, which for reasons unknown sleep in the branches of acacia trees.

Lake Manyara National Park offers a wilderness experience in diverse habitats, from its Rift Valley soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. Apart from a spectacular setting, the park is famous for its unusual tree-climbing lions and the vast elephant herds it was established to protect.

The concentrations of game at Lake Manyara are not nearly as high as in surrounding parks, but there are a number of unique species that give reason enough to safari here.  The park’s main attraction are Lake Manyara’s famous tree climbing lions why these lions habitually climb trees is still up for debate, but viewing a pride relaxing in an acacia tree is a remarkable sight


Lake Manyara is located in northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km/80 miles) west of Arusha along a newly surfaced road.

Size: 330 sq km when water levels are high

When to go

  • Dry season (July-October) for large mammals;
  • Wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing
  • Generally Manyara’s official peak season is from July to October. However for such a small park this should not be a deciding factor; if you are in the area and have time, Lake Manyara is consistently good as a soft game viewing park at any time of the year


  • Game drives, night game drives, canoeing when the water levels is sufficiently high.
  • Cultural tours, picnicking, bush lunch/dinner, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
  • The Bush Dinner experience is not to be missed, as special performers will join you at the dining site to showcase some real Tanzanian culture
  • Staying in the Rift Valley outside the park however does open up a wealth of possibilities, with activities such as walking, village trips, hiking and mountain biking available at some lodges.

Why Visit

  • Home to the largest concentration of baboons.
  • Game drives, night game drives.
  • Cultural tours, picnicking, bush lunch/dinner, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
  • Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration.
  • Famous for its tree-climbing lions.
  • Mountain biking along the lake, including a stop at a local village

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