General information

Lake Manyara National Park offers a unique wilderness experience while on Tanzania Safari which can be self drive adventure or guided tour by experienced tour guides.

These Unique features include diverse landscapes such as the Rift Valley soda lake, open grasslands, dense woodlands and stunning mountainsides. In the north of Tanzania.

Lake Manyara National Park centers on its eponymous alkaline lake, a key habitat for hundreds of bird species. Between November and April, thousands of greater and lesser pink flamingos gather on its shores, along with pink-backed pelicans, yellow-billed storks, grey herons and pods of hippo.

Surrounding the lake are marshlands, grassy plains and acacia woodlands, home to tree-climbing lion and long-tusked elephant. Giraffe strut across the grasslands, where herds of buffalo, zebra and wildebeest graze.   As well as enjoying game drives and walking safaris, you can visit the Maji Moto hot springs to soak in the warm, clear water under the shade of leafy trees. Lake Manyara is only 90 minutes from Arusha by car and easy to combine with a safari in the Serengeti, Tarangire or the Area Lake Manyara National Park is located 126 km (78 mi) south west of Arusha and can be reached by car in an hour and a half. The park can also be reached from Babati the capital of Manyara Region.

Lake Manyara National Park is part of the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve. Lake Manyara, including the areas within and outside the national park, along with the Marang Forest Reserve on the adjacent uplands are included in the Lake Manyara Important Bird Area.

Wildlife in Arusha National park

Arusha national park has a rich variety of wildlife, the visitors shouldn’t expect the same game-viewing experience they find in other national parks of Tanzania’s northern circuit. Despite its small size, Arusha national parks common animals include giraffe, Cape buffalo, zebra, warthog, the black and white Columbus monkey, the blue monkey, flamingo, elephant, bushbuck and many other African animals. The leopard populations are present in this national park, but rarely seen. The birdlife in the forest is prolific, with many forest species that are easily seen in this park than elsewhere on the tourist route- the Narina trogon and bar-tailed trogon are both possible highlights for the visiting birders, whilst the range of starling species provide somewhat less gaudy interest.

Best time to visit  Lake Manyara national park

Lake Manyara is a beautiful place to visit all the year round, with perpetual water in the central soda lake which covers two-thirds of the total area of over 127 square miles (330 square kilometers), although this shrinks in the dry season to half its size, surrounded by salt flats. Rivers and waterfalls cascade from the escarpment in the wet and ground water flows year-round from the base of the adjacent Rift Valley Escarpment, providing conditions for lush, jade forests of fig, mahogany, baobab and acacia. In the less frequented south of the Lake Manyara National Park, hot springs bubble from the plains, heated by underground volcanic activity to flow over sulfur encrusted rocks into the lake. Where it cools to bearable temperatures, pods of hippopotami wallow during the heat of the day, and later emerging to forage during the night. The short rains fall in November and December, when it is hot, with humid temperatures up to 95 F (35 C) and short thunderstorms in afternoons or evenings, but these leave plenty of time for game watching trips in Manyara, although road logistics on wet ground requires utmost skill and plenty of insect repellent spray may be advised. A dry hot period follows from January when room prices start to peak where lodges maximize high density wildlife experience on their safari tour in northern Tanzania until the long rains arrive around middle of March when accommodation rates are offered at a concession.

Tanzania Safaris

The Republic of Tanzania has many offers that awaits you when you select to visit and explore Tanzania’s national park that hosts the big five and other wildlife animals.  it also grants you the great chance to visit the Zanzibar Islands in Indian ocean , great Starting point for a self drive East Africa trip to drive around lake Victoria.

Self Drive Uganda is among the tour operators that offer self drive safaris in Tanzania or car Rental with driver at affordable rates .

Contact the Team of Experts to help you plan & Explore Tanzania on a Self drive Adventure.

Things to do

Go off the beaten path at Lake Manyara, Tanzania. Experience nature like nowhere else: the park’s diverse vegetation is said to support up to 11 diverse ecosystems at once, making it unsurprising that a Lake Manyara safari lures in large number of visitors year after year. However, despite its relatively small size, navigating through the national park can be a daunting task. So plan ahead! Find the activities that pique your interest, so you can make the most out of your visit here. Here are some of the top things to do in Lake Manyara National Park.

Top of the World on the Lake Manyara Treetop Walkway: Lake Manyara Treetop Walkway allows you to have a thrilling sky-high adventure straight through the forest. This 370 m air walk, lets you to walk right among the treetops, giving you a bird’s eye view of the forest. The treetop walkway starts right from the short board-walk and eventually rises in altitude leading to a series of suspension bridges with secure netting on either side. These bridges rise to a total altitude of 18 m off the ground, and allow you to enjoy the fauna and flora of the forest facilitated by tour guides who can point out each of the varying species, and give you interesting tidbits about each kind.

 Become a Bird Lover: Lake Manyara National Park may be one of the best parks in Tanzania to engage in birding: with close to 400 bird species including migrating birds from Eurasian locations, and 3 species that are unique and endangered to Tanzania. A place where the most uninterested people turn into avid bird watchers. A majority of the birds that can be seen often migrate from Lake Natron where they breed, to Lake Manyara which acts as their feeding ground. This means that the floodplains of Lake Manyara are populated with spectacular species such as the Grey crowned crane, Fischer’s sparrow lark, pink lesser flamingos and the Crowned Plover.

Enjoy Day and Night Game drives: Sure, every park has day game drives, but what about a nocturnal experience? A Lake Manyara safari shows its diverse ecosystems at its shining best through night game drives which make you feel like you’ve entered a whole new world! One of the few national parks with night game drives. Lake Manyara is also known for its population of big cats, with lions being seen both during the day as they sleep, and at night when they are on the prowl.

A Whiff of Adventure: Lake Manyara National Park also has the distinction of being one of the few national parks in Tanzania that allows canoeing! By canoeing at Lake Manyara, you will be able to get up close and personal with dozens of aquatic species and species of birds such as the pink flamingoes that gather near the water to relax and relieve their thirst. Calling all adventure lovers! Lake Manyara is also home to a number of giraffes and elephants all of which can be seen with a closer look as you canoe past them into the serene waters.

Visit Maasai Bombas: Surrounding Lake Manyara Tanzania are villages of the Maasai people who live in their quaint circular huts made of mud and straw which they refer to as Bombas. The Masai are very friendly and often break into song and dance as they welcome you to their village. Get a taste of the Maasai cultureIf you are looking for a taste of the indigenous cultural heritage you must visit some of the neighboring villages where you can also taste the local cuisine and mingle with the locals, to understand the rich culture of Tanzania better.

How to get there

The park can be accessed either through the southern or northern gates. The northern gate is more commonly used since most accommodation is located in its vicinity. The distance from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park is 126 km which about 90 minutes’ drive.

By Air: The best way to get to Lake Manyara np is by flying into the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).From Arusha, this airport is located about 46 km .Using a domestic flight, it is also possible to fly to Arusha Airport (ARK) while flying from the Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam .

Alternatively, you can take an international flight to the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam and then catch a connecting flight from either JRO or Arusha Airport (ARK). There are there are charter flights to the Lake Manyara Airport (LKY) that connect from the Serengeti or Arusha. From there you can connect by road to the park gate which is about 16.km away (approximately 30 minutes’ drive) Domestic flights can be arranged with a domestic carrier. In addition to this, charter flights between parks are in most cases booked by your tour operator as part of your safari package.

By Road: Located southwest of Arusha town, the distance from Arusha to Lake Manyara National Park is 126 km (78 miles) and can easily be reached by car. You can also flexibly get there from Bahati, the capital of Manyara region. This is the most popular transport means among holidaymakers visiting the park along the northern safari circuit. By car, one can also take a trip (road safari) along the newly tarred road connecting from Arusha which only takes 1 ½ to 2 hours to reach the entrance gate. Considering that Manyara Park is on the way to the more renowned Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti National Park which are the other parks on the northern circuit.