At the base of the Rift Valley escarpment
This small yet scenic park is home to incredible herds of elephant, birdlife, pods of wallowing hippo and amazing tree climbing lions.
Best time to visit Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara’s wet season is from November to June, and this is the best time for bird watching. The dry season is typically from July to October, and a better time for game viewing.
Lake Manyara holiday highlights
Lake Manyara National Park is located in northern Tanzania, at the base of the Rift Valley escarpment between Ngorongoro and Tarangire, a 20-minute flight or approx. two hours' drive from Arusha. One of Tanzania’s smallest national parks, it makes for a lovely stop as part of a longer safari itinerary. Compact yet richly populated, its grasslands and acacia woodlands provide habitat for herds of elephant, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, buffalo, impala, baboon and incredible tree-climbing lions.
Two thirds of the park is made up of a shallow soda lake, home to a sizeable flamingo population – the number of birds here fluctuates depending on the water level, but the best time to see them at Manyara is August-September. Pods of hippo also reside in its waters.
I loved Lake Manyara as it was such a contrast to the other parts of our safari. It’s an absolute must for bird watchers but it offers so much more.
Seeing the tree-climbing lions draped over branches snoozing in the afternoon sun will stay with me forever. We were there in November – the wet season – which is arguably the best time to go for the birds and we couldn’t argue with that, but the scenery was a bonus, especially the waterfalls.”
Personal Travel Expert, Manchester