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.