Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is small,stretching only some 330 square km(127square miles)along the base of the escarpment with two thirds of it’s surface taken up by shallow alkaline Lake Manyara.
It’s range of ecosystems at different elevations makes for dramatic differences scenery.At one moment you’re travelling through a fair -tale forest( calledground water forest)of tumbling,crystal clear streams,water falls,rivers,and ancient trees.
The deep Forest
In the deep forest where the old tuskers still roam,blue monkeys swing among huge fig trees,tamarind trees,giant baobabs,and mahoganies using their long tail as an extra limb.In the evening as motes of dusty sun-light dance in the setting sun,there’s an excellent chance of spotting a troop of more than 300 olive baboons sitting in the road,grooming each other,chatting,and dozing,while dozens of naughty babies play around them and old granddaddies look on with knowing eyes.
Where the hundreds of elephants,buffalo,and antelope roam,accompanied by maasai giraffes so dark they look as if they’ve been dipped in chocolate.This is the great place to see hippos at close hand as they lie on the banks of the lake,or as they begin to forage as dusk approaches.
Trees climbing lions
No one real knows why they climb and roost in trees,it’s been suggested that this unusual behaviour probably started during a fly epidemic when the cats climbed high to escape the swarms of biting flies on the ground,so present ongoing behavior is now part of their collective memory.
The Lake shore
If your birder then put this park on your must visit list.Because of the great variety of habitat,there’s great variety of birds,more than 400 species have been recorded.The edges of the lake as well as it’s placid surface attract all manner of water birds large and small.Along the reed -fringed lake shore you’ll see huge pink clouds drifting to and fro.These” clouds” are flocks of flamingos.In the thickets at the base of the red escarpments overlooking the lake,which angles up dramatically at 90 degree,watch out for Nubian woodpeckers,silver birds flycatcher,super,Ashy,and Hildebrand’s starlings,Yellow wag tails,trilling cisticolas,Red-cheeked cordon bleus,Peter’s twinspots,blue necked mouse birds and every cuckoo imaginable.The red and yellow barbet is known as the” bed and breakfast bird” for it’s habit of living where it’s eats-in termite mounds.