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. Its range of ecosystems at different elevations makes for dramatic differences in scenery. At one moment you’re travelling through a fairytale forest of tumbling, crystal clear streams, waterfalls, rivers, and ancient trees. The next, you are on the lake shore surrounded by a myriad of bird life.

Lake Manyara Deep Forest Blue Monkey


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 tails as an extra limb. In the evening as shafts of dusty sunlight dance in the setting sun, there is an excellent chance of spotting a troop of more than 300 olive baboons grooming each other, chatting and dozing, while dozens of naughty babies play around them and old grandfathers look on with knowing eyes.

Lake Manyara Giraffe


In the woodlands, hundreds of elephants, buffalo and antelope roam, accompanied by Masai giraffes so dark they look as if they’ve been dipped in chocolate. This is a perfect place to see hippos close by as they lie on the banks of the lake, or as they begin to forage as dusk approaches.

Tree climbing lions


It is not known why these lions climb and roost in trees, but it has been suggested that this unusual behaviour may have started during a fly epidemic when the cats climbed high to escape the swarms of biting flies on the ground.  Present behaviour is now part of their collective memory.

Lake Manyara flamingoes


If you are a birder then put this park on your must-visit list. Because of the great variety of habitats, there’s an even larger variety of birds – more than 400 species have been recorded here. 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 near-vertical red escarpment overlooking the lake, watch out for Nubian woodpeckers, Silver Birds,  Flycatchers, Ashy and Hildebrandt’s Starlings, Yellow Wagtails, 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 – inside termite mounds.

Tripadvisor Reviews

  • star rating  Wow! Just got home from our amazing trip to Tanzania. Beyond expectations! We booked with Long Way Expeditions because 1) The 10 day safari appealed to us and 2) their... Read more

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    2 November 2023
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    10 July 2023
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    29 June 2023
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    18 April 2023
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    6 March 2023
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    11 October 2022
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    27 September 2022
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