LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK TANZANIA
Just about 126Km SoutHwest of Arusha city lies Lake Manyara National Park. Covering a total surface area of about 325 km², the national park lies both in the Manyara and Arusha administrative regions. The park is named after its dominant feature, Lake Manyara.Stretching at about 50Km along the 600m high rift valley escarpment , Lake Manyara National Park offers a wilderness experience in diverse habitats, from its Rift Valley soda lake (Manyara), to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. Apart from a brilliant setting, the park is famous for its unusual tree-climbing lions and the vast elephant herds it was established to protect. Most of the area of the park is within a narrow strip which runs between the Gregory rift valley wall and Lake Manyara. The park is popularly known for its high concentration of pink flamingoes which usually flock the shores of the lake especially during the rainy season.
ATTRACTIONS OF LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
It is the most dominant feature in the national park and it is from the lake that the parks nameis derived. The lakes name, Manyara, is derived from a Masaai word ‘emanyara’ which literally means a euphorbia plant species that grown into a hedge around a family homestead. Lake Manyara is an alkaline soda lake with a maximum depth of approximately 3.7m and has primary inflows of Simba and Makayuni rivers. Simba River flows in from the north while Makayuni flows in from the East.With no outlet, the lake is subjected to intense evaporation and accumulation of salt and other minerals.Being an alkaline soda lake, the lakes PH value is 9 and has a high concentration of carbonate salts and sodium chloride. The growth of algae on the Lake supports the presence of a large number of fish in the lake. The lake has a magnificent ecosystem making the park one of the most aquatic destinations in the world. The lake was formed millions years ago by tectonic rifts which caused the occurrence of the Great Rift Valley.
Ground Water Forest
The forest lies directly above the Manyara basin, on the crater highlands of the park. It is a dense evergreen canopy forest characterized by large Mahogany, giant figs, wild palms and other tree species. It is home to 3 primate species which include vervet monkeys, baboons and blue monkeys. The forest is a permanent water reservoir, having outlets that run down the high elevation to the base of the park.
The woodland is the prime viewing spot for wildlife in the National Park, featuring animals such as leopards, giraffes, tree climbing lions, elephants and many others. It is in the area where the first field study of elephants in the wild was conducted by Iain Douglas. The woodland is characterized by umbrella acacia vegetation such as thunderbolt trees and has the highest concentration of elephants in the entire Africa, estimated to be about 600. The thunderbolt tree is named after an ancient Angolan belief that the tree provides protection from lightning although it is not clear why. The area is located between the lakeshore of Manyara and Great Rift Valley wall.
The plains are vast intersecting with the dense forest which stretches ahead. The floodplain is composed of a grassy shoreline that usually emerges during the dry season. The area however becomes waterlogged during the dry season. It is also covered by palm trees on the outer banks, which overlooks the hippos in their pool.
Lake Manyara National Park has a wide diversity of wildlife species which include lions, leopards, cheetahs, Impala, Zebras, Hippo, buffalo, warthogs elephants, giraffe, dik-dik, blue monkeys and many others
There are about 400 bird species present in the park, 300 of them living in the area around Lake Manyara. The number high number of bird species in the park makes it one of the prime bird viewing destinations in Africa. Some of the birds include flamingo, long crested eagle, grey headed Kingfisher.
ACTIVITIES IN LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
From the parks gate, the road meanders through an expanse of lush jungle like groundwater forest where a series of baboon troop’s lounge along the roadside, blue monkeys swing between the ancient mahogany trees, bushbuck moves through the shadows, and outsized forest hornbills honk in the high canopy.Intersecting with the forest is the grassy floodplain with an expansive eastward view, across lake Manyara, to the trough volcanic peaks that rise from the outside of the park.
Wildlife such as wildebeest, buffalo, lions, leopards, zebra and many others converge on the grassy plains as they feed or hunt for food and water. At the crater floor, the floodplain and a narrow belt of acacia woodland hosts the legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. From a distance, steam is seen above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.
Lake Manyara National park is one of the destinations in Tanzania that provides the perfect introduction to birdlife. With over 400 recorded species, one is reasonably assured to expect viewing of a minimum of 100 species in one day. Some of the easily viewed species include thousands of pink flamingos during their perpetual migration;water birds such as storks , pelicans, cormorants and many other birds. Flamingoes, which are primarily the most dominant bird species in the National Park, have a wide variety of visual displays. The specie is pink in color and has different communicating means; from a nasal honking to loud grunting and growling. They have excellent visual and hearing skills, poor smelling ability and well developed color perception. They have long legs which enables them to stand above the deeper waters. Often, flamingos stand on only one leg. By doing so, they are simply keeping a normal body temperature. The flight speed of the bird species can reach up to 60Km/hr with a capability to fly over 600Km nonstop.Most of these birds are seen around the area of Lake Manyara.The Lake is a Magnet for the birds due to its garden of blue green algae that flourish in the shadows. Lake Manyara has an amazing mirror like surface that reflects the shifting shades of the birds and the sky above, from dwan’s rosy in the morning to shimmering blue in the evening as the sun sets, the yellow rays striking over the lake.
The ground water rainforest is the most suitable place in the park to carry on nature walks. It is nurtured by a permanent supply of ground water from the crater highlands just above the Manyara basin. The forest has a brilliant and breathtaking view view with tree species such as Mahogany, palms and fig trees. The forest features 3 primate species which includes vervet monkeys and baboons.The forest stretches on a 10 mile total surface area. The lush forest also hosts a wide variety of bird species which make keep it alive with sweet melodies.
Maramboi Tented Camp
The camp is situated north of the park and is composed of 40 spacious en-suite tents. Among the total 40 tents, there are 26 standard room tents, 10 suites and 2 units with 2 rooms interconnected. All the tents have a private veranda and electric lighting. The camp has facilities such as swimming pool, Wi-Fi and a phone reception.
With over 40 spacious rooms, Twiga Campsite offers accommodation that ranges from standard, executive, thatched rooms and a campsite that can accommodate about 200 people. It has facilities such as a conference hall, Wi-Fi, Bar, Restaurant, mini supermarket, curio shop, laundry services, spa and swimming pool
Kirurumu Manyara Lodge
Just about 15 Minutes from lake Manyara Airstrip and 20 minutes away from Lake Manyara National park lies the Kirurumu Manyara lodge.It has 27 en-suite tented rooms, 2 being honeymoon suites and 2 others being family cottages. It has facilities such as bar, dinning area
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
The lodge has silted tree house suites that are shaded by a mahogany forest. Located in a dense forest between the lake shore and the steep Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara Lodge has facilities such as lounge, restaurant, dining area, swimming pool, spa
|PERIOD (2016)||RATE US$|
|April to May||795|
|June to Sept||1245|
|Oct to Dec||795|
|21st Dec to 31st Dec||1245|
NB: All the rates are on a Full board plan and they include un limited consumption of soft drinks, house wines, local brand spirits and beer, tea and coffee, refreshment during lodge activities, laundry, morning and afternoon game drives, game driver transfer between Manyara airstrip and lake Manyara tree lodge.
The lodge has 12 spacious rooms. Out of the total number of rooms, 15 are standard, 1 is a family unit, 1 family suite and 7 standard suites. It has amenities such as Wi-Fi, laundry service, swimming pool, spa, manicure and pedicure, restaurant and bar.
Lake Manyara Serena Lodge
Situated in MtowaMbu, Lake Manyara Safari lodge has a total of 67 en-suite rooms. Out of the total 67 rooms, 21 are double, 15 triples, 30 twins. It has facilities such as swimming pool, spa, Wi-Fi, laundry, gift shop, dining area, conference room, bar and restaurant.
|1st Jan – 28th Feb 2016||Single||301|
|1st Mar – 31st Mar 2016||Single||202|
|1st Apr – 31st May 2016||Single||114|
|1st Jun – 31st Oct 2016||Single||301|
|1st Nov – 22st Dec 2016||Single||202|
|23nd Dec 2016 – 1st Jan 2017||Single||301|
NB: All rates are on a full board plan
Flamingo Safari Lodge
Its located in Karatu town, about 20Km away from Lake Manyara National Park. It is has 15 bandas built with a total of 30 rooms and also has a campsite. Two of the rooms are triple, 2 twins, 13 couple rooms and 22….. The facilities found at the lodge include a conference room which accommodates up to 120 people, swimming pool, restaurant and bar.
|SEASON||TYPE||ROOM RATE (US$)|
|CAMPING US$||With own tent||10|
|With own Tent||20|
Extra Meals (US$)
- Break Fast- 10
- Lunch Box- 15
- Dinner – 15
Dar-es-salaam – Segera – Same – Arusha – MtowaMbu735Km 11Hr 21min
Dar-es-salaam – Morogoro – Mpwapwa – Kibaya – Magara 11Hr
Julius Nyerere International airport (Dar-es-salaam) to –Arushaairport 2Hr 45min
There is a connection at Zanzibar with a minimum connecting time of 35 min.
Julius Nyerere International airport (Dar-es-salaam) to Manyara Airstrip 4Hr 25min
There is a connection via Zanzibar and Arusha
Map showing how to get to Lake Manyara National Park
The 10 Days Tanzania Safari in the Northern Circuit is a diverse safari encounter that features extensive wild game viewing in the Tanzania’s wildlife habitats of Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire
Google map Showing Lake Manyara National Park
Tanzania Safari Tour Destinations | Tanzania Safari Attractions/Parks
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