Lake Manyara National Park
Set in the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is located near Ngorongoro Crater and the Arusha National Park in the North Eastern sides of Tanzania. The park is actually located in between Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area & Tarangire and Arusha National Parks.
A major attraction of the Lake Manyara National Park is the tree – climbing lions. Unfortunately there is no guarantee that you will spot them. However, there are other things to see – elephants, hippos, zebras, impalas, buffalos, baboons, plains animals as well as huge variety of birdlife, both resident and migratory.
At certain times of the year, Lake Manyara is home to thousands of flamingos (attracted by the Lake itself), which form a shimmering pink zone around the lake shore. Other birds found here include ostriches, egrets, herons, pelicans and storks. Also seen are African spoonbills, various species of ibises, ducks and the rare pygmy geese. The most noticeable of the landscape within this park are the very impressive baobab trees with their huge trunks.
How to get there:
Air: There’s an airstrip near the park gate and available return daily flight from Arusha. You can also charter a plane Arusha.
Road: The park is located 130 km west of Arusha and is reached via the Arusha – Serengeti road. The drive from Arusha takes about 21/2 hours, the road is good tarmac for the first 80 km, and then the road is rough later: however, it is an enjoyable journey. The entrance to the park is off the left of the Great North Road at Makuyuni. From here, there is a track, reportedly in very poor condition that goes past the lake and through the village of Mto wa Mbu to the park entrance at the foot of the Great Rift Escarpment.
The main road through the park is good enough for most vehicles although some of the tracks may be closed during wet seasons. Taking a guide with you is recommended as they will be much better at spotting the game – in particular the lions – than you.