Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is famous for its tree-climbing lions and is the perfect location for an active safari in Tanzania; with canoeing on the lake. Or mountain biking and abseiling outside the park’s borders. Located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti; Lake Manyara National Park is well worth a stop in its own right.

Tucked below the majesty of the Rift Valley wall; Lake Manyara National Park consists of a thin green band of forests; flanked by the sheer 600 m high red and brown cliffs of the escarpment on one side and; by the white-hot shores of an ancient soda lake on the other. This wedge of surprisingly varied vegetation supports a wealth of wildlife; nourished by the streams flowing out of the escarpment base and waterfalls spilling over the cliffs. Acacia woodland shelters the park’s famous tree-climbing lions, lying languidly among the branches in the heat of the day. Feeding in the undergrowth or dozing in the dry riverbeds are the country’s densest populations of buffalo and elephants.

Tree-climbing lions at Lake Manyara National Park
Tree-climbing lions at Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions are another reason to visit this park. The only kind of their species in the world; they make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season. In addition to the lions; the national park is also home to the largest concentration of baboons anywhere in the world; a fact that makes for interesting game viewing of large families of the primates.

Deep in the south of the park, hot springs bubble to the surface; as hippos wallow near the lake’s sedge-lined borders. The park’s dazzling variety of birds; includes thousands of red-billed quelea flitting over the water, pelicans, cormorants, and the pink streaks of thousands of flamingos. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.

Best time to visit Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania

The dry season (July to October) is best for large mammals; while the wet season (November to June) is best for bird watching, waterfalls and canoeing.