Vacations to Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Despite being declared the "loveliest lake in Africa” by Nobel prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway, Lake Manyara is one of Tanzania’s best-kept secrets. Long in the shadows of northern Tanzania’s better-known Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara provides the true intimacy all nature lovers seek.

Set in a national park covering 325 square kilometers, Lake Manyara takes up two-thirds of the park during the rainy season, sustaining millions of animals and birds with its flowing waters. In dry season, the lake disappears and diverse vegetation is unveiled. You’ll find swamps, grassy floodplains, evergreen forest and some of Africa’s most precious animals.

A safari trip is essential if you’d like to watch some of the larger animals, such as leopards and lions, on the prowl. Baboons and blue monkeys will keep you entertained as you patiently wait to see one of the many herds of elephant wandering through the forest. There’s a good chance you’ll come across grazing Masai giraffe and zebra, whereas Lake Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions are rarely seen. If you’d like to get a little closer to the action, head towards the hippopotamus pool where you’ll observe the hippos from a distance.

Bird watchers will be in heaven at Lake Manyara National Park. Home to more than 400 species of birds, it’s estimated bird watchers can see over 100 different species each and every day including pink-backed pelicans and African hawk-eagles.

During the wet season (March to May and from November - mid January) you’ll spot migratory birds arriving from Europe and northern Africa, and many birds can be seen in their breeding plumage. At this time of year you’ll also see a breathtaking sea of pink as thousands of flamingoes inhabit the edges of Lake Manyara.

There are several ways to see the abundance of wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park. Many safari tours are available, add another dimension to your daily game drives and enter the world of Africa's nocturnal predators on a thrilling night drive. 

Daytime walking safaris enable you to go at your own pace and there are several trails for hikers. The routes will take you past the impressive Msara and Lyambi rivers, hot springs and the vast acacia woodland.

For an unrivalled 360-degree view of this picture-perfect spot, book a canoe safari trip which will take you out onto the magnificent lake. There is no shortage of activities at this beautiful lake in Africa! 

Highlights

  • Go on a canoe safari for spectacular views

  • Count over 100 different bird species

  • Go on a thrilling night safari

  • See huge flocks of flamingoes on the lake

  • Watch for rarely seen tree-climbing lions

Jen
Travel Designer & Safari Expert
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I was born and raised in Africa, and I have spent 25 years living, working and travelling across various African countries including South Africa and Tanzania. I learned how to track wild animals, went on to become a nature guide and later a safari lodge manager, and I can also speak Swahili and Afrikaans.

Lake Manyara Trip Ideas

Here are some trip ideas that include Lake Manyara. All of our trip ideas shown below are examples, and we’ll amend, adapt or start from scratch, until we’ve created the perfect trip for you. See one you like, or have a trip in mind? Call us now to book: 01483 319 333

Map of Lake Manyara