Lake Manyara National park
Lake Manyara National Park is one of the premium national parks in Tanzania which is found in Arusha region. The park is famous of its unique residents those are the Tree climbing lions which are rare and found only in Manyara and Serengeti in Tanzania. The tree climbing lions can also be seen in Uganda in Ishasha sector of Queen Elisabeth national park. This park is among the smallest national parks in Tanzania covering 330 square kilometers approximately 127 square miles.
The park was named after the soda lake which is found at the park which was also named after the common sited tree at the park. The tree species is called Euphorbia Tirucalli which is called Emanyara in Maasai language. The tree is vital tree in the Maasai culture as security measures for their cattle against thieves and predators.
Lake Manyara National Park was established in 1960 making it the second oldest national parks in Tanzania after Serengeti national park. The park is managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority. The park is a birding paradise inhabiting over 400 bird species being recorded at Lake Manyara National Park. Not forgetting wealthy numbers of animals that can be viewed throughout the year.
Location/Accessing Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is found in the Northern Tourist circuit that covers the premium parks like Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire national park. Its located 126 kilometers away from the tourists town Arusha town. The park is found just on the main road that runs from Arusha to Karatu. Found in Mtowambu town which is found at the floor of the great Rift Valley. It takes one 2 to 3 hours drive to reach to the park due to the scenic views of enroute gifted with much cultural centers which worth stopping at.
For guests who may be tired of long drives, there is also an option of flights with Lake Manyara Airport found at the park. This is internationally recognized airport that has even IATA code: LKY, ICAO Code: HTLM. The airport is serviced by many domestic airlines that operate in different airports in Tanzania and Kenya. The most common local airlines are Coastal Aviation, Air Excel, Safari Air Link, Regional Air, Air Tanzania, Zan air and Precision Air.
Attractions in Lake Manyara National Park
The gifted nature national park is located in the foot floor of Great Rift Valley is a home of wide range of animals, birds, lake, forests and many more. There are a lot of attractions that entice your safari to Lake Manyara National Park. Below are the lists of the highlighted attractions in Lake Manyara National Park.
Getting the name from the commonly used tree species locally called Emanyara the locals named the lake this name. This is covers almost 1\4 of the total park size hence becoming a key source of water for the wildlife at the park. The lake hosts more water animals like hippos, crocodiles, birds like large flocks of flamigos and other water birds. The local do little fishing on the lake and boat rides done during rainy season. The terrestrial species us the lake mostsly for ecological reasons. The soda alkaline lake has salty water due to its formation process which is Volcanic activity.
The park has a high diversity of wildlife from the small animal species to the large or big game which are permanent residents. Like most of the African parks the key things the tourists want to view are the African big Game and Lake Manyara has 4 members of the African big 5 only missing Rhinos. The wildlife is dominated by the Baboons which are playful along the road, tree climbing lions, leopards, elephants, zebras, giraffes, impalas mention but a few.
With over 400 bird species Lake Manyara National Park is considered as birding paradise by birders which make it famous. With its small size the park habits great number of birds with large flock of flamingos that are found at the salty Lake Manyara. The park hosts both migratory birds which come for only breeding and permanent residents. The park homes both aquatic birds and terrestrial birds which can be seen throughout the year.
Due to the location of the park in volcanic featured area along the foots of the great rift valley, many volcanic features are found at the park. One of the great feature of volcanic activity that is found at the park are the hot springs. The hot springs produce heated ground water that are as a result of Geothermal. The hot water rises from the uppermost part of the earth at the average of boiling temperatures of 60 degrees Celsius which is a good boiling point for boiling eggs. The hot springs are found in the narrow strip beneath the rift valley escarpments in the Western part of Lake Manyara.
Great Rift Valley Escarpment
Due to the activity of volcanicity, Lake Manyara National Park is gifted with great rift valley escarpments that are about 1600 meters above sea level. The rift valley walls create a good scenic views especially along the main gate. They provide a good aerial view of the park and guests stop over before they proceed to Ngorongoro crater.
Activities in Lake Manyara National Park
When thinking of short safari in Tanzania after your business trip in Arusha, Lake Manyara National Park is the best destination. Its small but much rewarding park with more activities guests can enjoy. Its not good for all the African big 5 but has enough wildlife for guests to enjoy in a short period of time like 1-day Lake Manyara National Park safari, 2 days Lake Manyara National Park safari.
There are rewarding game drives in Lake Manyara Park, the game drives can be done in three swifts. These are morning game drive, afternoon game drive and night game drive and they should be done on 4×4 wheel drive safari cars. The open safari landcruisers are used for the game drives which takes you closer to the game. The gam drives take you close to the wildlife in their natural habitats.
Lake Manyara National Park is among the few national parks in Tanzania where night game drives are done. The night game drives start at 7 pm and its arranged by the park rangers in coordination with Lake Manyara Serena lodge. Guests all collect in lake manyara Serena lode where the guests are picked and dropped to. You enjoy great wildlife experiencing seeing different animals like tree climbing lions, hyenas, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, baboons, monkeys, elephants, leopards mention but a few.
Little birding paradise is Lake Manyara National Park with over 400 bird species, birders enjoy birding throughout the year though the most preferred months are wet months when the birds are nesting and migratory birds are available. The most cited birds are Flamingos, Geese, ducks, swans, Rufous-tailed weaver, lovebirds, Fischer’s Sparrow Lark, Grey Crowned Crane, Two-banded course, Narina Trogon, Emerald Cuckoo, Crowned Hornbill, Scalow’c Turaco, Crested Guinea fowl and others. Bird list is ever long you only need to have well knowledgeable guide with all detailed bird books, birding equipment’s, rainy jackets, good zooming cameras and others to make your birding experience life time.
Tree top walk
Encounter the rain forests in lake manyara with tree top walk, swing on the canopy of the trees as you enjoy the aerial views of the park. This is the first treetop walkway in Tanzania and sometimes called Manyara treetop walkway. Taking you to the sky –high adventure in the scenic forests of the park. The tree top is an extra activity that calls for an extra pay not included to the park entry fees. They are like night game drives that are arranged different, I mean its not included in the park entry package.
Boat rides in Lake Manyara National Park is a seasonal activity that is only done during the rainy season. The boat ride follows the level of water in lake Manyara, when the volume of the water at the lake is low they donot allow boat cruise on the lake. One should have much information before you book these activities.
Visit Hot springs
Lake Manyara National Park is a product of the great rift valley actions, with great number of Attractions that includes hot springs. Visiting these unique volcanic features is worth it, go witness the powers of nature take some time boil eggs or banana. Its life experience which gives you excitments.
Lake Manyara National Park is a park that can be visited throughout the year, with its short distance from the Arusha makes it great for one day safari experience. Thinking of where to spend an extra day after your business trip in Tanzania, Lake Manyara National Park is the best option.