Lake Manyara National Park

Elephants in Lake Manyara National ParkThis unusual park lies in the shadow of the Great Rift Valley whose reddish brown escarpment wall looms 1,950 feet high (600 metres) on the eastern horizon. Waterfalls spill over the cliff and hot springs bubble to the surface in the south. Much of the park often appears to be in a heat haze created by the soda lake - Lake Manyara. The lake attracts considerable bird life, and its surrounding terrain contains such a rich mosaic of different habitats that it supports a large number of animals. The park is accessed by road via the village of Mto wa Mbu, an eclectic market town where several tribes have converged to form a linguistic mix like nowhere else in Africa.

Such diverse surroundings attract equally diverse species such as monkeys, antelopes, zebras, hippos and crocodiles, buffalo, giraffe and a high density of elephants. The park is particularly known for its tree-climbing lions, who may be seen sleeping off the heat of the day on a branch instead of a shady spot on the ground like most other lions.

Fish-eating birds inhabiting the lake include pelicans, storks, cormorants and Egyptian geese. Flamingos color the lake pink as they arrive to feed at the lake during their migration. One unforgettable sight is a giant flock of red billed quelea who gather in their thousands and waft over the water like a giant swarm of insects.

  • Diverse scenery and animals
  • Tree-climbing lions
  • An abundance of elephants
  • Water birds in abundance

Additional information