Lake Manyara National Park
Ernest Hemmingway once described Lake Manyara as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa.” Lake Manyara is a beautifully calm and serene environment. This lake is home to hippos and flamingos relaxing in the cool waters, with tree climbing lions and amusing baboons hanging out in the trees. This park will give you high odds on spotting the elusive leopard! The native wildlife stays in this area all year long but for perfect birdwatching, it’s best to visit between July and October.
Size: 330 square kilometers.
Tree climbing lions - The park has become famous for these unusual lions. Typically lions do not spend time in trees. However, the lions of Lake Manyara have made a habit of it! The reason behind this behaviour is debatable but it is an intriguing site to see!
The Lake - Obviously the biggest draw to this park is the spectacular lake. These alkaline waters cover approximately 231 km2, bringing all sorts of wildlife to its waters. In the wet season the lake swells to an impressive size while in the dry season it shrinks so much that you can almost walk across it. During the bountiful wet season you will find porcupines, klipspringer, rock hyrax, and a wide variety of birds including the Peregrine Falcon, Verreaux’s Eagle, Ruppel’s Griffon,and the Augur Buzzard all congregating around the water. Most impressive to see however are the large groups of hippo’s and even bigger flocks of flamingos!
Great Rift Valley: The Rift Valley is a noteworthy landmark and provides a spectacular backdrop to Lake Manyara. Even before you reach the park, you will find yourself at the precipice of the valley, looking out over the beautiful landscape. It is truly a breathtaking site.
Natural water sources: One of the most spectacular characteristics of this park is not the most obvious. Lake manyara is fed by hundreds of natural water sources, with fresh water rivers, streams, and escarpment springs all joining at the lake.
Species: In this park, it is possible to see leopards, masai lions, cheetahs, elephants, blue monkeys, dik-dik, gazelles, porcupines, klipspringer, rock hyrax, hippopotami, masai giraffe, impala, zebras, and flamingos, as well as over 400 species of birds.