Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is yet another of Tanzania’s small parks. It extends over an expanse of 320 sq kilometers. This park is located at the bottom of the western Great Rift Valley escarpment. ‘Manyara’ is a local Masai word for the ‘Euphorbia Tirucalli plant’ grown at the enclosure or boundaries of many Masai homesteads. Close to 231 sq kilometers of the park is occupied by Lake Manyara a lake whose waters are alkaline. The alkaline water attracts several birds and among the habitats of this lake are the numerous flamingoes which are prominent of all more than 400 species of birds.
Lake Manyara National Park was principally conserved to safe-guard the resident elephants. These are commonly seen in large populations roaming in the park as compared to other Tanzania parks. Other than elephants, additional animals frequently seen include buffaloes, the tree-climbing lions, hippos, cheetahs, blue monkeys, the Masai giraffes and baboons. Today the explanation as to why the Manyara lions prefer relaxing up in the tress as well as climbing trees remains known. But special about this park is that it can be entirely toured in about two hours making it a perfect safari destination for tourists with limited safari time. Furthermore, the park has a blend of vegetation covers among which are the water forests, swamps, acacia trees, grasslands and then the lake.
Lake Manyara possesses very spectacular scenery which permits tourists to actually sit and unwind as they get pleasure from the game viewing. Among the additional activities that you can enjoy in Lake Manyara National Park are: swimming, canoeing, horse riding, cycling, safari walks, cultural activities and photographing. What is more, is that one can explore Lake Manyara National Park at whatever time all year round. ‘Mto Wa Mbu’ which refers to village “mosquito creek” is adjacent to the park and it is here that majority of the visitors stop to purchase some carvings at the curio market. Good to note is that this is a perfect place to try out bargaining skills as you can actually acquire some items at less prices hence saving.
How to Get to Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara National Park can be accessed by road all through the year, and is actually approximately 3 hours drive from the town of Arusha. Alternatively you can catch a charter flight or scheduled flight from the town of Arusha, en route to Ngorongoro Crater as well as Serengeti.
What to do while in Lake Manyara
Enjoy game drives, canoeing especially when the level of the water is sufficient, Cultural tours, mountain-bike tours, forest walks, picnicking, abseiling bush lunches or dinners as well as night-time game drives,
When to visit Lake Manyara
Through the dry season from July up to October, it is the best time for viewing the larger mammals, whereas through the wet months from November to June the period is perfect for bird watching, canoeing as well as watching the spectacular waterfalls.
There is a luxury tree-house fashioned camp, campsites as well as public bandas within the park. In addition, a luxury tented-camp plus three lodges are seated wall of the Rift Wall on the outer boundary or the park and these fortunately overlook the lake. A number of guesthouses plus campsites can be found adjacent to Mto wa Mbu.