Lake Manyara National Park

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Lake Manyara National Park

Famous for its tree climbing lions, great birdlife, good elephants and baboons.

Lake Manyara is commonly known as the land of the tree climbing lions a rare species found in Tanzania, Uganda and South Africa. The park derives its name from a plant called Euphorbia Tirucalli which the Maasai people call Emanyara in their language. This plant has a great importance for the Maasai people since its used to protect their homes or bomas. The park lays underneath the Manyara escarpment and situated on your way to Ngorongoro conservancy and Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is an incredible place which offers you spectacular views of the water forest, bush plains, baobab strewn cliffs and the hot springs as well as rich wildlife.

How to get/ Reach Lake Manyara

You reach Lake Manyara through Arusha town and it takes approximately 147 kms and below are the different transportation ways;

By Road

This is the most common type of transportation to the park and it will take you approximately 2-3 hours from Arusha town via Makuyuni-Ngorongoro road as you get to do more of sightseeing.

The roads are in good condition but as you get closer to the Game Reserve, the roads are Marram and you may experience the African Massage.

We recommend you use a 4×4 Vehicle and this ranges from Us dollars $200-$350 per day minus drivers’ allowance.

By Air

The air transportation is scheduled or chartered and below are the companies that operated the Lake Manyara route;

  • Coastal Aviation flies to Manyara
  • Regional Air flies to Manyara
  • Safari Air Link flies to Arusha
  • Air Tanzania flies to Kilimanjaro
  • Zan Air flies to Arusha
  • Auric Air flies to Manyara
  • Precision Air flies to Arusha and Kilimanjaro

It takes approximately 40-45 minutes to reach the Lake Manyara National Park. You should be ready for the different stops as other passengers will be dropped off since the park is strategically located on the Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara highway.

Best Time to Visit Lake Manyara National Park

The time of visit varies depending on the seasons that’s wet or dry.

However, be rest assured that you can visit anytime of the year but the difference will be in the volume of wildlife seen.

We recommend you visit during the dry and when the rain is less for better game viewing that is Mid May to Mid-October.

The rainy seasons with huge rainfalls happen during January to March. However, due to global warming there has been a change in the rainfall patterns therefore this can change year after year.

What to see or Attractons in Lake Manyara National Park

The Wildlife

Lake Manyara is endowed with a unique specie of lions that is the tree climbing lions that are sighted resting on tree branches.

On top of that is a variety of wildlife from large mammals like Elephants, Leopards and Buffaloes. Other animals like giraffes, hippos, wildebeests, zebras, antelopes, different types of monkeys and so much more.

Bird life

Lake Manyara is endowed with 400 bird species and will offer you an introduction to Tanzania’s bird species. In a day you will be able to view over 100 birds in one go from forest to water birds.

Examples of bird species like Pink hued flamingoes, pelicans, cormorants and storks.

Hippo Pool View Point

This point will offer you spectacular views of the marshland, Waterfowls, Rift valley wall and animals.

Broad walk way

This is a wooden long tail with about 325 meters long and meanders through the Maji Moto kubwa hot springs and lake shores.

It offers a great photography spot for all guests to carry memories back home at every turn of the board walk trail.

Activities or Things to do in Lake Manyara National Park

Game Drives

The game drives are divided into two that is the day and night drives.

They start early in the morning at 06:00am and afternoon session at 1:00 pm as well as the night game drives in search for nocturnal at 6:30pm- 11pm with the view of the sunset.

They are conducted in open roof top vehicles of 4×4 and open sided vehicles to enable you take great pictures during your safari.

You will see animals ranging from African hunting Dog, Spotted Hyenas, Bat Eared Fox, large herds of antelopes, Zebras, Thompson’s giant gazelles and the rare tree climbing lions.

Other animals like bush babies, civets, Aardvarks, leopards, dik diks, bat eared fox, scrub hare, jackals and mongoose.

Night game drives are always booked in advance since you should be assigned a ranger and you will be required to pay an extra fee which ranges from $50- $100 for a trip.

The zones followed during the night drives are;

  • Northern zone you will take the Hippo pool trail, flood plain trail and Endalla areas.
  • Central Zone you will take Endabasha forest, central lake shore, Maji Moto and Bagayo areas.
  • Southern zone you will take the southern lake shore area, Lyambi, array river and Majimoto Kubwa areas.

During the night game drives, be rest assured to sights of White-Tailed Mongoose, Lions, Hippos Gazing, Greater & Senegal Galago, Common Genet, Civet, Crested Porcupine, Birds Like Owls, Nightjars and Dikkops


Lake Manyara is known for its beautiful ecosystem that attracts a variety of bird species. The park offers huge numbers of birds with over 400 species which are sighted along the forests as well as lake shore areas of the park.

During this activity you are assured to see 100 bird species at a go and bird lovers should wake up early in the morning. This will enable them view the Eurasian migratory birds from Europe during October- April and other specie like millions of flamingos, pelicans, storks. The best trails for bird watching is the Hippo pool area, Majimoto and ground water forest. The best months for bird watching is during November to July although you can see them thorough tout the year


Lake Manyara offers you a chance to move out of your vehicle and stretch your legs for either a short or long walk during your safari.

These walks are conducted by the park rangers and done during day.

The walks take 1-4 hours and two routes are normally used that is Msasa trail and lake shore trail.


This enables tourists to view wildlife on a boat using canoes that offer that amazing sights of wildlife drinking water from the lake like elephants, buffaloes, hippos and so many more.

This activity isn’t guaranteed and depends on the water levels of the lake.

It starts at 07:00hrs to 17:00 hours every day and departure is based on your schedule.


Lake Manyara will offer a chance to film and photograph incredible wildlife views from hunting, feeding and interaction with one another.

The Hippo pool and Broad walk way are the best sites to take amazing pictures and videos or filming that will create memories during your safari or tour or trip.

For filming crews, you should be ready to pay fees of $250 which is inclusive of entrance, camping and filming.

Where to stay in Lake Manyara

There are a number of places to stay while on your Lake Manyara trip which ranges from Budget, Midrange to Luxury accommodation. Budget accommodation ranges from $30-$150, Midrange from $200- $250 and Luxury from $300-$1000.


  • Lake Manyara Serena safari lodge
  • Manyara wildlife safari camp
  • Lake Manyara wildlife lodge
  • And beyond lake Manyara tree lodge
  • Escarpment luxury lodge


  • Africa Safari Glamping
  • Burudika Manyara Lodge
  • Maramboi Tented Camp
  • Kirurumi Manyara Lodge
  • Migungu Tented Camp


  • Ecoboma Camp
  • Panoroma Safari Camp
  • African Sunrise Lodge and Camp
  • Umoja Eco Hostel

For your planning purposes you can visit the park for a 2 day or multiple days depending on your budget.

We recommend that you combine this tour with other classical places in Tanzania like Serengeti N.P, Ngorongoro Conservancy, Tarangire National Park and Ruaha National Park.

Furthermore, cross border safaris can be added in Kenya like Amboseli for the big five, Lake Nakuru for the Flamingoes, Masai Mara and Tsavo for the lions.

These combinations will just add a slice to your safari as you touch each of the EastAfrican countries.

And not forgetting man’s closest relatives in Uganda the gorillas and chimpanzees

In conclusion, Lake Manyara National Park will never disappoint when you add it to your safari while in Tanzania.

Forever Africa Safari will offer you unforgettable Tanzania African safari packages at unbeatable rates. Contact us for the best rates at or call us /WhatsApp us +256 772 221 880 to start planning your safari / tour today!

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