Lake Manyara National Park Kenya

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park is best used as a soft introduction to a thrilling safari in Tanzania, with the added bonus of a combo tour to Kenya. Experience exceptional wildlife sightings and breath-taking landscapes while staying at top of the range safari camps on the edges of pristine wilderness areas. 

Explore the shores of the lake where more than 400 bird species, including thousands of pink flamingos and pelicans, huddle on their perpetual migration. Lake Manyara National Park is a remarkable Tanzania destination and Voyage2Africa promises detailed information here on safaris plus camps and lodge accommodation – unbeatable packages and itineraries ensure your African holiday is worth every cent!

One of the many lakes linked to the East African Rift, you can find Lake Manyara in the Arusha Region, the seventh-largest lake in Tanzania extending a vast 470 square km. Only one small section falls within the boundaries of the Lake Manyara National Park and is also part of the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve, established in 1981 by UNESCO as part of its Man and the Biosphere Programme.

The name Manyara may come from the Maasai word “emanyara”, which is the spiky, protective enclosure around a family homestead (boma) – almost like the 600 m high rift escarpment hems in the lake.. Or the name could come from the Mbugwe tribe, who live in the Lake Manyara area, and their word “manyero” for a trough or place where animals drink water.  

Well this is a huge trough for sure – Lake Manyara has a catchment area of about 18,372 km2 and is in a closed basin with no outflow so water is simply lost by evaporation. It is fed by underground springs, and rainwater fed permanent and ephemeral rivers that drain the surrounding catchment.

Did you know?

Lake Manyara National Park has become famous for its pride of amazing tree-climbing lions and tourists come to seek them out – there is only one other pride in Africa that does this, the pride in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda.


  • Go birding at the lake and be astounded by the millions of flamingos and pelicans that choose to come and feed here in the shallows while the floodplains are brimming with egrets, spoonbills, storks and stilts. Look for Crowned Eagles in the forests and silvery cheeked hornbills too.
  • Elephant lovers will be in their element with the amazing herds of these graceful grey mammals gracing the acacia woodlands and lush forests, drinking at the edge of the lake in their hundreds. 
  • Take a walk along the tree-top canopy walk from the height of a tree, way up high, feel like a bird watching over the wildlife below – see what lives in the branches around you, from the insects and lizards to the raptors and primates. 
  • Exploring the park brings you closer to the Masaai pastoralists in their traditional red robes, wandering around cattle bomas – grab a bicycle for hire and tour the area or take a forest walk and set off in a canoe to find out more about the lake.

Beautiful Place Great Location

Find Lake Manyara National Park in northern Tanzania, 126km west of Arusha, a vast 330 square kilometre piece of land that includes 200 km2 of the lake when water levels are at their best. Explore the incredible 50km stretch along the base of the western wall of the rusty gold 600-metre high Rift Valley escarpment. Be blown away by the spectacular scenery. The Rift Valley escarpment provides a spectacular backdrop.

Lake Manyara expands and contracts with the seasons, salt deposits along its banks testimony to this, an alkaline water catchment edged with scenic floodplains, grasslands and mixed acacia woodlands. 

The Lake Manyara Experience

Manyara is famous for its large herds of elephant and the unusual tree-climbing lions, not forgetting the many safari thrills a national park with a lake brings. Seek out the wonderful and vast herds of Cape buffalo, pods of hippo swimming, waterbuck, zebra, warthog, Masai giraffe, impala and reedbuck grazing. 

Take a trip down to Maji Moto to find these hot springs. It’s been known to be very healthy habitats for large wildlife and bird populations. Take a tip in the warm water of the swimming hole. Drive into the forests to spot fascinating troops of baboon families, vervet monkeys and blue monkeys. Discover huge Monitor lizards basking in the sun on the riverbanks while Egyptian mongoose families forage for food.

Participate in day and night game drives to see incredible wildlife. Enjoy walks into the wilderness to learn more about the nuances of nature. Expand your experience when you enjoy activities outside the park – mountain biking, village tours, abseiling and hiking. Bird lovers should look out for pelicans, cormorants and storks. Look carefully on the slopes of the escarpment for the elusive and tiny, shy Kirk’s dik dik and klipspringer.

When To Visit

Explore Lake Manyara National Park at the best time of year, from July to October to see the seasonal migrations. You can move around the park with ease thanks to its small size. You will be constantly rewarded with amazing discoveries, vistas and wild animals and birds. We recommend this intimate park all year round to unwind.  

Family Holidays to Lake Manyara are Hot

Pack up the entire family for a safari holiday to Tanzania that they will never forget. Intrepid journeys into Africa introduce your kids to the biggest classroom in the world, nature! Game viewing, nature walks, river cruises and camping under the stars are all part of a safari adventure your family will talk about for years down the line!  

Bring your children into the true wilderness of Tanzania, our top African safari destination of all time – so check out the luxury lodge and bush camp accommodation where children are made to feel at home and book your special family package today.

The Best of the Best Holidays in Lake Manyara

Plan a Tanzania tour and safari with Voyage2Africa, the African travel experts, and enjoy signature experiences to the premier wildlife destination south of the equator. We bring you thrilling adventures in the Serengeti and Tarangire National Parks, the vast Selous Game Reserve and the spectacular Ruaha National Park. We offer you the best of the best safari accommodation in Tanzania, in lavish lodges, family resorts, modern hotels, eco villas and rustic wild campsites in nature. Bring your camera and you hat, your binoculars and your sense of spirit to an African land that is home to humankind.


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