Small but beautiful, diverse and abundant
“In the groundwater forest monkeys leap from branch to branch; on the escarpment elephants stand in the shade of a baobab; in the acacia woodland lions lounge, draped along the branches of umbrella trees; and in the lake itself there is a great swathe
of pink, as thousand of flamingos cavort…”
From whichever direction you approach Lake Manyara National Park the view is impressive. From the east the walls of the Rift Valley loom, forming an imposing backdrop to the lake. From the west, the park appears as a green strip below you, the lake glistening in the sunlight. But don’t take our word for it. Ernest Hemingway enthused about the setting, heralding it as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
Despite the fact it is only 330km2 the park contains a large variety of habitats: the Rift wall, the groundwater forest, thick acacia woodland, open grassland, swamp, hot springs, the lake shore and the lake itself. Due to its diversity, it is able to support a large number of species – elephants aplenty, troops of blue monkey and olive baboon, and large numbers of ungulates and, of course, its legendary tree-climbing lions. You have the feeling that anything could lie around the corner. Manyara also provides a great introduction to birding – some 400 species have been recorded here.