Lake Manyara National Park

The Lake Manyara is a small and wonderful park between the escarpment of the Rift Valley and its lake that delimits it to the east. The forest, strip 40 km long, and less than 10 km wide, famous for the lions that climb the acacias, is a lush jungle fed by the warm underground springs of Ngorongoro, inhabited by a wide variety of fauna, predators and birds.

A safari that is not challenging and affordable for everyone, a jewel not to be missed for its rich ecosystem and the landscape that frames it.

  • half an hour from Karatu
  • 2 hours and a half from Arusha
  • 1 hour from Tarangire National Park
  • 1 day to visit the park
  • altitude from 850 meters (lake) to 2,000 meters (Rift Valley Escarpment)
  • 648 km² size of which 263 Km² of lake (more or less the surface of the Island of Elba!)
  • accomodation in Arusha – outside the protected area, you save accommodation fees in the park
  • accomodation in Karatu – close to the protected area, save accommodation fees in the park
  • accomodation in Mto Wa Mbu – for fast access to the park
  • accomodation in the Lake Manyara National Park

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the lush equatorial forest, in the area close to the entrance gate, hosts, among other animals, a large and sociable community of baboons
approaching the lake, towards the pool of hippopotamuses, you enter the savannah to the swamps around which many birds gather and where the animals refresh between water and the green flamboyant grass
descending southwards, you enter the forest again, where, with a bit of luck, you can see the lions on the trees
hot water springs – Maji moto – flow close to the spur of the Rift Valley that slopes down to the lake, where you collect hippopotamus and numerous birds

Lake Manyara National Park, defined by Ernest Hemingway as “the most beautiful lake on the African continent”, is home to 11 different ecosystems close to the spectacular escarpment of the Rift Valley.

The lake is named after a plant, the Euphorbia Candelabro, which the Masai call Emanyara. Its shallow waters, which do not flow into any emissary, give life to the rich equatorial forest, to the floodplains of a bright green, to the reeds of the marshes. Towards the escarpment you can admire huge baobab, but it is the sycamore, with its yellow-cream bark, the most common plant in the park.

The geothermal activity of volcanic origin gives rise to sulfur springs that attract many flamingos, insensitive to the high temperature of the water that reaches 76 degrees.

The park is a paradise for birdwatchers.

The arboreal lions, characteristic of this area, are only one of the many reasons to visit the park, but it is good to know that, although widespread, the forest is so thick that it is not always possible to admire the majestic felines spread on the branches of the acacias.

Fauna in the Lake Manyara National Park 


one of the best sites for sightings of

Olive Baboon Sykes’s Monkey (or Blue Monkey) Hippopotamus Waterbuck 

very frequent sightings of

 Giraffe African Bush Elephant  Zebra East African White-bearded Wildebeest African Buffalo  Waterbuck Impala Kirk’s dik-dikVervet monkey

probable sightings of

Lion Leopard  Spotted Hyena Bat-eared fox Side-striped jackal Klipspringer

very rare sightings of

Honey badger


Lake birds • White-faced Whistling-duck⚑ • White-backed Duck⚑ • Egyptian Goose • African Comb Duck• Spur-winged Goose• African Pygmy-goose⚑ • Hottentot Teal⚑ • Northern Shoveler⚑ • African Black Duck⚑ • Yellow-billed Duck⚑ • Cape Teal⚑ • Red-billed Teal⚑ • Northern Pintail⚑ • Common Teal⚑ • Little Grebe⚑ • Great Crested Grebe⚑ • Black-necked Grebe⚑ • Greater Flamingo⚑ • Lesser Flamingo⚑  • African Crake⚑ • Spotted Crake⚑ • Black Crake⚑ • Grey Crowned Crane⚑ • Marabou⚑ • Yellow-billed Stork⚑ • African Openbill⚑ • Black Stork⚑ • Abdim’s Stork⚑ • White Stork⚑ • Saddlebill⚑ (in photo) • African Spoonbill⚑ • African Sacred Ibis⚑ • Hadada Ibis⚑ • Glossy Ibis⚑ • Black-crowned Night-heron⚑ • Squacco Heron⚑ • Cattle Egret• Grey Heron⚑ • Black-headed Heron⚑ • Great White Egret⚑ • Black Heron⚑ • Little Egret • Hamerkop⚑ • Pink-backed Pelicano⚑ • Great White Pelican⚑ • Long-tailed Cormorant⚑ • African Darter⚑ • Pied Avocet⚑ • Black-winged Stilt• African Three-banded Plover⚑ • Chestnut-banded Plover⚑ • Long-toed Lapwing⚑ • Blacksmith Lapwing⚑ • Spur-winged Lapwing⚑ • Black-winged Lapwing⚑ • Crowned Lapwing⚑ • Wattled Lapwing⚑ • Greater Painted-snipe • African Jacana⚑ • Ruff⚑ • Curlew Sandpiper • Little Stint⚑ • Common Snipe⚑ • Common Sandpiper⚑ • Green Sandpiper⚑ • Common Greenshank⚑ • Common Redshank⚑ • Wood Sandpiper⚑ • Marsh Sandpiper⚑ • Double-banded Courser⚑ • Three-banded Courser⚑ • Temminck’s Courser • African Skimmer… and several other
Other species • Common Ostrich⚑ • Helmeted Guineafowl⚑ • Yellow-necked Francolin • Grey-breasted Francolin • Red-necked Francolin⚑ • Crested Francolin⚑ • African Marsh-harrier⚑ • Long-crested Eagle⚑ • Steppe Eagle⚑ • Osprey⚑ • Martial Eagle• Booted Eagle⚑ • African Fish-eagle⚑ • Augur Buzzard⚑ • Mountain Buzzard⚑ • Tawny Eagle⚑ • Crowned Eagle⚑ • African Hawk-eagle⚑ • African Goshawk⚑ • Ovambo Sparrowhawk⚑ • Shikra⚑ • Black Kite⚑ • Black-winged Kite • Palm-nut Vulture • Lappet-faced Vulture• White-headed Vulture⚑ • Brown Snake-eagle⚑ • White-backed Vulture⚑ • Ruppell’s Vulture⚑ • African Barred Owlet⚑ • Pearl-spotted Owlet • African Scops-owl• Marsh Owl⚑ • Spotted Eagle-owl • Verreaux’s Eagle-owl⚑ • Secretarybird⚑ • African Pygmy-falcon⚑ • African Pygmy-falcon⚑ • Grey Kestrel• Southern Ground-hornbill • African Grey Hornbill⚑ • Crowned Hornbill⚑ • Eastern Yellow-billed Hornbill⚑ • Bucero di Von der Decken⚑ • Red-billed Hornbill• Silvery-cheeked Hornbill⚑ • Trumpeter Hornbill⚑ • Common Hoopoe⚑  • Green Woodhoopoe⚑ • White-headed Woodhoopoe⚑ • Common Scimitarbill⚑ • Abyssinian Scimitarbill⚑ • White-fronted Bee-eater⚑ • White-throated Bee-eater⚑ • Somali Bee-eater •Northern Carmine Bee-eater⚑ • Southern Carmine Bee-eater⚑ • Olive Bee-eater⚑ • Blue-cheeked Bee-eater⚑ • European Bee-eater⚑ • Böhm’s Bee-eater⚑ • Little Bee-eater⚑ • Purple Roller⚑ • Lilac-breasted Roller⚑ • European Roller⚑  • Broad-billed Roller⚑ • African Pygmy-kingfisher⚑ • Malachite Kingfisher⚑ • Giant Kingfisher⚑ • Pied Kingfisher • Grey-headed Kingfisher⚑ • Brown-hooded Kingfisher⚑ • Striped Kingfisher⚑ • Woodland Kingfisher⚑ • Crested Barbet⚑ • Red-and-yellow Barbet • D’Arnaud’s Barbet⚑ • Usambiro Barbet⚑  • Red-fronted Tinkerbird⚑. • White-headed Barbet⚑ • Nubian Woodpecker⚑ • Golden-tailed Woodpecker⚑ • Fischer’s Lovebird⚑ • Yellow-collared Lovebird⚑  • Eastern Black-headed Oriole⚑ • Fork-tailed Drongo⚑ • Long-tailed Fiscal⚑ • Yellow-breasted Apalis⚑ • Grey-capped Warbler⚑ • Singing Cisticola⚑ • Rattling Cisticola⚑ • Zitting Cisticola • Tawny-flanked Prinia⚑ • Brown Warbler⚑ • Kilimanjaro White-eye • Black-lored Babbler⚑ • Arrow-marked Babbler⚑ • Red-billed Oxpecker⚑ • Yellow-billed Oxpecker⚑ • Wattled Starling⚑ • Red-winged Starling⚑ • Hildebrandt’s Starling⚑ • Ashy Starling• Superb Starling⚑ • Violet-backed Starling⚑ • Abyssinian Thrush• African Grey Flycatcher⚑ • White-eyed Slaty-flycatcher⚑ • Rüppell’s Robin-Chat• Mocking Cliff-chat⚑ • Northern Anteater-chat⚑ • Mourning Wheatear• Eastern Double-collared Sunbird• Variable Sunbird⚑ • Red-billed Buffalo-weaver⚑ • White-headed Buffalo-weaver⚑ • White-browed Sparrow-weaver⚑ • Rufous-tailed Weaver• Speckle-fronted Weaver⚑ • Grey-capped Social-weaver⚑ • Thick-billed Weaver⚑ • Yellow-crowned Bishop⚑ • Black Bishop⚑ • Red-collared Widowbird⚑ • Yellow Bishop⚑ • Baglafecht Weaver⚑ • African Golden Weaver⚑ • Speke’s Weaver⚑ • Chestnut Weaver⚑ • African Firefinch⚑ • Red-cheeked Cordon-bleu⚑ • Bronze Mannikin • Black-and-white Mannikin⚑ • Pin-tailed Whydah⚑ • Long-tailed Paradise-whydah⚑ • Red-throated Pipit• Yellow-throated Longclaw⚑ • Rosy-throated Longclaw⚑ • African Pied Wagtaila⚑ • Grey Wagtail⚑  • Yellow-fronted Canary • White-bellied Canary • Brimstone Canary • Streaky Seedeater • Yellow-crowned Canary • Golden-breasted Buntingo⚑ • Cinnamon-breasted Bunting… and several other
Tanzania endemic
Near endemic
Africa endemic


Safari by car: our programs provide a path that reaches all areas of the park, activities that normally requires a little more than half

Entry to the National Parks in Tanzania is allowed to licensed off-road vehicles of local tour operators with a valid license. The paths of the safaris are strictly bound to the trails. The strict regulation of parks has the laudable aim of safeguarding the inestimable natural heritage and supporting the local economy. The “DIY tourism” presents many unknowns and therefore becomes difficult to practice. With us, local tour operator with Italian participation, you can realize your dream of a tailor-made safari! Contact us


Village Mto Wa Mbu: cycling tour

To find information on park fees, already included in the price of our safaris, go to Park FeesThe park taxation system in Tanzania is the necessary contribution to the conservation of an uncontaminated and wild natural heritage, of inestimable environmental value.

For general information about all parks in Tanzania and about this park – when to go, where it is, nearby destinations – go to Parks

Are you interested in Lake Manyara National Park? Contact us!

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