Tanzania is home to an incredible range of safari destinations and national parks, meaning that it can be hard to select just one when planning your trip to Africa.
From Zanzibar to Mahale, wherever you decide to visit you will be greeted by stunning landscapes and the chance to view wildlife up close and personal.
Although there are plenty of options to choose from, if you’re looking to book a Tanzania safari holiday tour that’s a little bit more exclusive and personal then look no further than heading out to Lake Manyara.
With its glorious array of wildlife, accommodation and activities to enjoy, in this post we’ll provide a brief guide to the Lake Manyara and its national park as we try and decipher why it’s such a popular location amongst international visitors.
An Introduction to Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara is easily accessible to visitors, while it remains easy to get to from Arusha (by road) and can be used as a convenient stop-over between similar African wilderness destinations at Tarangire and Ngorongoro.
At the heart of its appeal is the fact that the area includes a large number of microclimates and a diverse range of landscapes, while it’s also home to animal populations that mirror many different parts of Tanzania in microcosm.
The area is certainly defined by diverse terrain, including cliffs and eponymous soda lake, which stretches across 30 miles of land and along the base of the 500m high East African Rift Valley escarpment. There’s also a constantly tapering belt of acacia woodland and grassland for visitors to enjoy, which contrast sharply with surrounding golden savannahs.
The lush grasslands are regularly populated by a variety of species, including warthogs, Cape buffaloes, zebras and wildebeests. In fact, the concentrations of these species is incredibly high, while the less-renowned vervet monkeys also populate within the region.
The beloved elephant is also commonplace at Lake Manyara, with these beautiful creatures having been researched in the park by Ian Hamilton as part of the earliest conservation projects from 1975. These creatures tend to travel in extended families across the lake, and this makes for a wonderful viewing opportunity for visitors.
How to Make the Most of Lake Manyara
If you’re planning a trip to or exploration tour of Lake Manyara, it’s nice to note that you can enjoy all this entertainment in just one day. This involves spotting hippos in the north and south of the lake, in addition to watching hundreds of bird species and migratory flamingos from the shores.
In fact, you can enter the park from the north, and before you do reach this point you’ll pass through the idyllic rural market town of Mto wa Mbu. This is home to the remnants of various indigenous Tanzanian tribes, each of which have traded in the area prior to the colonial era.
We’d recommend that you take the time to enjoy this experience, as it offers a unique insight into the cultural heritage of the Lake Manyara region.
When encountering the locals, you may notice a number of different African dialects including Nilotic, Cushitic, Khoisan and Bantu tongues. However, Swahili and English remain the most universally spoken and understood languages in the region, so visitors from the UK and Europe should be well looked after.