Lake Manyara National Park
It belongs to one of the smallest National Parks in a country. It covers only 330 km2 and usually 2/3 of that is covered by lake Manyara that varies in it size depending the season.
Lake Manyara National Park is resting in Great Rift Valley and before entering the park, you can go to see exhibition on the formation of the lake and Rift Valley, and what can be seen in the park. The most fantastic thing is that park lies at foot of the dramatic, spectacular escarpment formed by the western wall of the Rift’s eastern arm. Amazing is also the fact that in this area there is no eastern wall, but the landscape gently eases into a depression. Lake Manyara is less known than some other Tanzanian national parks, but because its position it has some of the most spectacular scenery.
Origin of the name
The name for the lake and the park was taken from Masaai word for the pencil plant which is often used by Masaai people to build thick fence serving as livestock bomas.
Size makes a difference
The size of the park makes it perfect for a day trip, there is much less driving then in some other national parks and much more time to enjoy wildlife. The best time for photography is late afternoon or early evening, especially around Lake Manyara.
Lake Manyara National Park has dry season from June to September with less hazy days occurring in June. Excellent for game-viewing is also short dry season in January and February. The habitats that you can find throughout the park are determined by the geological structure of the region.
Highlight is hippo pool
For most of the visitors the hippo pools are important part of the visit. You can find those pools on Simba River in the north of the park. On the way to the lake scenery and vegetation change drastically, first you drive through seclusion of the forest to the open grassy plains with wild mango and wild date palms. It is allowed to go out of your jeep at the hippo pool and observe abundant bird life that gravitates to the marsh and hippos playing or resting in the pools.
Also not to be missed
In a forest between the escarpment wall and the lake there is full of wildlife and birds that can be fully appreciated by following the tracks. Blue monkeys and vervets are very common to see within the safety of the trees. Definitely you will spot also baboons moving throughout the park while searching for food. Elephants are regular inhabitants of the park especially during the dry seen, but usually they are hiding in the shade of the trees. There are some buffaloes but most of the time they are hiding. You will see some Masaai giraffe and impalas, permanent residents of the park. Most of the visitors are coming to the park to see either some of the 380 species of birds or tree climbing lion. Most of them are sleeping many hours per day and are located in northern section of the park in acacia woodland.
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