Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is located between Arusha and Manyara Regions of Tanzania. The park is governed and managed by the Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA). The park consists of 330 km2 of arid land, forest, and a soda-lake which covers as much as 200 km2 of land during the wet season but is nearly nonexistent during the dry season. The spectacular backdrop of the Great Rift Valley’s steep western escarpment, this long, narrow park protects an area between the escarpment and Lake Manyara. The parks namesake is a shallow, alkaline lake which expands and contracts with the seasons within a long, silvery bowl of salt deposits. Adjacent to it are wide, grassy floodplains and, further away, bands of mixed acacia woodlands. Further still, next to the escarpment, are patches of enchanting evergreen forests, which are sustained by perennial groundwater springs issuing from the base of the escarpment.

The entry gate to the park is 126 kilometres (78 mi), west of Arusha from Mto wa Mbu, an ethnic town. The park is also connected by charter or scheduled flights from Arusha via Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Recent activities in the park relate to “canoeing, mountain biking, walking and abseiling”.

The park is a home to a variety of wildlife, some of the animals include; troops of baboons, blue monkeys, bushbuck, giraffes, tree climbing lions, squadrons of banded mongoose, dik-dik, klipspringer, Elephants, wildebeest, zebra, hippos, giraffes, hyena, cheetah, buffalo, among many others. The park is also a home to about 400 bird species like; water birds such as pelicans, pink-hued flamingoes, cormorants and storks.