Though not as dramatic as the other Savanna dominated parks, Manyara has world's highest biomass densities of large mammals. Lake Manyara covers 1/3 of the Manyara National Park and hosts millions of flamingos and other winged species during the rainy season and shrinks considerably during the dry season.
The Great Rift Valley’s steep western escarpment and the shallow lake Manyara, preserves the long narrow park and the abundant wildlife in it. Out of 330 square kilometers of the Manyara National Park, 220 sq kilometers form a lake. Near the lake is the grassy flood plains and as you go further away notice the mixed acacia woodlands.
Manyara National Park is also the heart of Masaai Country houses. Visit the memorable and appealing red-robbed pastoralists populous in a boma.
Outside the park seek your adventure in mountain bike tours, and escarpment forest walks. Canoe safaris can also be enjoyed provided the water levels are suitable.
Gift shops and curio can be shopped in the small cultural town of Mto Wa Mbu, which also has some interesting live performance of cultural dances.
Lake Manyara is most most popular for Africa’s largest, huge troops of baboons. The magnanimous number also includes plenty of elephants, wildebeest along with innumerable giraffes, buffalo, zebras, impala, warthog and waterbuck. Hard to find but look out for the tiny and popular shy kirk’s dik dik and klipspringer.
Lake Manyara provides exceptional bird viewing experience with flocks of pelicans and a sea of pink flamingoes in the middle of the lake. Some of the other species found here are the egrets, stilts erons, spoonbills, stalks and other waders. The evergreen forests hosts the more interesting species such as crowned eagles, crested guinea fowl and the silvery cheeked hornbills.
The Dry Season (June to October)
Featured by thin vegetation, smaller water sources and lots of sun makes it easier to view game as the wildlife come to quench their thirst. Fewer mosquitos ensures lesser chances of contracting Malaria
The Wet season (November to May)
Vivid green and lush scenery everywhere you look, but the prices are lower as it is less crowded during this season. It is also the best time for bird watching, as Lake Manyara hosts millions of Flamingos and other species during rains.
Home to various ethnolinguistic groups and communities, including the Assa people, Gorowa, Kw'adza, Mbugwe, Datooga, Maasai and Barabaig, Manyara region residents are mostly farmers. Mining of Tanzanite gems on the Mererani Hills in north on the border with the Arusha Region is the main pillar of the economy.
June, July, August, September & October – Afternoon temperatures are usually around 26°C/79°F. Short rains begin in October. Average evening temperatures get as cold as 14°C/57°F, and sometimes close to freezing.
Short rains in November and December last about one month. Temperatures during the day peak at about 29°C/84°F while the night and early morning are around 17°C/63°F
January & February is a period of dryness between the two rainy seasons
March, April & May sees rains everyday and is the wettest months. The average peak temperature is 28°C/82°F, while the average low is around 18°C/64°F. It may get closer to freezing during the cold fronts.
As you arrive at Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam you can fly to Arusha Airport (ARK) or if you arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport(KIA), Arusha is 46 kilometres away. You can also board a domestic flight from Serengeti or Arusha and fly to Manyara’s airstrip. 10 minutes drive to the lake, from the park after landing at Manyara airstrip on the escarpment.
Lake Manyara National Park is 126 kilometers away from Arusha and takes 1.5 to 2 hours drive to reach the entrance gate.