Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a small park that stretches 50 km along the Great Rift Valley Escarpment Wall in Northern Tanzania. It is named after its alkaline soda lake and offers a stunning scenery with diverse landscapes. This National Park provides a first glimpse into a Tanzania Safari and it is strategically located on the way to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti.

Main Facts:

  • Located in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania close to Karatu Town
  • Flight Connection in/out to Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO)
  • Established in 1960
  • Size of 330 km²

Main Habitats:

  • Alkaline Lake
  • Groundwater Forest
  • Hot Springs


  • Dry: June to October
  • Wet: November to May


  • Game Drives (also Night Game Drives)
  • Mountain Biking
  • Village Tours
  • Walking Safaris
 Lake Manyara National Park - pelicans flying
 Lake Manyara National Park - olive baboon sitting  Lake Manyara National Park - giraffe eating
 Lake Manyara National Park - elephants taking a mud bath  Lake Manyara National Park - olive baboon eating grass

Flora & Fauna:

Lake Manyara National Park is a small, but remarkable National Park with a scenic environment. The National Park is wedged in between the dramatic Rift Valley Escarpment in its west and to the alkaline Manyara Lake in its east, which covers in wet season the majority of the park, but shrinks significantly during dry season. Lake Manyara National Park combines several ecosystems enclosing a groundwater forest, grassy floodplain, acacia woodland, hot springs and of course the escarpment and lake itself.


After entering Lake Manyara National Park the road winds through a large ground water forest with its purifying water springs and its outstanding, ancient trees such as mahogany and tamarind. This area is always green and reminds with its enchanting cricket-sounds on a giant jungle. Large troops of olive baboons, blue and velvet monkeys as well as grazing bush-bucks and the silvery-cheeked horn-bills call this part of the National Park their home.

The road continues into a grassy floodplain which is bordered by Lake Manyara in the east. Large herds of buffalo’s, impalas, wildebeests and zebras graze here always watching out for potential predators. Lake Manyara plays an important role in this ecosystem and it feeds a majority of waterfowls such as cormorants, pelicans, flamingos, storks and many more. Manyara is also home to a few hippo families that doze in the lake during the day and come out at night in search for fresh grasses.

Looking over the grassy floodplain giraffes can be seen in the distance grazing at the beginning of the acacia woodland. Giraffes are the tallest land mammals and they appear with various patterning and colors. Once one enters the acacia woodland watch out for Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, who are present, but not that easily to be seen.

Manyara is also the home for a large elephant population and a birder’s paradise with more than 400 recorded bird species.

Accommodation Manyara Region:

Choose from staying inside the National Park or within the local village of Mto wa Mbu. Accommodations along the Rift Valley Rim offer fantastic views. Our suggestions are:

Mto wa Mbu Campsite

Accommodation - Mto wa Mbu Campsite

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge

Accommodation - Manyara/Rift Valley - Kirurumu Manyara Lodge

Manyara Tree Lodge

Accommodation - Lake Manyara National Park - Manyara Tree Lodge

Accommodation in Karatu Town:

Karatu is a agricultural focused town. It is located close to the entrance gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Accommodation options are diverse and our suggestions are:

Karatu Country Lodge

Accommodation - Karatu - Karatu Country Lodge

Ngorongoro Farm House

Accommodation - Karatu - Ngorongoro Farm House

The Manor Ngorongoro

Accommodation - Karatu - The Manor