Lake manyara national park

Lake manyara national park

Lake manyara national park


The Hidden


Lake manyara national park – Overview

Lake Manyara NP is a small park at the base of the Rift Valley escarpment. Its groundwater forest offers a nice change of scenery from the more savannah-dominated parks. Although the park is known for tree-climbing lions, big cats aren't that easily seen. Elephant are prolific and are the main attraction.

Best Time
June to September (easier to spot animals)
High Season
Most of the year – July to March (northern section of the park gets crowded in the afternoon)
Low Season
April and May
Best Weather
June to October (few showers of rain)
Worst Weather
March and April (peak of Wet season)
***Pros & Cons ***
Very relaxed elephants to view at close quarters
Stunning scenery
Superb birding
Near Arusha and en route to Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti
Activities include canoe safaris, night drives and a treetop walkway
Rarely crowded in the morning
Gets crowded in the afternoons during peak season (June and July and October to April)
Lake Manyara National Park

This park is known for its large elephant population. The big cats are present, but not seen that easily. The forest patch is home to habituated troops of olive baboon and blue monkey. Buffalo, giraffe and several antelope species are easily encountered on a drive.


Lake Manyara is a shallow, alkaline lake at the base of the Western Rift Valley escarpment. The park has a remarkable variety of habitats in a small area. The park entrance leads to a beautiful groundwater forest. Other habitats include the grassy floodplain, rocky escarpment and acacia woodland, all of which can be covered in a half-day visit. Deeper into the park a visit to the hot springs (Majo Moto) is recommended.

Weather & Climate

The climate never overheats at Lake Manyara, where average daytime temperatures peak at around 29°C/84°F in the Wet season (November to May). The pattern in this period is a month or two of 'short rains', then a dry spell, then a longer stretch of rain. It's slightly cooler in the Dry season (June to October). The temperature plummets at night, however. Freezing conditions are rare, but they can happen.

Best Time to Visit

The wildlife watching is good at Lake Manyara practically all year. As a consequence, it's high season in the park for all but two of the wetter months (April and May). That means maximum prices and lots of tourists. Most people visit the park in the afternoon, so if your itinerary allows it, an early morning visit is highly recommended.

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