Facts about Lake Manyara National Park
Facts about Lake Manyara National Park: Lake Manyara national park is one of the smallest national parks located in the northern part of Tanzania, at the base of the Great Rift Valley. The national park was first established as a game reserve in 1957 and was later gazetted as a national park in 1960. Lake Manyara national park covers a total area of 330 square kilometers with two thirds covered by the Lake Manyara, vegetation types like ground water forests, acacia woodland, swampy marshes, open grasslands among others which act as habitats for wildlife including animals like giraffes, zebras, elephants, buffaloes, leopards, primates like baboons, bird species among others. The park is famously known for harboring the tree climbing lions which can be viewed resting in the acacia tree branches. Lake Manyara national park derives its name from the Maasai word Manyara which is a Euphorbia Tirucalli plant that is used by the Maasai as a fencing alternative to protect their livestock from thieves, poachers and predators.
Attractions in Lake Manyara national park (Facts about Lake Manyara National Park)
Wildlife, the national park harbors big numbers of animals including the tree climbing lions, elephants, wildebeests, zebras, impalas, warthogs, waterbucks, leopards, hippos, buffaloes, giraffes, leopards, spotted hyenas, cheetahs, primates like baboons, blue monkeys among others.
Birds, Lake Manyara national park is one of the best birding destinations in Tanzania in that it harbors more than 400 bird species including aquatic species, migratory species, endemic birds which are only found in Tanzania and near endemics which are also found in the neighboring countries. Bird species that will be spotted include silvery cheeked hornbills, crested guinea fowl, crowned eagles, palm nut vulture, marabou stork, grey heron, yellow billed stork among others.
Lake Manyara, this is a shallow alkaline lake with an average depth of 10 feet and covers two thirds of the park. The lake was formed as a result of the Great Rift Valley many years ago and it’s a great area for birding safaris where you will be able to view different species of water birds, animals like hippos in water and other animals which come to drink water along the shores.
Activities in Lake Manyara national park
Game drive, this is one of the popular activities in Lake Manyara national park that is done in a 4WD safari vehicle. Game drives in the park are best done very early in the morning so as to view predators before going back to their hiding areas or during the afternoon in the grassland and woodland plains. During the game drive you will follow different tracks which offer you with spectacular views of animals like the tree-climbing lions, elephants, giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, impalas, leopards, gazelles, waterbucks, bushbucks, lions, bird species, different vegetation types, views of the sunrise/sunset among others.
Night game drives are allowed in Lake Manyara national park? Yes is one of the protected areas in Tanzania that offers the interesting night game drive which gives you an opportunity to view nocturnal animals which become active at night. The activity starts after dinner at around 7:30pm or 8:00pm and its carried out with the company of an armed park ranger plus spot light torches for clear viewing of nocturnal animals like lions, leopards, civet cats, genets, porcupines, white tailed mongoose, wild cats, spotted hyenas, black backed jackal among others which will be hunting, hippos grazing and other animals which will be resting, enjoy views of the stars among others.
Bird watching, the national park is a home of more than 400 bird species including migratory, endemic, near endemic, aquatic species and more than 50 birds of prey which makes it one of the birders paradise. Bird watching in Lake Manyara national park is carried out with an experienced park guide is various areas such as the ground water forest, floodplains of Lake Manyara, acacia woodland and along the edge of Lake Manyara. During birding bird lovers will be able to spot bird species like black herons, African fish eagles, greater flamingos, little stints, pied kingfishers, pink backed pelicans, silvery cheeked hornbill, yellow billed stork, grey crowned crane, crowned eagles, abdim’s stork, African spoonbill, sacred ibis, spur winged goose among others.
Nature walks, Lake Manyara national park offers guided nature walks an adventurous activity where visitors will explore the park following different walking trails on foot accompanied with an armed park guide. During the nature walk you will get close and personal with different animals such as giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, waterbucks among others in their natural habitats, relax and enjoy the quiet and peaceful environment, have views of colorful butterflies, insects, sunrise, listen to birds singing in the tress, view different plant and tree species among others.