“The Loveliest I Had Seen in Africa”

Tree-climbing lions, over 400 bird species including flamingos & so much more..

A pair of lionesses resting on the branches of a tree in Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Thus Ernest Hemingway bestowed his ultimate approval upon this small but gem-like national park. Perhaps Hemmingway was enchanted by the blue lake itself, at times comprising two-thirds of the park. Or, maybe it was the fluttering pink mass of thousands of flamingoes set at the water’s edge.

Then again, the rich acacia forest here with its dense complement of blue monkeys and baboons envelopes one with a lovely and magical mystique. We’ll never know for certain what entranced Hemingway but you’ll quickly fall for this exotic jewel of a park.

Lake Manyara is an often overlooked reserve but a visit here will reward you with a delightful variety of colorful birdlife and sights you won’t spot elsewhere, like the park’s famous tree-climbing lions!

Even the surrounding landscapes show off their own colorful drama – the park’s western edge gives way to the picturesque rise of the Great Rift Valley Escarpment, towering above.

So whether you’re on your way to the Serengeti or Ngorongoro don’t miss this picture-perfect little park with its special ornaments of birds, wildlife, and even butterflies.

Crazy Lions & Baboons Too

Yes, it’s true – if you look up into the branches of acacia trees above you may spot Manyara’s notorious tree-climbing lions. No one is certain how these lions evolved to become climbers but they unmistakably populate the park’s trees.

If you want to see baboons you’ve also come to the right place for this reserve sports Africa’s largest troop of the colorful creatures in the thick forest. Keeping them company are numerous blue monkeys noisily leaping between the trees.

These evergreen forests also hold large elephant families and you may chance to see them marching in formation amongst the trees. As you move through the park keep an eye out for other herbivores and grazers such as wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, giraffe, waterbuck, buffalo, and hippo.

Also keeping an eye out for them are the aforementioned lions, plus leopards, hyena, jackal, African wild cat, civet, and mongoose.

A large group of baboons moving along a path through trees and grass in Lake Manyara National Park
A view to the horizon over large groups of wildebeest, birds and flamingos at Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

The Lake And Its Birds

But even with all the wildlife above, the lake and its colorful birdlife often seem to dominate the reserve. During the rainy season, the lake expands to fully two-thirds of the park. This alkaline body attracts a wonderful assortment of avian life – especially of note are the thousands of bright pink flamingoes, draping its shores.

With over 400 bird species in the reserve, you’ll easily spot dozens, if not more, such as pelican, stork, heron, egret, cormorant, and other waders feeding in the lake’s shallow waters.

Even the forests offer birdlife wonders amongst its dense foliage like horned bills, guinea fowl, and weavers. And you’ll also discover raptors here such as the palm-nut vulture and hawk-eagle.

Don’t Miss

Treetop Walkway – Tanzania’s first – gently walk from ground level over a series of suspension bridges ascending to the forest canopy at 18 m (60 ft) where you’ll join a neighborhood of birds and butterflies… and sometimes baboons and monkeys. The views are lovely and not to be missed.

Walking Safari – At many national parks, you are required to stay in your jeep – not here. At Manyara, you can leave your vehicle behind as you tread through the lush habitats getting up close to the land and the many grazers.

Hot Springs & More – Surprises never cease at Manyara – discover the park’s hot springs and lovely hippo pools while you picnic.

A suspended treetop walkway in Lake Manyara with wooden steps and safety netting

Survey: Lake Manyara National Park

A compact park, Manyara is just 330 sq km (127 sq. mi) and perched at an elevation of 960 m (3,150 ft). 

Best safari lodges & tented camps at Lake Manyara National Park

A room with a double bed in the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
Luxury level
Lodge/tented Camp options
Lake Manyara Serena safari Lodge, Kilimamoja Lodge, Escarpment Luxury Lodge
Kirurumu Tented Camp
Comfort level
Lodge/tented camp options
Kirurumu Tented Lodge
A single bed in a room in Octagon Lodge safari accommodation
Economy level
Lodge/tented camp options
Highview Hotel, Highview Coffee Lodge , Octagon Lodge Karatu

This is Manyara

A carpet of pink flamingoes and other exotic birds. Tree-climbing lions and great troops of baboons. And, an exciting walkway over the forest canopy. Lake Manyara Park packs plenty of excitement, color, and adventure in an often overlooked but enchanting reserve.

Join Us at Manyara National Park

Africa Kenya Safaris offers journeys to Lake Manyara and other parks in the region. Just contact us to get your safari started.

Here are some of our tours bringing you to Manyara:

4 parks: Masai Mara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater & Lake Manyara

4 Parks: Amboseli, Lake Manyara, Serengeti & Ngorongoro
Safari jeep interior with open top

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