Lake Manyara National park
Lake Manyara national park obtained its name from euphorbia tirucalli that is most common plant used by the Masai to fence their homesteads and farms. The park thrills with Lake Manyara which is the major attraction of the park which contain alkaline water that is found of contracting and expanding to deposit salt at the shores of the lake attracting several wildlife to lick the salt. The park is also famously known as a home to the rare tree climbing lions whose other population is found in Queen Elizabeth national park in Uganda with in Ishasha sector. The underwater covers the largest part of the park most especially during the rain months when the water levels rise covering almost three quarters of the entire park. Lake Manyara National park is one of the smallest national park in Tanzania with an entire size of 330 square kilometers and was gazette in 1960 in northern part of Tanzania together with Serengeti national park, Ngorongoro conservation Area and Tarangire national park. Lake Manyara National park thrills with several species of both fauna and flora that make one of the best destination to explore while on a Tanzania safari. The flora species of the park include both savanna grassland and woodland while the fauna species include Mammals, birds, butterflies among others.
Wildlife in Lake Manyara national park
Primates: Lake Manyara national park is a home to only 3 primate species which include baboons that are seen in large troops making Lake Manyara national park one of the best destinations where one can easily spot the largest population of baboons in the entire African continent. Other primates include Vervet monkeys and blue monkeys.
Mammals: Apart from primates, Lake Manyara national park is yet a home to several species of mammals ranging from the rare tree climbing lions that are found in two destinations in Africa with the largest population thrilling in uganda the pearl of Africa with in Queen Elizabeth national park’s Ishasha sector and the remaining population is found in Lake Manyara national park in Tanzania. Other mammals seen in Lake Manyara national park include Elephants, Buffaloes, wildebeests, dik-dik, giraffes, zebras, impalas, kudus, warthogs, waterbucks, lions and many more that are easily seen while on game drive and guided walks in the park.
Birds: Lake Manyara national park is one of the best home for birdlife with more than 400 bird species thrilling in the park including migratory birds that visit the park seasonally, forest birds, raptor birds, and other bird species that are endemic to Albertine rift. Some of these bird species are seen seasonally while others are always seen in the park all the time. Some good examples of bird species seen in Lake Manyara national park include; Yellow billed stork, Saddle billed stork, African grey hornbill, Flamingo both Lesser and greater, Sacred Ibis, King fisher, Grey Crowned crane, Emerald Cuckoo, weaver birds, African Jacana, White pelicans, African Hawk eagle, fish eagle, Black heron, Little bee-eater, Ashy starling, Narina Trogon, Guinea fowl, cormorants, Crowned Lapwing, Verreaux’s eagles and many more.
Other wildlife in Lake manyara national park include Butterflies, reptiles, amphibians and many more that make it a best choice for wildlife viewing adventures in Tanzania.
Apart from wildlife, Lake Manyara national park harbors other unique tourist attractions which include;
Lake Manyara: The Name of the park “Lake Manyara” is a great tourist attraction covering the largest part of the park. Lake Manyara attracts plenty of wildlife species including mammals that are always attracted by the alkaline water which tastes like salt thus mammals prefer its taste, there is also a huge population of aquatic birds including flamingos. Lake Manyara is found of expanding during the rainy months thus making it hard for game drives and nature walk but this is the best time for exploring the lake and the park on a canoe ride.
Ground water forest: This unique ever green forest is such an amazing attraction that and a best viewing point for several wildlife species including plenty of bird species, primates most especially a huge population of baboons, and other wildlife that are seen grazing on fresh vegetation and quenching their thirst along the river and springs. This ground water forest is best visited during dry month when the water levels are lower since the forest is always supplied by the river and the springs keeping it green all year round.
Maji Moto Springs: Maji Moto Springs are yet such stunning attractions to visit while on a Northern Tanzania safari in Lake Manyara national park. You may have a swim in the warm water springs while enjoying the ambiance of the park and watching plenty of park dwellers. The word Maji Moto is a Swahili word which is interpreted as Hot water. These springs supply water to the forest as well as the savanna vegetation creating a beautiful rush for picnic under the tree shade of acacia and fig trees.
Termite Mounds: One the best way to explore Lake Manyara national park is by opting for a walk to closely view these termite mounds which create a unique back ground for photography as well as sigh sighting as one can easily stand on the mounds and view different wildlife ahead in the park. These mound are made by termites.
Mto WA Mbu Village: This is yet a great stopover for tourist on a safari to Lake Manyara national park in the northern part of Tanzania. This village offer the best cultural tours where tourists engage with the locals in this small village and get to know more about their daily life style. There are also markets in this village where one can visit and but some fruits, souvenirs among others.
There are 2 ways of getting to Lake Manyara national park that is either by road or by air.
By road transport: Accessing Lake Manyara national park by road is the most common means of the transport used by several travelers on an adventure to the northern part of Tanzania from Arusha or Moshi depending on the starting point. For instance, the road drive from Arusha is approximately 2 hours.
By air transport: There are different chatter flights to Lake Manyara air strip. A flight from Kilimanjaro International airport to Manyara airstrip takes about 45 minutes and most of the accommodations are as well situated about 45 minutes’ drive from Manyara Airstrip. However the flights from Kilimanjaro airport to Lake Manyara national park depart before noon. Those who arrive past noon have to drive to Arusha airport which is about 1 hour road drive and then board a flight to Manyara airstrip