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Lake Manyara
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park 2
Flamongos At Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park

Located in the Arusha and Manyara regions of Tanzania, Lake Manyara National Park is situated between the Great Rift Valley to the west and Lake Manyara on its eastern boundary The National park covers an area of 325 square kilometers, which includes a 230 square kilometers lake area. Wide grassy floodplains at the lakeshore give way to, acacia woodlands as you move further into the park, two distinct habitats supporting a diverse population of animals.

Activities whilst visiting Lake Manyara National Park include game drives, boating and a tree-top canopy walk, which takes the safari enthusiasts on a unique safari viewing opportunity. The tree-top canopy walk will provide visitors with a much closer look at the primates and abundant birdlife. Widely known as a premier safari destination, the park has around 350 bird species, a large population of elephants, tree-climbing lions, giraffe, wildebeest and biffaloe. It has flourished under the governance of Tanzania National Parks Authority.

The History of Lake Manyara National Park

  • 1920: The ground that today encompasses Lake Manyara was once used for sport
  • 1957: The year when Lake Manyara Game Reserve was established.
  • 1960: Two years later, the park gained its current National Park status.
  • 1974: The southern end of the park was expanded with the addition of a 5.66 square kilometres area.
  • 1981: The park was merged with other areas to form the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO, as a part of their Man and the Biosphere Program.

Wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is famous for the tree-climbing lions, seasonal flamingo gatherings, and it’s huge diversity of other mammalsThe park has a large population of elephants, buffaloes and hippos.

Apart from the flamingo gathering on Lake Manyara, the park also attracts white pelicans and several other migratory species that visit the lake. Vervets and blue monkeys are often seen swinging through the mahogany and sausage trees in the lush lowland forest.

Both aardvarks and the scaly armoured pangolins feed on ants, both utilizing their sticky tongues to eat their prey. The presence of impressive wildebeest herds, gazelles, giraffes, zebras and giraffes also adds diversity to the wildlife at the Lake Manyara National park.

When you hear the alarm scream of Olive baboons, you know that you are in the presence of a leopard. Other predatory species spotted in the wilds of Lake Manyara National Park are African wild cats, African civets, bat-eared foxes, black-backed jackal and spotted hyenas. Occasionally, you might also come across either a cheetah or an African golden cat.

Lake Manyara National Park Premier Attractions

  • Gathering of Flamingos

The lakes ash-coloured surface is hidden by the thousands of migratory birds, prime amongst them are the pink flamingos that stand out spectacularly against the surrounding canvas. Both Lake Manyara National Park and the lake itself get a major portion of their fame from the beautiful scene created by the gathering flamingos.

  • Tree Climbing Lions

Several studies have been undertaken to determine the behaviour of these tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara. One such study observed that the lions climbed the trees as prevention against charging buffaloes and elephants. But it did not justify the frequency of their climbs or the duration, which continued even after these animals were long gone.

One theory also suggested that the cool breeze and keeping an eye on their prey was the lions’ motive. Exploring Africa has provided us with a plausible explanation. The lions could have had to climb the trees to escape the epidemic of mosquitoes and flies, a habit they haven’t gotten of and is being mimicked by the next generations.

When To Visit Lake Manyara National Park

For wildlife viewing, the best time to visit the Lake Manyara National Park is during the dry season, from June to October.

In contrast, the wet season from November to May with its lush vegetation and waterfalls cascading down the escarpment also have an appeal. The wet season is also an ideal time to spot the beautiful congregation of flamingos on Lake Manyara.

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