Cradled in the glory of its surrounding below the sheer majesty of the Rift Valley wall, Lake Manyara lies serene, spreading in a heat haze backed by a thin green band of forest and the sheer 600 metre red and brown cliffs of the escarpment. The entrance to this park is located near the fresh produce market – Mto wa Mbu, an eclectic market town where several tribes converge to form a lingustic mix that is the richest in Africa.
The alkaline soda of Lake Manyara is home to an incredible array of bird life that thrives on its brackish waters. Pink flamingo stoop and graze by the thousands, colourful specks against the grey minerals of the lake shore. Yellow-billed storks swoop and corkscrew on thermal winds rising up from the escarpment, and herons flap their wings against the sun-drenched sky. Even reluctant bird-watchers will find something to watch and marvel at within the national park.
Its ground water forests, bush plains, baobob strewn cliffs, and algae-streaked hot springs offer incredible ecological variety in a small area, rich in wildlife and incredible numbers of birds. It is famous for the tree-climbing lions that make the ancient mahogany and elegant acacias their home during the rainy season, and are a well-known but rather rare feature of the northern park. Other animals found in this park are the African blue monkey, bush and waterbuck, the nocturnal aardvark, elephant, hippos, black rhino and more.
Area – 325 km2