Shallow waters and dramatic slopes

Lake Manyara National Park, about a two-hour drive from Arusha, is bordered by the alkaline Lake Manyara and the western slopes of the Rift Valley. The picturesque setting was once described by Ernest Hemmingway as the most beautiful in Africa.

Lake Manyara Tanzania offers a complete safari experience but is known for its tree-climbing lions and large concentration of baboons. The lake’s brackish alkaline water, full of algae, attracts a wide variety of birds; including the pink flamingos during their migration, and other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

  • Surface 330 km2
  • Best travel season all-year round
  • spring rain seasonaround April
  • fall rain seasonaround November

About Lake Manyara National Park

In green season, two-thirds of the park is covered by the lake’s water. Also, you find swamps, open savannah grasslands and dazzling green acacia forests on impressive slopes. The lake attracts many species of birds and mammals.

Landscape of Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is located about 130 kilometers from Arusha in the Rift Valley, the spectacular “Great Slenk” that runs from Syria to Mozambique. In this area, which lies between Arusha and the Ngorongoro Highlands, you find the large lakes Eyasi, Natron and Manyara.

The park has a forest that is fed by underground water sources, the lake and the plains around the lake. You can visit Lake Manyara National Park throughout the year.

Lake Manyara is a shallow alkaline lake, that covers two-thirds of the national park in green season. Around the lake, you find a landscape with wonderful acacia forests, open grasslands and swamps.

Climate and season at Lake Manyara Nationaal Park

The climate in Lake Manyara National Park is mild and temperate. The average temperatures are consistent throughout the year. During the day it’s never too hot, at night and in the morning it is nice and cool. We adivse you to bring warm clothing for a night safari or a morning safari.

June to October
The afternoon temperatures are usually around 24 degrees. Picturesque skies and sunshine are common. It’s possible that the short rains start in October. The average evening / night / morning temperature is about 14 degrees, but can also be close to freezing.

November and December
This is a 30-day period with short rains and afternoon showers. It’s however unusual for it to rain all day, so it won’t have much impact on your trip. Daytime temperatures are around 27 degrees, in the night and early morning around 16 degrees.

January and February
These are the dry months between two rainy seasons, with similar temperatures between 16 and 26 degrees.

March to May
Although it rains daily in these wettest months, it’s unusual for it to rain all day. Clouds are usually present. The maximum day temperature is around 26 degrees and 16 degrees at night. It is possible for the temperature to be close to freezing.

Interesting facts

1. The water in Lake Manyara is alkaline; another word for basic. Water is either alkaline or acid. The PH value tells us something about the acidity or alkalinity of water. If the acidity is higher than PH7.2, the water is alkaline, lower than PH7.2 is acid water.

2. Lake Manyara lions are excellent tree climbers. They probably developed this special habit in the 1960s to evade a filthy bite fly that was wiping out the lion population in the Ngorongoro crater.

3. In dry season, the Mayara lake shrinks considerably.

4. Thousands of flamingos and other birds live in and around Lake Manyara, especially in the green season. They feed on the algae in the lake.

5. Flamingos are naturally white. Their food (the algae and small lobsters) provides them of their pink color. The algae contain the substance carotenoid. The rosier the flamingo, the healthier.

6. The eastern border of the park is formed by Lake Manyara, the western border by the slopes of  the Rift valley. These slopes can be up to 2,050 meters high.


Lake Manyara National Park is a unique area, with lots to see and lots to do. From safaris on foot, by bike, by jeep and canoe, to walks through the village and treetops.

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Lake Manyara National Park is a wonderful location for a jeep safari. From Arusha city, it’s possible to go on a short, one or two-day safari. However, in general people visit the park as part of a tour through the north of Tanzania.
During the safari, you travel in a private jeep with a professional safari guide. You have access to the same car and guide during all safari days.

During your safari in Lake Manyara National Park, you decide on the daily program in consultation with your guide. Their main goal is for you to see as much as possible. Start the day with a short walking safari along the shores of the lake. Or enjoy a full day of a safari in this park.

Walking safari

Our comfortable Green Camp is located in the south of the park, where few others are. Taking a walking safari in the morning along the shores of Lake Manyara, under the supervision of an expert guide and park ranger is an extraordinary experience.

This walk is in a stunning scenery with a view of the Great Rift Valley. During this walk, you anjog beautiful bird species, monkeys and antilopes. You pay close attention to the tiny details of nature: traces in the sand, droppings, insects, plants and more. Surprising and educational!

Walking safari Tanzania, Lake Manyara National Park

Canoe safari

Lake Manyara is home to a wide variety of birds including thousands of flamingos. During this canoe safari, you get to come very close to giraffes, elephants, buffalo and other animals. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery surrounding you during this 2.5-hour canoe safari.

Note: a canoe safari can only proceed if the water level in Lake Manyara is of sufficient height.

Night safari

A night safari is unique and a very special experience! Our partner in Tanzania is the only organizer of these night safaris in Lake Manyara National Park.
You travel in an open 4WD jeep. From the jeep you can see many types of animals, including leopards, hippos and bush babies. You also hear the particular night sounds of Tanzania and learn more about the African stars. You drive into Lake Manyara National Park together with your guide at the start of the evening. In case you stay at the Green Camp, the safari naturally starts from here.
By this time it’s still dusk, but at 7 pm Tanzania is covered in darkness.

The night safari takes approximately 3 hours.

Mountain biking

A few hours of mountain biking in the area around Lake Manyara National Park is a wonderful and a unique way to explore this area.

Mountain bike Mto wa Mbu
You have the option to cycle through the nearby village of Mto wa Mbu where you get acquainted with the life of locals in this bustling village.
You visit plantations, schools, a church, local bar and the markets. You can extend the tour by cycling to the shore of the lake. Enjoy a beautiful view of the lake and the slopes of the Rift Valley! Along the way you come across small herds of animals.
The tour goes via fairly flat sand paths, under the guidance of a professional guide. Would you like the complete experience? Have a delicious lunch in a local restaurant in the middle of the banana plantations.
This cycle tour is moderately heavy and lasts 2 hours or, with the extension, 3 hours.
Your equipment constitutes a Merida and Titan mountain bike and helmet.
During this trip, you can enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in the middle of the village.

Mountain bike Magara
For a longer mountain bike tour, choose the south of the Lake Manyara National Park. Everyone enters the Manyara park via the northern side, but there is also a southern entrance that is used by only a few. You start the ride to the village of Magara; an idyllic village near a waterfall where you cycle through narrow sandy paths towards the Great Rift Valley. Upon arrival at the southern entrance of Lake Manyara National Park, continue your safari by jeep. You can spend the night in our stylish Green Camp.
This cycle tour is moderately heavy and tailor-made. It usually lasts 4 to 6 hours, inclding lunch, but you can also opt for a multi-day tour.
You equipment constitutes a Merida and Titan mountain bike and helmet.

Treetop Walkway

This Treetop Walkway in the Lake Manyara National Park was developed by our partner Wayo Africa in Tanzania and is one of a kind.
The 500-meter walk starts at the entrance to the National Park. You reach a height of 18 meters above the ground via suspension bridges. There is a great chance you see animals walking beneath you during the walk and different birds looking you straight in the eye.
Each suspension bridge ends on a fall-back platform from where you have a wonderful view of the Lake Manyara National Park.

Lake Manyara Treetop Walkway

Village walk Mto wa Mbu

Take a inspiring village walk in Mto wa Mbu next to Lake Manyara National Park to get acquainted with different cultures and living habits in Tanzania. We’ve set up these authentic tours in collaboration with the local population. You walk with local guides through local plantations and visit a local home, factory, pub, school and market.
More comfortably, you can explore this village by Tuk Tuk. This is a light, small vehicle; ideal for driving past farms and local houses.

Local lunch
In the village of Mto wa Mbu, a Tanzanian lady serves a delicious local lunch. Enjoy an extensive local buffet in her garden, surrounded by banana plantations. Feel free to take a look at her kitchen.

To the local market at Mto wa Mbu

Animals in the area

Lake Manyara National Park has a high population of large mammals. There’s a good chance you see elephant families shuffling through the forest.
Or the famous tree-climbing lions.

Common animals include: elephants, hippos, klipspringer and crawfish. The park counts hundreds of bird species, including flamingos.

Click here for the wildlife overview

Dieren overzicht Lake Manyara National Park

  • Baboon
  • Buffalo
  • Bushbuck
  • Cheetah
  • Dik-dik
  • Elephant
  • Flamingo
  • Galago
  • Gazelle
  • Genet
  • Giraffe
  • Hippo
  • Hyena
  • Hyrax
  • Impala
  • Klipspringer
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Mangoose
  • Monkey species
  • Savannah hare
  • Warthog
  • Waterbuck
  • Zebra

Imagining yourself in Lake Manyara National Park yet?

Have a look at other example trips that can be fully adapted to your wishes or contact us directly!

example trips trip advice

Accommodations in Lake Manyara National Park

Sleeping right in the middle of the park? We present you the following options: our Green Camp or the exclusive Lake Manyara Tree Lodge.
The other properties are located outside the park.

Green Camp Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park, North Tanzania
Wilderness camp, Full board
€ 525 to € 625 pppn (full board, drinks)

Isoitok Camp Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park, North Tanzania
Tented camp, Full board
€ 165 to € 290 pppn (full board)

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge

Lake Manyara National Park, North Tanzania
Tented lodge, Full board
€ 200 to € 330 pppn (full board)