In addition to the lake itself the small Lake Manyara national park mainly consists of a narrow strip of land running between the lake and the Rift Valley escarpment, however it is difficult to imagine a more beautiful and unusual place than here. At the north end of the park you can find dense forest, which in many ways resembles rainforest, however this is a ground water forest as its gets its water from the soil and the springline at the base of the slopes.
The forest is home to many apes, and many green macaque, diademed monkey and baboons. Elephants are also regularly seen here, and you can often get very close to them, but you have to have a bit of luck to see the parks lions, which are said to be fond of climbing trees, but lions showing the same behaviour can also be seen in the Serengeti and Tarangire as well as a number of the places on a Kenya safari or a Uganda safari.
The lake has a good population of hippopotamus, which can often be seen close to a small viewing platform, to the south there are some hot springs, around the outflows of which you can normally see flamingoes. On the flat grassy savannah between the forest and the lake you can often find giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, warthogs and a number of species of antelope. The park is a paradise for birdwatchers, in particular the waterbirds such as pelicans, herons and storks are particularly numerous around Lake Manyara, while the forest is home to many large hornbills. A new attraction for this park are the nighttime safari drives on which many of the night active species can be seen in the light of powerful spotlights. The lake and park lies around 120 km west of Arusha and can be reached via good asphalt roads.
High season: January to March and July to October