Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania is one of the most underrated wildlife viewing parks in all of Africa. It is true that Lake Manyara is not the largest in size, and the variety of animals is not the most diverse of all the country’s parks. Yet this park is still a spectacle for wildlife: travellers can watch the mesmerising tree-climbing lions and touching elephant families roaming together. Lake Manyara National Park is proof that great things do come in small packages.
Best Time to Go
June - October
Average Safari Cost
$200-$600 pp/day. Park fee: $45 (adults), $15 (children)
Brilliant animal and bird watching opportunities, pink flamingos and pelicans are present, the Big Five can be spotted, the park is situated on a very special landscape and there are fantastic tree lodges for visitors to stay in.
Why Visit Lake Manyara National Park
Pros and Cons
- Pink flamingos and tree-climbing lions
- Intimate and relaxed viewings of elephants
- Very special and of top quality for other wildlife and bird watching
- An astounding and varied landscape and scenery
- The opportunity to participate in canoe safaris and a treetop walkway
- Also present are monkeys, adding to the quality of the park
- It gets crowded in the peak season afternoons
- It is not as large as other parks
- It gets quite cold on morning drives during the dry season
Best Time to Go
We recommend visiting the Lake Manyara National Park in Tanzania at any time of year, but encourage doing so during the dry season in particular. The months of June through to October (dry season) offer the best wildlife viewing conditions: thinner vegetation means animals are easier to spot and animals tend to congregate at water sources at this time of year, making tracking them down easier too. The only real issue you may have with visiting the park during the dry season is that it does tend to get quite crowded due to it being the peak season for tourism. However, this definitely does not damage the quality of your trip to Lake Manyara, so don’t get too hung up on having to share the park with other wildlife enthusiasts!
During the wet season, the months of November through to May, visibility is hindered by thicker vegetation, but the scenery is enhanced. Luscious greenery is in full swing, meaning this time of year is great for avid photographers. It is also great for bird watchers due to the increased number of birds at Lake Manyara due to it being the time for migration. Take note, though, that roads during the wet season are oftentimes difficult to move along due to mud and rain, which can hinder the trip. Despite this, Lake Manyara National Park still offers superb wildlife viewing all year round.
Start your African Adventure
2 Days Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara National Park
The northern circuit is the most popular safari circuit of Tanzania. In most cases, you will fly to Kilimanjaro Int. Airport or Arusha airport and travel onwards to Arusha, the town from where the northern circuit is explored. Upon an early arrival, you could start with a visit to Arusha National Park the same day. If the safari includes a flight back to Arusha from the Serengeti, Tarangire and/or Lake Manyara will most likely be the first you’ll visit (depending on the season, since Tarangire is only seasonally good). Next is Ngorongoro crater, one of the largest intact volcanic calderas in the world and full of wildlife. Last but not least, Serengeti National Park, one of the best parks of Africa. If you drive back instead of flying, you will most likely skip either the Ngorongoro crater or Tarangire/Lake Manyara on the way to the Serengeti, and visit them on the way back.Popular add-ons:
11 Days Safari - Lake Manyara, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Zanzibar
On this 100% private, combined 11 day Tanzania safari and Zanzibar Island stay, you will explore the 3 main parks of the Northern circuit. Accommodation will be in lodges / permanent tented camps for a closer encounter with nature and wildlife. Zanzibar is an idyllic beach holiday island with its pristine reefs, sandy white beaches and clear blue waters being among the best in the world.
5 - Day Magical Tanzania - Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater & Serengeti National Parks
Immerse yourself in some of Africa’s most splendid landscapes with this 5-day adventure. Led by a professional guide, you’ll explore the 3 main parks of the Northern circuit: Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti itself. Accommodation is in lodges or luxury mobile tented camps. You can also choose to extend your trip to include a beach holiday in the romantic spice islands of Zanzibar, where the pristine reefs, white sand beaches and clear blue waters are among the world’s very best.
5 Days Camping Safari at Manyara, Ngorongoro and Serengeti
During this 5-day camping safari you will visit the Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti National Park. The Serengeti is Africa’s most famous park. Renowned for its incredible concentrations of predators and the Great Migration of two million wildebeest, the Serengeti guarantees an exceptional safari. The endless grassy plains (Serengeti in Maasai) are the richest grazing grounds on the continent, and therefore home to the largest herds and the highest concentrations of predators on the planet.
Wildlife and Birds
- Leopard, cheetah, hyena
Frequently Seen Animals
- Lion, elephant, giraffe, hippo, zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, baboon
Over 400 species of bird have been recorded at Lake Manyara National Park - and each one is unique, bringing its own personality and colour to the park. They are special creatures, best viewed in the wet season, though the bright pink flamingos can be seen at any time, unlike in many other parks across northern Tanzania.
- Amani sunbird, Cape gannet, Pemba green pigeon, White-winged apalis, Eastern imperial eagle
- Loveridge’s sunbird, Rufous-winged sunbird, Pink-backed pelicans, Black egret, Baglafecht Weaver, Crowned eagle
Getting There and Safety
For the flights to Tanzania, it is advised to check Skyscanner (for multiple destination flights), to see which airlines can take you there and compare various ticket prices.
If you are based in the UK and Europe, check out these flights to Tanzania.
If you are based in the USA and Canada, check out these flights to Tanzania.
For more information on visas see our Tanzania Safari - Complete Country Guide.
Going on a safari in Africa comes with obvious risks. We recommend you get travel insurance for all safaris in XXXXX. Make sure your insurance has full medical coverage, emergency air evacuation, repatriation and the standard travel insurance for cancellations, delays and luggage cover.
Check World Nomads’ travel insurance calculator to see the cost of your safari trip cover.
For more details on what to pack see our Safari Packing List.