The “loveliest I had seen in Africa” was how Ernest Hemmingway described Lake Manyara. But this beautiful lake is only one of many reasons to visit Lake Manyara National Park. Located west of Arusha in Northern Tanzania, along the base of the Rift Valley escarpment, this park is host to a bounty of diverse habitats and species. In the wet season, November – June, the lake swells to cover almost 200 sq km (77 sq mi) of the park, providing an excellent opportunity for bird watching and canoeing. July to October is peak viewing time for the many mammals which inhabit the area. The park is a great viewing location for baboons; troops of over 100 baboons make their home amongst the fig and mahogany trees.
Several unique habitats to explore within a small area: Lake Manyara, ground water forests, grassy plains, and inland floodplains all offer different wildlife and terrain to explore, providing a complete mini safari experience within the park.
Hot Springs Boardwalk Way
A recent addition to the park, the boardwalk and viewpoint allow visitors a new way to explore the park as well as ample photo opportunities. View Maji Moto Ngogo’s fresh hot water spring 105°F (40°C) and Maji Moto, a set of hot water springs around 140°F (60°C). The boardwalk way is an impressive wooden structure, creating a 300 meters long trail (600 meters round-trip) standing 1.5 meters above ground. The trail meanders through the hot springs and the lakeshore, around a marsh, and finally into the lake. The boardwalk gives visitors a unique view and fantastic photo opportunities at every turn of the trail. The boardwalk also helps preserve the fragile ecosystem by avoiding, as much as possible, the disturbance of the environment.
The Hippo Viewpoint
The Hippo Viewpoint is a freestanding wooden platform rising eight feet above the ground. Stand at the top to see a spectacular view of the marshland and its inhabitants – waterfowl, hippo, buffalo, and wildebeest.
Night Game Drive
Experience the thrill of a game drive at night under the stars. Many of Tanzania’s lesser seen creatures are nocturnal and are rarely to be viewed on day game drives. This special opportunity is not to be missed! Travel in an open safari vehicle with a canvas canopy, driven by a professional guide.
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