Tourist attractions in Lake Manyara National Park
Tourist attractions in Lake Manyara National Park: Lake Manyara national park is a popular destination for Tanzania safaris lieing in the northern safari circuit of Tanzania along the route heading to Ngorongoro conservation area and Serengeti national park, the park is situated in the Great Rift Valley and located in Arusha and Manyara regions of Tanzania. Lake Manyara national park is made of an area of 330 square kilometers with two thirds of the park covered by the famous Lake Manyara.
Lake Manyara national park has became a famous Tanzania safari destination due to a number of spectacular and breathtaking attractions found in the park and these are as listed and detailed below.
Lake Manyara national park is rich with diversity of animal species and because of the huge population of wildlife, the park is listed among the best destinations for Tanzania wildlife safaris and it is the only place in Tanzania hosting the rare tree climbing lions. Lake Manyara national park’s animals inhabit in various vegetation zones of the country such as acacia woodlands, woodlands, floodplains and the ground water forest.
Acacia woodlands and woodlands
Acacia woodlands and woodlands in the south of Msasa River inhabit the largest concentration of elephants, leopards, giraffes, leopards, impalas, banded mongoose, Kirk’s dik-dik, bohor reedbucks and many more. The acacia woodlands and woodlands in Lake Manyara national park are the best places to see these animals during your Tanzania wildlife safari in the park.
Floodplains in Lake Manyara national park inhabit many animals such as wildebeests, zebras, buffaloes, elephants and many more which are seen strolling around the shoreline plains.
The ground water forest
The ground water forest in Lake Manyara national park is situated in a few meters from Lake Manyara, the forest is a home to the largest troops of baboon in Africa and other primates such as blue monkeys, vervet monkeys which can easily be spotted by tourists during their Tanzania game viewing safari.
The hippo pool
The hippo pool in Lake Manyara national park is situated in the Simba River, the pool attracts a huge number of animals such as hippos, klipspringer and many others.
Other wildlife species inhabiting in Lake Manyara national park include Thomson gazelles, grant’s gazelles, bush bucks, warthogs, bat-eared foxes, servals, honey badgers, the occasional African golden cats, mongoose, cheetahs, African wild cat, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals among others.
Lake Manyara is one of the most important birding areas in Tanzania and one of the best destinations for Tanzania bird watching safaris, the park boosts a bird checklist of over 400 bird species and it is famous for hosting large flocks of thousands of flamingoes concentrated along the edge of the Lake Manyara most especially in the wet season.
Birds in Lake Manyara national park are found in various sites of the park such as
- The groundwater forest – situated north of the lake, this site is a breeding site for thousands of pink backed pelicans, yellow bellied storks, grey heron, marabou stork and many others. The groundwater forest is a home to approximately 40 species of birds of prey including palm nut vulture, Ayre’s hawk eagle among others.
- Floodplains of Lake Manyara – the floodplains along the shores of Lake Manyara inhabit many interesting bird species such as egrets, stilts heron, spoonbills, black faced sandgrouse, stalks among others.
- Acacia woodlands – The acacia woodlands are inhabit a huge population of birds including crowned eagles, Narina Trogon, emerald cuckoo, crowned hornbill, ground dwelling crested guineafowl, Schalow’s turaco among others.
These beautiful birds are spotted during your Tanzania birding safari in Lake Manyara national park.
Lake Manyara is the greatest tourist attraction in Lake Manyara national park and a great spot for Tanzania birding safaris, Lake Manyara is a shallow alkaline lake sitting at the altitude of 960 meters above the sea level with a maximum depth of 10ft. The lake covers the two-thirds of Lake Manyara national park and has a surface area of 470 square kilometers, Lake Manyara was formed as a result of the Great Rift Valley and as the rift grew wider over the years, streams cascaded down its continually eroding slopes and the water pooled formed the present day Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara has no outlets and because of this, it is subjected to intense evaporation allowing salt and other minerals to accumulate such as the crusty white deposits of Soda glitter like diamonds around the water’s edge. Due to the concentration of minerals the saline water appear almost soapy in texture however the water is not too salty for animals to drink and hippos make the waters their home.
Lake Manyara attracts a huge concentration of animals and huge flocks of flamingoes and other species of water birds making the lake a great site for Tanzania birding safari, Lake Manyara inhabits over 300 bird species including flamingoes, grey herons, yellow bellied storks, great white pelicans and many more.
There are thousands of pink flamingoes at the shoreline of Lake Manyara, the huge concentration of birds is attracted to the lake because of the blue-green algae which they feed on. The flamingoes are viewed in large numbers standing on their tall stilts of legs with their beautiful plumage reflecting in the water of the lake.
Lake Manyara national park comprises of floodplains with grassy shoreline emerging during the dry season as the water decreases, the decrease in water level also exposes vast stretches of land alongside the lake. Floodplains are a unique habitat of wildlife and a spectacular site for wildlife watching during the dry season, in this season saline tolerant grasses spring up and the area becomes a temporary habitat for grazing herbivores.
Floodplains in Lake Manyara national park have fresh nutrient rich with grasses which attracts numerous wildebeests, zebras, buffaloes, giraffes, elephants, these animals are easily seen in this area and spotting them will surely make your Tanzania game viewing in this park amazing. In the night hours, the grassy flood plains are a refuge to hippos seen wallowing in the cooling waters of the pool till dusk.
Ground water forest
Ground water forest in Lake Manyara national park are another tourist attraction in the park, the ground water forest is situated in a few meters away from the ridge of the Great Rift escarpment. Ground water forest is a unique habitat and an excellent site to visit during your Tanzania tour in Lake Manyara national park where you get to watch the largest troops of baboons in Africa, this forest is also a home to other primates such as blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and many more.
Ground water forest comprises of dense evergreen forest of Mahogany tree and wild date palms which are supported by a permanent supply of ground water, the trees in this forests consists branches covered by Gnarled vines and mossy thu8s giving an antiquated and mystifying allure in the forest.
The floor of Ground water forest is covered by a verdant carpet of wild hibiscus, ginger and other leafy plants blossoming in the moisture and shadows below the forest, elegant Antiaris and quinine trees are seen shooting up through the canopy of the forest floor as they stretch their leaved branches to the sky.
Ground water forest also known as the “swamp forest” survives on the permanent water reservoir available with a water table high enough that is easily tapped by the thirsty network of roots zigzagging below the dense growth. The habitat found in the ground water forest can be quiet boggy some tines and in some places the water table is too high to support trees, in some other areas the landscape consists of marsh and swampy glades.
Acacia woodlands in Lake Manyara national park are a great habitat for wildlife and an amazing site to visit for game viewing during your Tanzania game viewing safari in the park, the acacia woodlands dominate the most regions of the park and they inhabit a large concentration of elephants, the legendary tree climbing lions, leopards, giraffes and other wildlife species.
Acacia woodlands in Lake Manyara national park is specifically dominating the land between lake shore of Lake Manyara and the wall of the Great Rift Valley, acacia trees are flat topped or umbrella trees extending their leafy sunshade over the star grass on the ground below, other trees in the acacia woodlands are the tamarind and sausage trees rising up with regal presence. These trees are good habitat for a various herbivores species which are attracted to this area because of the shade and food provided by these trees.
Some of the animals found in the acacia woodlands include giraffes seen soaring through the gnarled treetops and casually browsing the twisted thorny branches, impalas seen delicately picking their wat through the underground, squads of banded mongoose seen scurrying through clearings in the under bush, leopards seen lounging in the treetops and many more.
Marang Forest Reserve
Marang Forest Reserve in Lake Manyara national park is a 250 square kilometers reserve composed of highland situated on the southwestern boundary of the park, the forest is located on the rift valley escarpment protecting an uncontaminated and unexplored environment rich with various species of flora and fauna.
Marang Forest Reserve is one of the ancient migratory corridors for elephants and a shelter to a huge population of birds of prey and troops of baboons, blue monkeys and other species of monkeys. During your Tanzania safari in Lake Manyara national park, Marang Forest Reserve is a perfect site to visit in the park for bird watching and primate viewing, in the forest there are also several herbivores species such as bushbucks.
Maji Moto Springs
The Maji Moto Springs are a very magnificent attraction in Lake Manyara national park found on the southern side of the park, the springs’ name is a slag from Swahili language meaning “hot water” as reference to the hot water in springs boiling at 60°C. Maji Moto Springs are a natural springs and an isolated paradise of clear waters surrounded by palm and fig trees perfect for picnic, the springs have unmatched scenery ideal for travelers on a Tanzania vacation.