Manyara is a small but scenic park, excellent for birdwatching and a good area to find elephant, and the potential excitement of spotting a legendary Lake Manyara tree-climbing lion. Manyara is often visited for an afternoon at the start of a safari and/or a morning at the end, as it lies on route to and from Ngorongoro and the Serengeti.
The park is awash with butterflies, particularly just after the long rains, at the end of May and through June. Manyara is a good soft introduction to the safari experience. It is a magical and pretty park that wends its way around a mainly forested driving route between the banks of soda water Lake Manyara and the impressive rise of the Great Rift escarpment. Elephant, giraffe, buffalo and wildebeest can be found grazing in unexpected clearings or heading towards the water to drink or wash, and the rivers and riverbeds provide scenic vistas for possible animal spottings. Warthog seem to thrive here, growing notably fat and tuskered, and it is a natural playground for baboons and monkeys. The legendary tree-climbing lion of Lake Manyara inspire extensive theorising as to the wonders of evolution, and are also notoriously rarely seen.
Accommodations at Lake Manyara and surrounding area
Kirurumu Tented Lodge
Is the only owner-run safari camp and the most atmospheric, with permanent tented rooms built onto a stilted wooden base all designed to give each a private bush enclosure with its own undisturbed view. The open-sided dining room and naturally sanded wood and rock-enclosed bar also make the most of the location, and food and service are excellent. Meals rely heavily on fresh fruit and produce, and vegetables and herbs from their own organic garden, and are greatly enhanced by a selection of fine wines from the bar
Conservation Corporation tented camp, and with tents appropriately vast and impressively decorated to suit the Cons. Corp. style. The camp is intended to allude to the Arabian influences in East Africa, with banana palm thatched huts, artisan beds and fine decoration throughout.
Lake Manyara Tree Camp:
Impressive rocky bastion against the cool highland mists and excellent cosy rooms with full sliding-glass panels between bed and the open jaw of the crater. Rooms are laid out in two levels in long lines along the crater rim, making it feel much bigger than the other Tanzanian Serena properties, but the whole is well decorated with hand-painted ‘cave’-style illustrations and styled throughout to create a good atmosphere.