ABOUT LAKE MANYARA
Stretching for 50 km (164,042 ft) along the base of the rusty gold 600 m (1,968.5 ft) high Rift Valley escarpment, Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s bird life. More than 400 species have been recorded, and even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 of these in one day. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration, as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants, and storks. In addition are the legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants found inland of the floodplain.
Size: 330 sq km (127 sq miles), of which up to 200 sq km (77 sq miles) are water when water levels are high.
Location: Northern Tanzania. The entrance gate is close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.
The park has an area of 649 km (402 sq miles), of which 262.7 km (163 sq miles) is covered by lake and 386 km (240 sq miles) is dry land.
What to do
Game drives, night game drives, canoeing when water levels are sufficiently high, cultural tours, picnicking, bush lunch/dinner, mountain bike tours, abseiling, and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
Common nocturnal animal sightings are the crested porcupine, Greater and Senegal galago, Civet, Common genet, White-tailed mongoose, lions, hippos (grazing), and species of birds like owls, nightjars, and dikkops.
The Msasa walking trail is 2 – 3 hours to the top of the Rift Valley Wall and the Lake Shore Walking Trail that takes 4 – 6 hours.
Canoeing safaris on the tranquil waters of the lake offers a completely different perspective to a game viewing experience. As the canoes slowly go through the lake, you will watch giraffes, elephants and buffalo graze on the shoreline.
Hippo families live within the deeper waters of the lake and will be observing us as we glide past them. Enjoy the breathtaking scenery and watch the wildlife and birds in their natural habitat.
We can stop paddling for a while as you relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. At the end of the canoe safari, refresh yourself with snacks and drinks. Includes: Guide, two-man canoe, life jackets, water packs, and transfer to and from the park gate.
Duration: three and one half to four hours
Departure times: 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
This activity is just the thing for those who enjoy biking and want to cover more terrain than walking. Leave the lodge and descend down the Rift Valley escarpment. Ride on a single-track path though Mto Wa Mbu Village, then ride to the lakeshore.
At the end, meet a vehicle with drinks and snacks ready for you and be driven back to the lodge. Includes: Guide, mountain bikes, helmets, gloves, water bottles, snacks, and transfer back to the lodge.
Duration: Three and one half hours.
Fitness level: Moderate (it is downhill or flat most of the way)