Despite the rather small strip of land, Lake Manyara National Park won’t let you down when it comes to wildlife spotting. There are over 500 bird species. Flamingos dot the lake surface, joined by myriad, other water birds that are best spotted at the end of the dry season. The most astonishing encounter in the forest is the silvery-cheeked hornbill and there is no better place than Lake Manyara to encounter a palm-nut vulture.
And that is just start. Practically all large mammals roam the grassy floodplains, as residents or migratory visitors. Although lion, spotted hyena, serval, caracal, leopard and cheetah are more prolific in other parks, if you keep an eye out you will be able to see them. The narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favorite playground of Manyara’s tree resting lions. You will tick the boxes for buffalo, elephants, zebra, wildebeest, warthog, baboon, many kinds of antelopes and Maasai giraffe.
Manyara is an evergreen jungle-like area full of monkeys enjoying the many remarkably high trees. The most dominant of them all is the spectacular sycamore fig, hardly to be missed thanks to its creamy yellow and brown back. Other stunning specimen typical for Lake Manyara National park are the huge baobabs that you will find all over the Rift wall. The lushness of the forest derives from ground water seeping down from the extinct Ngorongoro volcano. This underground life artery can be experienced directly in the hot springs in the south of the park where sulphurious water bubbles out, steaming hot to the touch.
The best time to visit is all year round.
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