LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara National Park is a protected area in Tanzania's Arusha and Manyara regions, situated between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley. It covers an area of 325 km2 (125 sq mi) including about 230 km2 (89 sq mi) lake surface. More than 350 bird species have been observed on the lake. The lake has no outflow, but is fed by underground springs and by several permanent streams that drain surrounding Ngorongoro Highlands.
Lake Manyara National Park is known for flocks of thousands flamingos that feed along the edge of the lake in the wet season. More than 390 species of birds have been documented in the national park, although in the dry season, flamingos and other water birds are usually found only in small numbers. Populations of large migratory mammals also move through Lake Manyara National Park like wildebeest, zebra, Thomson gazelle and Grant's gazelle. Wildebeest exclusively graze the alkaline grasslands around the lake, and numbers are highest during the dry season, dropping to small resident populations in the wet season. Herbivores of Lake Manyara National Park include plains zebra, bushbuck, waterbuck, Grant's gazelle, impala, Thomson's gazelle, Cape buffallo, hippopotamus, baboon, warthog, and African bush elephant. Predators of Lake Manyara National Park include lion, leopard, African wild cat, spotted hyena, black-backed jackal, bat-eared fox, serval cat, honey badger, African civet, genet species and several mongoose species. It is also famous for its tree-climbing lions.
When to visit Lake Manyara National Park?
Watching wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park is good all year, but at its best from late June to October, during the dry season. However, this very scenic park is at its most beautiful during the wet season, from November to May, when the vegetation is lush and waterfalls cascade down the escarpment.
My most favorite member of the antelope family is the eland, which also happens to be the world’s largest antelope. Though heavy, it has the endurance to maintain a trot and can jump a 4-feet fence from a standstill. My first encounter with an eland was in October 2011 in a lodge adjoining a national park in Arusha. The lodge has a watering hole and various types of animals would go there in the afternoon to drink water especially during the drier months...
Driving in the parks is allowed between 6 am and 6 pm only.
The speed limit in the parks is 50km/h and 25km/h in the Ngorongoro Crater.
Animals always have the right of way.
Never feed animals. It will upset their diet and lead to an unnecessary dependence on people.