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Destination Details

Manyara, Tanzania

Stretched along the base of the Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara National Park is renowned for its huge elephant population and tree-climbing lions. Perhaps the most picturesque of the Northern Tanzania national parks, the stunning views of the flamingo-filled lake and Rift Valley escarpment will especially appeal to photographers. Birdwatchers will also find this park rewarding, with nearly 400 species present.

An area of great contracts, the park consists of forest, grassy floodplain, and expansive views across the alkaline lake to the jagged blue volcanic peaks that rise from the endless Maasai Steppes. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on these grassy plains, as do giraffes – some so dark in coloration that they appear to be black from a distance.

Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik forages in their shade. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen silhouetted on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.

Manyara provides the perfect introduction to Tanzania’s birdlife. More than 400 species have been recorded. Highlights include thousands of pink-hued flamingos as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

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