Although it is one of Tanzania’s smaller wildlife enclaves, Lake Manyara National Park is a spectacular reserve that boasts an incredible diversity of terrain, as well as plant and animal species. Established specifically to protect the elephant herds that have made this area world renowned, the park provides an excellent and varied wildlife experience. An incredible array of habitats, as well as a wealth of biodiversity, is crammed into a relatively small area in Lake Manyara National Park.
Apart from the elephants, Lake Manyara is famous for tree-climbing lions, as well as the thousands of flamingos that inhabit the lake shore. Large herds of buffalo, cheetah, Maasai giraffe, hippo and impala can be encountered. The lake supports an incredible diversity of birds, particularly water fowl and migrants.
Lake Manyara is generally warm to hot throughout the year, with temperatures rising to above 35°C/95°F during the warmest months (September, October and January). The rainfall is seasonal, with two dry periods and two rainy periods during the year. Short, late-afternoon or evening thunderstorms occur in November and December, as well as from March to May. The dry periods last from June to October, as well as during January and February.
Created to protect its magnificent elephant herds Manyara National Park is equally famous for the unusual behaviour of its tree-climbing lions as for the flocks of pink flamingos that inhabit the lake's shores. Large herds of buffalo, cheetah, leopard, Maasai giraffe and hippo can all the encountered. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with more than 400 species, particularly waterfowl and migrants. The tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara, which prefer resting in tree branches during the day rather than dozing on the ground, have become iconic of this incredible park.
Another evocative image from the shores of Lake Manyara is the huge flocks of flamingo that feed in the shallows of the lakes during much of the year, often perched on one leg and with their heads inverted under the water as they feed on the algae that thrive in these saline waters. Unlike the flamingos, hippo rarely venture too far out into the alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, preferring the stream-fed pools of fresh water along its shores. While these huge amphibians spend most of the day in the water, after dark they emerge to feed on the floodplain.
The reserve is considered to have the highest density of the olive baboon anywhere in Africa, with troops of up to 200 members. The acacia dominated woodlands around Lake Manyara provide the perfect habitat for the Maasai giraffe. With its ample water and luscious vegetation, Lake Manyara attracts an incredible amount of bird species. Perhaps the most elegant of these is the grey crowned crane, with its extravagant crown and long legs. One of the most spectacular sights in the birding world is the courtship dance, when groups of birds assemble before breeding season.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge seeks to maintain a low impact on the land while deriving high yield for our conservation initiatives by creating very small luxury lodges that support enormous tracts of biodiverse land, which remains untouched. At every lodge we seek out small (and sometimes not so small) but meaningful ways of putting our values into action every day. Each &Beyond lodge supports the conservation of wildlife and contributes to its neighbouring communities in one way or another. In addition, we seek to limit our impact in terms of fossil fuels, the use of renewable energy, water and waste management, and recycling.
At Lake Manyara Tree Lodge wet waste from the kitchen is donated to a nearby community farmer as feed for his animals.