Book Flights to Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park – Tanzania

A small national park by African standards, Lake Manyara nonetheless includes a huge variety of landscapes and wildlife. It is a beautiful park, with the lake on one side and the steep escarpment which is part of the Great Rift Valley in the west.

Picture the thick forest, dense like a rain forest but fed by underground springs instead. Then emerge with views of the huge soda lake in the east with open steppe plains in front of it, fringed by the imposing cliffs on the other side. There are stunning vistas everywhere, with more than 400 bird species and loads of mammals and other animals to be found in them.

Lake Manyara NP also has a hippo pool where you can stretch your legs and hot springs further south in the park.

If you prefer something a little different and not spend all your time in a safari car spotting animals, you can book a hiking trip through the Marang Forest on top of the escarpment. A place without roads, where you will hike in with all the gear needed yourself. A truly wonderful off-the-beaten-track experience.

Main Attractions

Scenic Lake Manyara National Park is not far from Arusha and is a little gem.

  • Wildlife in and around Lake Manyara
  • A chance to see the tree climbing lions
  • Excellent bird watching
  • An opportunity to see if you are lucky enough to see the Big 5
  • Hiking through the Marang forest
  • Flocks (a flamboyance) of flamingos and pelicans


Due to the variety of habitats in this relatively small national park, a good variety of animals can be found here, including elephants with big tusks and many baboons.

Tree climbing lions of Lake Manyara

The lions here can be found resting up an acacia tree if you are lucky, an unusual habit for lions. It is a great sight and worth trying to find.

Bird watching

More than 400 species of birds have been spotted inside the Lake Manyara NP. And even people new to bird watching can easily find close to 100 birds in a day. How many will you identify?

Big 5 of Lake Manyara

The Big 5 are here at Lake Manyara NP. From the majestic big tuskers (elephant with big tusks), to the elusive leopard, the tree climbing lion, the buffalo, to the few remaining black rhino. Will you spot all five?

Hiking in the Marang Forest

A new addition to the national park is the Marang Forest on top of the escarpment. There are no roads but hiking safaris are possible for a truly off the beaten track experience.

Flocks of flamingo and pelicans

A flamboyance of flamingos, it is said. Often flocks of flamingo dot the lake, as well as large numbers of pelicans. An incredible sight when they are present in the thousands. They migrate between the various lakes in the Rift Valley, depending on the water levels. As these are hard to predict, there is no guarantee the thousands of flamingos will be there.


How to get there

Fly to Lake Manyara National Park

The nearest airport is the Lake Manyara airport (LKY). From this airport, it is only a short drive to the entrance of the national park.

Alternatively, you can fly to Arusha airport (ARK) or Kilimanjaro International airport (JRO), both not far from Arusha town. From town, it will take around 2 hours to reach the national park gate. Much of this depends on the traffic in Arusha town.

Book your cheap flight to Lake Manyara NP with Tripindigo today and see if you are lucky enough to find the lions resting in the acacia trees.

Drive to Lake Manyara National Park

It is possible to drive to Lake Manyara NP from Arusha. It’s only 120km and this will take less than 2 hours.

Best time to visit

The cool, dry months of spring from June to October and the hot and dry summer months of December to February are the best times to visit.

High season

If you want to follow the wildebeest migration go from December to July, however, be aware that the route and timings are not precisely predictable. The months from July to October are ideal for large mammals and predator viewing.

The best season for bird watching is in the wetter months between November and June.

Low season

The quieter times in Lake Manyara NP are usually during the rainy season which most people prefer to avoid. However, this season is best for bird watching, especially the months between November and June.


  • Famous author Ernest Hemingway is said to have described Lake Manyara as ‘The loveliest lake I have seen in Africa’.
  • Lake Manyara is part of the Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve, established by UNESCO in 1981.
  • The Marang Forest has been added to the Lake Manyara NP, increasing its size by 80%. The addition of this forest ensures a migration corridor is re-established, allowing animals to move safely from one area to another in their usual annual patterns.

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