Manyara National Park

Manyara National Park

Park history

Lake Manyara National Park delivered its name from a plant called Euphorbia tirucalli, known as Emanyara in Maasai language. The Maasai are using this plant to

protect their bomas (hedge). The Park was gazette as a National park in 1960 and was declared as Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1981. The park has an area of 648.7 km2 (402 sq miles) of which 262.7 km2 (163 sq miles) is covered by lake and 386 km2 (240 sq miles) is dry land.

The rainfall pattern of the park is bi-modal with short rains starting from November to December and long rains from February to May, dry season is from late June to October, annual mean temperature is 26.50C, average temperature 11.340C and relative humidity ranges from 45%-85%.

How to get there

The park is located in Northern Tanzania, 126 km west of Arusha town along the Makuyuni-Ngorongoro road, strategically located along the high way to Ngorongoro and Serengeti and is easily accessible by road and air (charter or scheduled flights). The park is close to the ethnically diverse town of Mto wa Mbu in which a representation of the 120 tribes of Tanzania is found.

Best time to visit

The park can be accessed throughout the year. However, June to October is the best time for large mammals and November to July is ideal time for bird watching.

Available activities

  • Day Game Viewing
  • This activity is conducted during the day and night. For day game drive the activity is conducted from 06:30 – 18:30 hrs

  • Night Game drive
  • Night game driveis carried out from 19:00 – 23:00 hrs, no additional fee for day game drive but for night game drive (NGD) there is an additional fee. Four-wheel (4x4) drive vehicles are recommended.

    For night game drive booking is recommended for arrangement of an armed park ranger

    Northern zone - Groundwater forest, Hippo pool, Flood plain, Msasa and Endalla areas.

    Central zone – Endabasha forest, Cetral Lakeshore, Majimoto ndogo and Bagayo areas

    Southern zone - Sothern lakeshore, Iyambi, Array river confluence and Majimoto kubwa areas.

    Common nocturnal animal sightings; - Crested Porcupine, Greater and Senegal Galago, Civet, Common Genet, White tailed Mongoose, Lion, Hippos (grazing) and species of birds like Owls, Nightjars and Dikkops

    Special conditions apply for night game drive, refer night game drive guidelines

  • Walking safari
  • Include short walking safari from 1- 4 hours and long walking safari (above 4 hours).

    There are three trails namely

    Msasa walking trail: Start from Msasa picnic site crossing through the river gorge (2-3hrs) up to the top of the of the rift valley wall.

    Lake shore walking trail: Long walk that takes 4 to 6 hrs

    Time to conduct the activity: From 19h00 to 23h00 hours.

    Booking is necessary which help the management to prepare armed ranger.


    Short walking fees

    Long walking fees

  • Canoeing
  • This is carried out at Lake Manyara. The activity is only carried out during the day, between 0700hrs and 1700hrs.

  • Birding
  • The park offers a high diversity of bird species over 390 birds species both migrants and residents include a thousand of pink-hued flamingos on their perpetual migration as well as other large water birds such as pelicans, cormorants and storks.

    What are the bird watching hotspots?

    - Hippo pool view points, Boardwalk way at Majimoto and Ground water forest (the later for breeding species).

    - Best time for bird watching- November to July is ideal time for bird watching.

    - No additional fee for this activity.

  • Camping
  • Special campsites

    There are 3 campsites namely: Bagayo A and B and Lakeshore. All are located in the middle of the Park.

    Public campsites:

    There are 2 campsites namely; Endabash and Camp number one. Campsite number one is located 100m from park main gate and Endabash campsite is located in the middle of the park at edge of Endabash River, 37km from park main gate. The later can also be accessed from Iyambi gate (south). Facilities like Flush toilets, Bathrooms and water for cooking are available.

    Bush meals:

    There are three bush meals sites in the park namely; Msasa Picnic site, Majimoto picnic site and Endalla picnic sites. This can be arranged through your Tour operator or Hotel.

  • Filming
  • Lake Manyara National Park is ideal place for filming, as it offers 7 wildlife habitats with abundant wildlife and diverse tourism attractions.

  • Picnicking:
  • There are 3 picnic sites (Msasa, Majimoto and Endalla)

    Picnic sites are the best areas for taking short breaks and stretching after a long drive. They are also best places for taking packed meals while on game drive. All of them are located strategically to enable visitors to enjoy their meals while having the benefit of magnificent view of the landscape and wildlife. There is provision of flush toilet, benches and tables.

View points

There are two viewing points:

1. Hippo Pool view point

It is a free standing wooden platform rising by 8feet above the ground. The viewpoint is located 8km from the main gate, while you are on top of this platform you can have spectacular view of the rift valley wall, marshland, waterfowls and animals such as Hippo, buffalo, wildebeest and zebra. This is one of the few locations where visitors are allowed to alight from vehicles and stretch legs

2. Lake Manyara view point

This view point offers spectacular panoramic view of the lake (Lake Manyara), Ground water forest, rift valley escarpment and surrounding landscapes.

Boardwalk way (Majimoto Boardwalk way)

Maji moto boardwalk way is featured with1.5 meters wide impressive wooden structure, creating a 325 meters long trail standing 1.5meters above the ground winding up in an observation platform that is 15 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. The trail meanders through the hot springs and lakeshore around a marsh and finally into the lake, the boardwalk way gives visitors a unique view and wonderful photo opportunities at every turn of the boardwalk trail.

Canopy Walkway

This is a new product that is expected to start to operate in October 2016. The structure rises gently from the ground to 17 meters high. The average height is 15 meters.

Tourist attractions

The lake forms the most spectacular sight and waterfowl like vast number of Lesser Flamingo.

2.Tree climbing Lion.

3. Evergreen ground water forest in the savanna nurtured by fresh water springs

4. High diversity of species of birds both local and migratory species (more 390).

5. Rift Valley Escarpment forms a unique scenic beauty of the park.

6. Large herd of Elephants and Buffalos

7. Hot springs

8. High population of Hippopotamus