Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park offers a wilderness experience in diverse habitats, from its Rift Valley soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Ernest Hemmingway as the "loveliest I had seen in Africa". Apart from a spectacular setting, the park is famous for its Elephant and tree climbing Lions although, you are also likely to see large herds of Cape Buffalo, pods of Hippo, small herds of Impala, Waterbuck, Giraffe and Zebra along with Warthog and families of Reedbuck. Troops of Baboons and Vervet Monkeys live in the forest and open areas whilst Blue Monkeys live only in the high canopy.
Monitor Lizards can often be spotted sunning themselves on the riverbanks. Families of Mongeese, who tend to live in old termite mounds, are often seen foraging for food.
From the entrance gate, the road winds through an expanse of lush jungle-like groundwater forest where hundred-strong baboon troops lounge nonchalantly along the roadside, Blue Monkeys scamper nimbly between ancient mahogany trees, dainty Bushbuck tread warily through the shadows and outsized forest Hornbills honk cacophonously in the high canopy.
Contrasting with the intimacy of the forest is the grassy floodplain and its expansive views eastward, 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.