Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park lies in the Great Rift Valley at the foot of the Ngorongoro Highlands. The small 325 sq. km park has a charm which is completely different from the other wildlife areas in the north. The terrain consists of five distinct vegetational zones: groundwater forest with towering mahogany and fig trees, grassy glades, extensive marshland reeds, parkland scattered with acacia trees and the scrubland of the 305m high Rift Valley wall, plus the 230 sq. km lake itself.
Manyara has a high-density population of elephant, particularly young calves. The lions are known for their ‘tree-climbing’ habits, but they are not always easy to locate.
Other animals to be found include buffalo, giraffe, leopard, zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, waterbuck, impala, gazelle, baboon and both vervet and blue monkey. Near the hot springs, klipspringer can be observed on the rocky outcrops. Vast numbers of (migratory) water birds can be seen, particularly flamingo, pelican, stork, sacred ibis, grebe and cormorant, when the lake is full. In recent years however, this has only occurred during the rains and for a short time thereafter. The total number of bird species is in excess of 350.