Tanzania : Lake Manyara NP
Lake Manyara National Park is a beautiful, compact wilderness area comprising a great variety of flora and fauna. Only 130 kilometres from Arusha, and situated between the 600 metre rift valley escarpment and Lake Manyara itself, it is one of our favourite areas in Tanzania and often passed through too quickly. Take time to stay at one water source for a while, just relax and watch what passes through.
A huge number of species are supported due to the diversity of the habitat. Within the park’s 330 square kilometres, there is acacia woodland, ground water forest, lake shore, swamp, hot springs, open grassland and the glittering alkaline expanse of the lake itself. You are likely to see buffalo, dik dik, elephant, giraffe, impala, zebra, kilpspringer, hippo, many primates and a fantastic array of birds. Lake Manyara is also famous for tree-climbing lions, flamingos and a huge colony of yellow billed storks have taken up residence in the thick tree canopy to the east of the lake.
This tented lodge on the edge on the Great Rift Valley escarpment has breathtaking views over Lake Manyara and the National Park, and is a great stop-off en route to and from the Ngorongoro Crater, Olduvai and the Serengeti. The rustic lodge has 20 comfortable en-suite rooms on raised platforms, and has recently completed new suites, which are on two levels and are quite a bit more luxurious and spacious than the other tented rooms, as well as a bit more private. The tents have been cleverly built into the rock-face to create unique features such as a shower and loo set among protruding rock and great decks where you can enjoy the incredible views. The suites are also great family units.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the only lodge actually in Lake Manyara National Park. Set in the heart of a mahogany forest, it is near the remote south-western shores of Lake Manyara, and has just 10 romantic tree- houses built of timber and thatch, and nestling in the boughs of mahogany trees. The guest areas are cosy and comfortable, and overlook the camp fire. Wholesome food is prepared in wood-fired ovens in the interactive kitchen. Activities include morning and afternoon game-drives in open 4x4 safari vehicles with experienced guides, and birding walks in the forest, where there are 400+ recorded species. Though there is no walking usually allowed in Tanzania’s National Parks, but the Tree Lodge has permission for guided nature walks from the lodge along a perennial river down to the lakeshore guided by a local Maasai guide.