Practical Travel Guide: Manyara

Go on a walking safari in Lake Manyara, and spot the flamingo's.

Lake Manyara is a shallow soda lake, set at the base of the Western Rift Valley Escarpment. The northwestern lakeshore and its hinterland are protected in a scenic national park. Manyara is one of Tanzania’s smallest parks, yet boosting a very diverse flora & fauna - savannah, acacia woodland, rocks, grassy floodplains and tropical rainforest. An exciting aspect of Lake Manyara is the opportunity to stretch your legs. The park offers suburb birding and guided walking safaris along the shore to the hot springs and flamingo lookout point. Best to do it early in the morning. 

A walking safari for the day after can be easily arranged when you arrive at the park entrance gate. Just mention you want to go, and the park wardens will tell you where to meet your ranger the next day.

Spot the African giraffe in Lake Manyara Tanzania

Where to include a visit to Manyara in my Tanzania itineary  

If you are new to self-driving, Lake Manyara national park makes a nice and gentle introduction. The tracks are well maintained and not technical. It only 120 km / a 2 hours drive from Arusha on a good asphalt road. Most people continue their roadtrip to Tarangire and/ or the Ngorongoro Crater. Both are within easy reach from Lake Manyara. 

The gateway town to Lake Manyara National Park is Mto wa Mbu, a lively, tropical village and quite touristy. It is said that some 120 Tanzanian tribes live in this village, in great harmony. 

How much are the park fees for Manyara  

Refer to the Tanzania Practical Information section, for an up to date overview of the entrance fees of all Tanzanian Parks.

Best places to stay on your safari in Lake Manyara 

There are some nice budget places to stay in the vilage of Mto wa Mbu and more high end places inside the park. Roadtrip Tanzania's favourite spots are Migombani Camp near the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park. You can pitch your own tent or stay in a furnished safari tent. Enjoy the spectacular views of the rift valley while relaxing by the pool after a day on safari. The pick of the bunch for those who can afford it is undoubtedly Manyara Green Camp. This intimate little eco-camp ( see picture below), is set on a secluded riverbank within Manyara National Park. To get an overview of the best places to stay in Tanzania and Lake Manyara surroundings, check our favourite campsites & lodges here. 

Camping in the bush, lake manyara green campon your tanzania roadtrip