Lake Manyara National Park is located in Northern Tanzania, west of Arusha. The lake stretches for 50km along the base of the 600 meter high Great Rift Valley escarpment. Lake Manyara National Park is 330 square kilometers and when the water is high the lake stretches to 200 square kilometers of water.
Access to the Lake Manyara National Park is by air or road. There are daily charters and scheduled flights. The flights connect onto the Serengeti and Ngongoro Crater. The drive is an hour and a half from Arusha on a tarred road. If driving, the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu is worth a visit.
Lake Manyara National Park offers day and night game drives, canoeing (when water levels are sufficiently high), cultural tours, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park. The dry season – July to October – is good for large mammals. June to November is excellent for bird watching, canoeing and walking.
Best time to visit Lake Manyara
Watching wildlife in Lake Manyara National Park is good all year, but at its best from late June to October, during the Dry season. However, this very scenic park is at its most beautiful during the Wet season, from November to May, when the vegetation is lush and waterfalls cascade down the escarpment.
Weather and climate in Lake Manyara
The climate in Lake Manyara National Park is mild and temperate. Average temperatures are consistent throughout the year. It is very rarely hot enough to be uncomfortable, but it is almost always cold during the evening and early morning. Taking warm clothing along on early morning game drives is recommended.
Manyara’s Dry season is from June to September. The Wet seasons consist of ‘long rains’, which occur from March to May, and ‘short rains’ occurring from October to November. It rarely rains the whole day.
How to get to Lake Manyara
The park can be accessed through the southern or northern gates. The northern gate is more commonly used since most accommodation is located in its vicinity. The distance from Arusha to lake Manyara national park is 126km which about 1hour drive.
The best way to get to Lake Manyara National Park is by flying into the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).From Arusha, this airport is located about 46 km .Using a domestic flight, it is also possible to fly to Arusha Airport (ARK) while flying from the Julius Nyerere International Airport (DAR) in Dar es Salaam or Mwanza Airport (MWZ).