Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania

Situated at the base of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is certainly one of the greatest wildlife-watching destinations in Tanzania. This scenic little park covers an area of 330 square kilometres with two thirds (230 square kilometres) of the park covered by the lake.  Rich in the jungle and boasting a scenic lake, this national park is one of the best destinations for Tanzania wildlife tours.

Its signature safari attraction is the sight of the elusive tree-climbing lions relaxing lazily on branches of acacia trees staring down at the numerous grazing antelopes. The park is also one of the best places in the world to watch elephants. Manyara boasts one of the highest concentrations of elephants in Africa. Even the first long-term field study of elephants in the wild was conducted in Lake Manyara and the book entitled “Among the Elephants by Iain and Oria Douglas-Hamilton documents this pioneering work. Three primate species reside in Lake Manyara National Park including the largest baboon troops ever documented. Other iconic safaris species in the park include giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, buffalos, hippos, leopards, cheetahs, and spotted hyenas.

Lake Manyara is also a terrific Tanzania birding safari destination with more than 400 species recorded. The park is famous for flocks of thousands of flamingos that feed along the edge of the lake in the wet season. Other eye-catching bird species that will be spotted in the park by visitors while on their Tanzania birding tours include the great white pelicans and pink-backed pelicans. The flora of Manyara is also diverse, with over 670 flowering plants and ferns species documented. Over 180 species of butterflies also call this park home.

Location of Lake Manyara National Park

A Tanzania tour to Manyara can be conveniently combined with a number of the wider region’s other unmissable safari gems. The Park is found in the Tanzania northern safari circuit and it is located on the road to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Serengeti National Park. Manyara is found in Tanzania’s Arusha and Manyara regions, situated between Lake Manyara and the Great Rift Valley. The park is located about 126 km southwest of Arusha and can be reached by car in an hour and a half. In the south, there is Marang Forest Reserve that is situated on the escarpment above the park. To the east of the park is the Kwa Kuchinja Wildlife Migration corridor, which allows wildlife to migrate between the near-by Tarangire National Park to the southeast.  On the western side is the rocky escarpment of the rift valley wall that rises steeply to 1,219–1,829 m making it the most dramatic of Great Rift.

Historical background of Lake Manyara National Park

According to history, Lake Manyara National Park derived its name from a plant called Euphorbia tirucalli, which is locally known as ‘Emanyara’ in the Maasai language. These tree species were used by Maasai people to protect their livestock from thieves, predators, and poachers.  Since the 1920s, the Lake Manyara area was used for sport hunting. The area was first established as a game reserve in 1957 and was a letter given a national park status in 1960. The national park is part of the much larger Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve, established in 1981 by UNESCO as part of its Man and the Biosphere Programme.

Tanzania Safari Attractions Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania

1) Animals in Lake Manyara National Park

Due to its diversity of animal species, the 330 square kilometre Lake Manyara National Park is undeniably one of the great destinations for  Tanzania wildlife safaris. It is probably the only place where travellers will see the rare tree-climbing lions during their safaris in Tanzania. The acacia woodlands in the south of the Msasa River do provide an ideal spot to see these mystifying creatures. The woodlands are also where tourists will spot the largest concentration of elephants, giraffes, leopards, and impalas. Squadrons of banded mongoose dart between the acacias, while the diminutive Kirk’s dik-dik and Bohor Reedbacks forages in their shade.

The flood plain also provides spacious views of a variety of animals. A collection of different animals gather here. Wildebeests and zebras favour the wide-open spaces of these shoreline plains since they can easily see predators approaching and they are among the most commonly seen mammals that come here to crop down the tender shoots. Majestic buffalo can be seen dotting the landscape, milling about like a herd of cattle in relatively dense numbers here. Impressively tusked elephants can also be seen strolling in the sunshine. Taking a break from browsing their favourite acacia woodlands, a giraffe can be seen on these open plains, towering above the otherwise flat landscape.

Ground Water Forest which is a  few meters away in the south of Lake Manyara is where visitors will see the largest troops of baboons in Africa while on their tours in Tanzania. Other primates in the forest include the blue monkeys and vervet monkeys.

The Hippo Pool located in the Simba River, not only attracts these 3000kg animals but many of the park’s species. Pairs of klipspringer are often seen on the rocks above a field of searing hot springs that steams and bubbles adjacent to the lakeshore in the far south of the park.

Other animal species in the park include Thomson’s gazelles, Grant’s gazelles,  warthogs, bushbucks, waterbucks, African wild cat, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackals, bat-eared foxes, servals, honey badgers, African civet, genet (Genetta) species, and several mongooses. Cheetahs and African golden cats are sighted occasionally.

2) Birdlife in Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park offers visitors a checklist of 400 species of birds making it an ideal destination for Tanzania bird-watching safaris. Even a first-time visitor to Africa might reasonably expect to observe 100 species of birds in one day. The park is famous for flocks of thousands of flamingos feed along the edge of the Lake Manyara in the wet season.

The groundwater forest to the north of the lake, and largely within the National Park, is a well-known breeding site for thousands of Pink-backed pelicans and Yellow-billed stork along with smaller numbers of Marabou stork and grey heron. Over 40 species of birds of prey are documented, including Palm-nut vulture and Ayre’s hawk-eagle.

Amongst the margins and floodplains of Lake Manyara are the so many egrets, stilts herons, spoonbills, Black-faced Sandgrouse, stalks and other waders. The acacia woodlands equally yield so much water birds around. But the more interesting species will be viewed in the evergreen forests; for example, crowned eagles, the silvery cheeked hornbills, Narina Trogon, Crowned Hornbill, Schalow’s Turaco, Emerald Cuckoo, and ground-dwelling Crested Guineafowl.

3) Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara is a great spot for birding safaris in the park where travellers will see a variety of aquatic birds during their Tanzania safaris. It is the seventh-largest lake of Tanzania by surface area, at 470-square-kilometre. Lake Manyara is a shallow alkaline lake at an altitude of 960 m above the sea level with a maximum depth of 10 ft and covers two-thirds of the park. Manyara was formed as a result of the Great Rift Valley – over millions of years as the rift grew wider, streams cascaded down its continually eroding slopes and pooled into what is now the famous lake.

Typical of lakes formed in this way, Lake Manyara has no outlet and is thus subjected to intense evaporation, allowing salt and other minerals to accumulate. Crusty white deposits of soda glitter like diamonds around the water’s edge and the saline water appear almost soapy in texture due to the concentrated minerals. However, the water is not too salty for animals to drink, and hippos happily make their home in these brackish waters.

Lake Manyara is fascinating with a mirror-like surface reflecting the shades of the sky above-from dawn’s rosy hue in the morning to the shimmering blue as the sun rolls directly overhead to the golden glass as the yellow rays of sunset strike over the valley. The lake attracts a lot of animals to its sparkling shorelines and flocks of flamingos combined with other numerous water birds that cover its glassy surface. In fact, well over 300 different species of birds have been recorded making Manyara an incredible spot for birding in Tanzania.

There are differing explanations for how Lake Manyara got its name. The name Manyara may come from the Maasai word Manyara, which is the spiky, protective enclosure around a family homestead (boma). Possibly the 600 m high rift escarpment hems in the lake, like the enclosure around a Maasai boma. Another theory is that the Mbugwe tribe, who live in the Lake Manyara area, may have given the lake its name based on the Mbugwe word manyero, meaning a” trough or place where animals drink water”.

a) Flamingos in Lake Manyara National Park

One of the spectacular sights of the entire national park is the view of flamingos, posing in large numbers on their tall stilts of legs with their pink plumage reflecting in the still water. These birds provide one of the most striking views for travellers while on their Tanzania trips in Lake Manyara National Park. Flamingoes often congregate together with other waterbirds such as the Great white-pelicans, pink-backed pelicans, yellow-billed storks, and grey herons as they feed on the garden of blue-green algae that flourish in the shallows.

Flamingos or flamingoes are a type of wading bird in the family phoenicopterid ae. The name “flamingo” comes from Portuguese or Spanish word flamengo, which means “flame-coloured”. Flamingos usually stand on one leg while the other is tucked beneath their bodies. The reason for this behaviour is not fully understood. One theory is that standing on one leg allows the birds to conserve more body heat, given that they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water.

Young flamingos hatch with greyish-red plumage, but adults range from light pink to bright red due to aqueous bacteria and beta-carotene obtained from their food supply. There are six different species of flamingos, but Lake Manyara is home to the greater and lesser flamingos. The greater flamingo is the tallest of the six species, standing at 3.9 to 4.7 feet with a weight up to 3.5 kg, and the shortest flamingo species (the lesser) has a height of 2.6 feet and weighs 2.5 kg. Flamingos can have a wingspan as small as 94 cm to as big as 150 cm.

Flamingos communicate with a wide range of visual displays and are very vocal birds as well. When they congregate in great numbers, as they often do here in Lake Manyara, the air is heavy with their noises, which range from a brash nasal honking to a loud grunting even growling.

These statuesque birds have excellent hearing and sight, including well-developed colour perception; however, their sense of smell is quite poor. Since flamingos have long legs, they can wade into much deeper water than most birds and their webbed feet help support them on soft mud. Flamingos have an endearing habit of standing on one leg. The reason why they do this is that curling a leg under the body keeps the foot warm and conserves body heat; flamingos practice this habit in both cool and warm environments.

Before taking flight, a flamingo must run several steps before it lifts into the air, great wings outspread to catch the lifting undercurrents. They fly with their bodies completely extended – neck and head outstretched in front of their body with legs trailing horizontally behind. It is interesting to note that the flight speed of a flock of flamingos can reach up to 60 kph (37mph) and groups of these birds have been known to fly up to 600 km (373 mi) each night between stops for food.

4) Floodplains in Lake Manyara National Park

This floodplain is a unique wildlife habitat of grassy shoreline that emerges during the dry season when water decrease, exposing vast stretches of land alongside the lake. The plain provides extensive views that stretch beyond it. During the dry season, the floodplain becomes a spectacular wildlife-watching area for travellers during a Tanzania holiday. Saline-tolerant grasses spring up and the area becomes a temporary habitat for grazing herbivores. The fresh nutrient-rich grasses and spacious views attract numerous wildebeests and zebras since they can easily spot predators approaching.

Also, buffalos, giraffes, and elephants are among the species that are attracted by the fresh grasses of the plain.  Giraffes can be observed lying down in the grass in the open clearing around the lakeshore, after browsing their favourite acacia woodlands knowing they have an unobstructed view of any approaching lions. These majestic creatures look rather awkward when they splay their legs out from the side and bend their towering necks to take a drink. A giraffe’s legs alone are taller than many humans—about 6 feet. Even the giraffe’s tongue is long! (about 21 inches). Having sight of these world tallest mammals during a Tanzania safari is breathtaking.

At night hippos will also leave their watery refuge and gorge themselves on these grassy flood plains. On overcast days these generously proportioned creatures can be seen basking on the shoreline, but on a sunny day, they usually prefer to wallow in the cooling waters of their pool till dusk tempers the heat.

5) Ground Water Forest in Lake Manyara National Park

A few meters away from the ridge of the Great Rift escarpment, visitors to the park will encounter another unique habitat of the park. This jungle-like groundwater forest is where visitors on Tanzania tours in Lake Manyara National Park will encounter the largest troops of baboons in Africa. Other primates to see in the forest include blue monkeys and vervet monkeys. This dense evergreen forest of Mahogany trees and wild date palms is supported by a permanent supply of groundwater. The branches of trees are covered by Gnarled vines and mossy, giving the forest an antiquated and mystifying allure.

The forest floor is covered by a verdant carpet of wild hibiscus, ginger and other leafy plants that blossom in the moisture and shadows below. Elegant Antiaris and Quinine trees shoot up through the canopy from the forest floor, stretching their leaved branches to the sky.

This rainforest-like habitat could never survive if it wasn’t for the permanent reservoir of water available. The water table here is high enough that it is easily tapped by the thirsty network of roots that zigzag below the dense growth. Otherwise known as a “swamp forest”, the habitat found in this area can be quite boggy at times. In some places the water table is actually too high to support trees; in such areas, the landscape gives way to the marsh and swampy glades.

6) Acacia Woodlands in Lake Manyara National Park

The acacia woodland is a great wildlife spot in Manyara National Park where a tourist will see the legendary tree-climbing lions, leopards, and giraffes plus the large concentration of elephants. These superb creatures should be reason enough to visit Tanzania during a wildlife safari in East Africa. The land between the lakeshore and the wall of the Great Rift Valley is dominated by acacia. These flat-topped, or umbrella, acacia tree extends their leafy sunshade over the star grass on the ground below. Also prominent are the stately tamarind and sausage trees, rising up with regal presence. This habitat has also favoured a variety of herbivores for the generous shade and food these trees provide.

Giraffes can be seen soaring through the gnarled treetops, casually browsing the twisted thorny branches with purposeful care. Impala is also commonly seen here, delicately picking their way through the undergrowth and pausing nervously at the slightest suspicion of danger. Squads of banded mongoose scurry through clearings in the underbrush. Keep your eye open for leopards; although rare, it is possible to see these aristocratic cats lounging in the treetops – clothed in a camouflage attire of spots that blend perfectly with the dappled sunlight of leafy branches.

7) Marang Forest Reserve in Lake Manyara National Park

The Marang Forest Reserve is a 250-sq-km reserve of highland forest off the park’s southwestern boundary. This forest is located on the Rift Valley escarpment and preserves an uncontaminated and unexplored environment rich in flora and fauna.  Moreover, this is one of the ancient migratory corridors of the elephants and therefore it is of considerable importance. The forest also offers shelter to many typical birds of this habitat, particularly here are many species of birds of prey.  You will find numerous troops of baboons and other monkeys such as the blue monkeys, that prefer this area of ​​the park because they find shelter on the trees, finally there are several herbivores such as the bushbucks.

8) Maji Moto Springs in Lake Manyara National Park

On the southern side of the park, you will find the hot springs of Maji Moto. This word directly translated from Swahili language means “hot water” and is about 60°C. Maji Moto is a natural spring surrounded by palm and fig trees – an isolated paradise of crystal clear waters, sun-dappled shady picnic spots, and unmatched beauty. Not so much a hot spring as it is a warm spring, Maji Moto is a perfect place for visitors on Tanzania vacation to take a swim and a picnic lunch. In recent years, industrious locals have also set up a small restaurant and bathroom facilities at the site.

8) People and culture around Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara is adjacent to the colorful market town of Mto wa Mbu which means “Mosquito Creek”. This area provides visitors on Tanzania cultural safaris an opportunity to explore the unique culture of several tribes that converge to form a linguistic mix. Actually, this is the richest in Africa. The Mgubwe, Iraqw, Gorowa, Irangi, Tatoga, Chagga and Maasai have used Mto wa Mbu as a trading post for centuries and it is the only place on the continent where you can hear the four major African language groups; Bantu, Khoisan, Cushitic and Nilotic spoken in the same area.

Tourist Attractions in Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania

  • Game drives in Lake Manyara National park

One of the unmissable Tanzania tour or safari activities in Lake Manyara Park is the game drives. In the remote southern parts of the park is lake Manyara Tree Lodge where visitors set off for a morning or afternoon game drive with a guide and a 4×4 safari vehicle to see an arch of wildlife, including Manyara’s famous tree-climbing lions, which may be spotted resting in favoured spots and large family herds of elephants. A day time game drive can be done grasslands and woodlands. The inland flood plains are also an excellent area in the park for game viewing with a variety of species such as giraffes, wildebeests, zebra and a large number of elephants. Drives along the forests near the park entrance offer a chance to encounter several troops of baboons.

Sights along the shores of the lake are flocked with thousands of pink-hued flamingos other numerous water birds such as cormorants, pelicans, and storks

Night drives; This is the only northern-circuit park where anybody can do night game drives. Visitors who choose to stay in camps inside the park can possibly enjoy night drives. As the sun sets in the evening hours over the salty lake, large predators and nocturnal species come out of the bushes which are hardly seen during the daylight. Leopards, aardvarks can be encountered.

Night game drives are run by Waya Africa from 8 pm to roughly 11 pm. The night game drives cost US$59 per adult while children pay US$23.60. Park fees must be paid directly to the park before 5 pm. Advance booking and usually advance payment is required.

There are special safari jeeps for night game drives. These vehicles are characterized by being open beside and on top of them to ensure comfortable night game driving and viewing.

  • Hiking and Nature walks in Lake Manyara National Park

There are three trails for walking safaris in Lake Manyara National Park. Reservation is required and the park has no vehicles to take hikers to the trailheads.  The Msara Trail, the nearest path to the gate (11 km away), follows its namesake river along the Rift Valley Escarpment through great birdwatching territory up to a viewpoint. The Lake Shore Trail starts 38 km into the park near Maji moto hot springs. It crosses acacia woodland and savanna and is the path where hikers are most likely to meet large herds of mammals and find flamingos.

The Iyambi River Trail, 50 km from the gate, is wooded and rocky with good birdwatching and a chance to see mammals.

The park allows two- to three-hour walking safaris with an armed ranger along the three trails. The walking safaris fees include US$23.60 per person and US$23.60 per group of up to eight. Waya Africa has three hiking options in the area at a cost of US$18 to US$35 per person. A nature walk along the escarpment, a forest walk down the escarpment and a village walk in Mto wa Mbu. All start from the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge or a pre-arranged point in Mto wa Mbu

  • Canoeing on Lake Manyara

Visitors on a Tanzania safari who are interested in sailing on the salty waters can take a canoe safari for 3 and half hours in a two-man canoe with a guide, life jackets, and water packs. You will set off early in the morning at 07:00 am or 02:00 pm in the afternoon depending on your interest. Slowly you will paddle on the waters as you watch elephants, giraffes, buffalos graze and wallow in the shoreline muddy waters. Lots of hippos can also be seen as you approach the deep end of the lake with no threat of hippo attacks. As you enjoy the magnificent lakeside sceneries, several species of water birds with flamingos mainly dominating the surface of the shallow waters can be sighted. The lake hosts more than 400 species of birds and your guide will tell you to stop paddling as you keenly watch many species including pelicans, cormorants, and storks.

Wayo Africa runs canoe safaris on the lake. They last for 2½ hours and cost US$40 per person, plus a US$20 canoeing park fee and a US$45 park-entrance fee. Lake Manyara National Park also has the distinction of being one of the few national parks in Tanzania that allows canoeing.

4) Birdwatching in Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park is a perfect spot for birding watching tours in Tanzania.  There are almost 400 species that can be seen. The best time for Tanzania birding safaris in Manyara is in the late afternoon and early morning. The most attractive are the pink flamingos that several times migrate from lake Natron to Lake Manyara. Flocks of pelicans can also be observed in the park in the middle of the lake. While the spoonbills, egrets, herons, stalks and other waders converge around the edges and water meadows. The captivating species will be viewed in the evergreen forests. The parches of forested woodlands similarly give way fascinating species of birds of prey, keen birders will slowly walk through the evergreen forests to search for Crowned Eagles, Silvery Cheeked Hornbills, species of guinea fowls including the Crested Guinea Fowls.

5) Mountain Biking Safari in Lake Manyara National Park

A Tanzania wildlife safari to Lake Manyara can be supplemented by cycling where visitors will explore more terrain other than walking or hiking. From the start, your guide will take you to bike logistics that include, mountain bikes, packed snacks gloves, boots and helmets with bottled drinking water. The 3 ½ hours single pathway descends downhill and passes through the rift valley floor through the local villages of Mto Wa Mbu and where you meet and interact with local friendly nomadic tribes with traditional multi-coloured beads, hides, and skins as you enjoy the sensational and active expedition. Continue to the shores of Lake Manyara full of pink-hued flamingos as you wonder the scenic surroundings of the lake. End your adventure riding back to the Manyara tree lodge once you have made your way through the unforgettable mountain cycling trip.

4) Cultural tours around Lake Manyara National Park

Visitors to Lake Manyara can take advantage of a Tanzania cultural tour to Karatu local villages and markets situated in a cool mountain valley between Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro Crater Lake to get an insight into the African local setting and history of the park around the karatu village. Walks may last for about 2 and a half hours as you learn and meet new people and enjoy the scenic agricultural landscapes. Visitors can visit traditional homes of the Maasai women commonly known as bomas which are circular in form and get a chance to participate in traditional food making or purchase the beautiful beaded jewellery with other handicrafts offered for sale.

Tanzania Safari Accommodation Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania

There’s just so much to choose from when you’re finding a place to stay at the Lake Manyara National Park. The accommodation ranges from luxury safari lodges and camps to midrange to budget. The following are some of the top Lake Manyara lodges and camps to look at.

1) Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge-Luxury

Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge is uniquely located atop the 900-meter Mto wa Mbu escarpment in Northern Tanzania and boasts unparalleled views of Lake Manyara National Park. The lodge is 130 kilometres from Arusha; transfers by road from Arusha take approximately two and a half hours.  For those travelling by air, Manyara airstrip is adjacent to the lodge, and a ‘meet and greet’ and transfer service is offered.

Accommodation at Lake Manyara  Serena Safari Lodge

The lodge contains a total number of rooms 67 with 1 Suite, 15 Triple rooms, 21 Double rooms, 30 Twin rooms and 10 pairs of connecting rooms. The rooms furnished with colours inspired by the breath-taking natural beauty of our surroundings. For a truly special experience, reserve the lush Losimingori Suite, which offers a separate sitting area, a flat-screen TV and a balcony.

Standard Rooms

Spread along the edge of the cliff to allow for the most incredible views, the accommodation consists of circular, double-story, whitewashed “rondavels” (traditional circular buildings with conical thatched roofs), which include their own small veranda. The interior décor echoes the blue of the lake and the pink of its flamingos. Behind each bed hangs a spectacular hand-woven rug, while furnishings and fittings reflect traditional Maasai beadwork.

In-room amenities

  • One king or two twin beds for a double room; triple rooms available upon request
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Bath amenities
  • A work desk and chair
  • Coffee/tea making station
  • Robe and slippers
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe
  • Veranda
  • Welcome amenity

Losimingori Suite

Treat yourself to an exclusive stay in this elegant suite, which overlooks Lake Manyara and Losimingori Mountain. The Losimingori Suite offers a level of sophistication rarely seen in safari lodges. The decor throughout the accommodation features a color palette of sky blue and dusky pink, echoing the hues of the lake below. The spacious bedroom is impeccably appointed with a king-sized double bed with a walk-in mosquito net, sumptuous furnishings, a dressing area, and a marble ensuite bathroom. A separate sitting room provides panoramic views and offers fully stocked mini-bar, a digital multi-channel TV and a direct-dial telephone. The room also boasts a generous balcony overlooking the “vanishing horizon” (infinity) pool. 24-hour room service is available, and fruit and wine are laid out to welcome you. The suite is set slightly apart from our other accommodations and enjoys its own private access

In-room amenities

  • Pillow-top king bed
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Separate sitting room
  • Mini-bar
  • Flat-screen TV
  • Premium bath amenities
  • A work desk and chair
  • Coffee/tea making station
  • Robe and slippers
  • Hairdryer
  • Safe
  • Balcony
  • Welcome amenity

Facilities and services at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Flamingo Restaurant; This elegant restaurant is designed to replicate a Maasai boma, with swirling primary colours on textured white walls and traditional beadwork, gourds, and leatherwork. Breakfast is presented buffet-style and features global fare, complemented by the finest Tanzanian coffee and tea. The lodge also offers a full English breakfast as well as the opportunity for guests to watch their meal being prepared by the chef in an exciting live cooking environment.

The buffet lunch typically includes meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian options. Table d’hôte dinner menus feature a salad buffet, soup, an entrée, dessert, cheese and biscuits, and tea or coffee. Vegetarian options are always available. The majority of our meat and dairy products, as well as our fruits and vegetables, are sourced from the communities that surround Lake Manyara, National Park. Guests are invited to learn how to cook and serve traditional dishes as well.

The Bush Breakfast; Begin your day with breakfast in the lodge’s bush dining area, which is located on the top of the escarpment and boasts panoramic views across the lake. Just a short stroll from the lodge, it offers safari chairs and tables and a full team of chefs ready to prepare a full English breakfast, which will be cooked on blazing charcoal stoves in front of you.

Alternatively, you can take a picnic breakfast in the bush whilst on a game drive (packed breakfasts can be provided at no additional cost, or a tailored “bush breakfast” experience can be planned).

Sundowners’ on the Escarpment; The concept of enjoying a drink in the bush whilst watching the sun go down dates back to the great safaris of the 1920s. In keeping with this tradition, the lodge offers a selection of sundowner venues, both on the escarpment edge and within Lake Manyara National Park itself. Begin with a gentle stroll or drive to the chosen spot where chairs, lamps, campfire and a bush bar with cocktail snacks will already have been set up. Musical entertainment can also be provided.

Bar: Choose from a broad selection of old- and new-world wines, as well as local and imported beers and spirits. The lodge also offers a wide range of soft drinks, fruit juices, and herbal infusions.

Scenic outdoor terrace; In addition to our dining room, we’re pleased to offer a scenic outdoor terrace with awe-inspiring lake views. There is an atmospheric evening cocktail and outdoor BBQs, or reserve a private party. The terrace is also the venue for cultural dance and music performances, which are usually held after supper.

Swimming pool

2) Escarpment Luxury Lodge Manyara-Luxury

It takes 30 to 40 minutes to drive to Manyara National Park gate from Lodge. It takes around 30 minutes to drive to Manyara Airstrip from Lodge. It takes around 1hr and 15min drive to Ngorongoro Crater gate from Lodge. It takes around 2hr and 30min drive from Arusha Airport. It takes around 3hr and 30min drive from Kilimanjaro International Airport. Perfectly integrated with nature, the lodge’s tranquil retreat presents an idyllic escape into the utmost tranquillity from the fast pace of daily life. Set in a truly dramatic location on the rim of the Great Rift Valley gorge, the lodge offers spectacular views of Lake Manyara and the national park surrounding it.

Accommodation at Escarpment Luxury Lodge Manyara comprise;

Luxury  chalets 

There are 16 luxurious appointed, private chalets which include Luxury Chalet (All-Inclusive Package) and Luxury Chalet (Full Board Package). The chalets feature single, double, and triple occupancy. Each chalet has its own private deck to take in the magnificent sight of Lake Manyara and wildlife passing through the lodge grounds.

Quality wooden floors along with fully glazed windows and doors, add to the natural feel of the lodge and every effort has been made to ensure the utmost in comfort and luxury. Enjoy oversize beds with soft linens, leather sofas, handmade and recycled finishes in keeping with our intention to encourage an eco-friendly environment, and a deep, freestanding bath to soak away while surveying the beauty of the bush and the lake.

Wake in the mornings to the gentle sound of a traditional wooden cow-bell, before rising to a new day of adventure or pure relaxation. Artefacts used in Masaai culture complete the well-appointed interiors. Each of our luxury chalets features both indoor and outdoor showers. Imagine the glory of taking a shower under the African night sky while listening to the sounds of the bush around you, or after rising to the sound of birdlife during the early hours of each day.

Room Amenities

  • Comfy Oversized Bed
  • Quality Linen
  • Leather Sofa
  • Writing Desk
  • Soothing Range of Bath Products
  • Wrap-around Terrace
  • Rain Shower
  • Deep Freestanding Bath
  • Private Outdoor Shower

Facilities and services at Escarpment Luxury Lodge Manyara include;

Lounge Bar:  The allure of being one with nature is never lost around the lodge and the same applies to enjoy the comfort and luxury of our superbly appointed lounge bar. A wraparound deck affords hypnotic views of Lake Manyara and the gorge as you sip on tempting sundowners while listening to the sounds of Africa as nightfall draws in.

Restaurant: The lodge offers a memorable dining experience in a superbly appointed restaurant, around the terrace near an infinity pool. Crisp fresh vegetables and aromatic herbs flourish in the lodge’s very own garden and the inspired chef insists on quality local produce to enhance his creative dishes.

Swimming Pool: Overlooking the magical setting of Lake Manyara National Park to one end and the dramatic Great Rift Valley dropping down at the other, the delightful pool area is a great place to wind away timeless hours. Your personal butler remains on hand to attend to your needs while bathing in the generous infinity pool and lounging in the African sun.

Room rates

  • Luxury Chalet (All-Inclusive Package)- $525/ night
  • Luxury Chalet (Full Board Package)- $250/ night

3) Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge-Luxury

Nested on the rim of the great African rift valley the lodge offers stunning views of Lake Manyara, Mount Meru and on a clear day, Mount Kilimanjaro. It is set on pristine lush green gardens and local vegetation with over 130 species of bird. Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge is the ideal place in which to base your northern safari experience. The Ngorongoro Crater, Oldeani, Lake Eyasi, Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Highlands is just a short drive from the lodge. Sitting around the outside fireplace watching the sun setting over the Great Rift Valley and listening to the humming of the birds the background is a fitting way to end the day, and preparing you for your sumptuous dinner feast.

Accommodation at Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge include;

50 suites and 2 bedroom luxury villas with panoramic views of the surrounding area. All rooms are tastefully decorated with all the amenities one would expect in a 5-star lodge, inclusive of inside and outside shower, bath, air-conditioning, fireplaces, Wi-Fi, mini bar, safe and private balcony.

The spectacular main house has all the luxuries including the main lounge, grand hallway, dining room, spa, boutique, conference room, media (TV) room, outside fireplace, rim-flow pool, billiards room, internet cafe, and children’s activity room.

  • 24 Deluxe Twin Suites
  • 24 Deluxe Double Suites
  • 2 Luxury 2 Bedroom Villas
  • All rooms have panoramic views

Facilities  and services at Lake Manyara Kilimamoja Lodge

The spectacular main house has all the luxuries including the main lounge, grand hallway, dining room, spa, boutique, conference room, media (TV) room, outside fireplace, rim-flow pool, billiards room, internet cafe, and children’s activity room.

  • Rim flow pool
  • Fine dining restaurant; Open for Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea and Dinner
  • Outside fire pit
  • Formal & Informal lounge
  • Cigar& Whisky Bar
  • Entertainment room inclusive of TV
  • Pool table and games
  • Banqueting facilities for up to 50 people Gym and Spa
  • Gift shop
  • Internet café
  • Wi-Fi in Public Areas

4) AndBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge-Luxury

In an isolated corner of the Lake Manyara National Park Tanzania, lays the whimsical and romantic Lake Manyara Tree Lodge Suites. Guests will be treated to spectacular nature views the mahogany forest provides, right from their rooms. This lodge is about adventure, safari, and comfort, above all else. The rooms are cosy and beautifully decorated with fine furnishings.

Accommodation at AndBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge comprises;

9 treehouse suites including 1 family suite in the heart of a mahogany forest; outdoor showers; WI-FI in suites. Cradled in the boughs of an ancient mahogany forest, the lodge blends into the natural beauty of its breathtaking surroundings.

Family Suite:

Crafted from local timber and makuti palm fronds, the Family Suite is cradled in the boughs of ancient trees. It boasts two classically elegant ensuite rooms, connected by an entrance hall. A generous deck suspends above the forest floor and large windows invite the lush forest inside. The main bathroom boasts a freestanding bath and an outdoor shower, whilst the second bathroom features a shower. The Family Suite can accommodate two adults and two children (three children can be accommodated on special request).

Facilities and services at AndBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge comprises

  • Interactive kitchen
  • Safari Shop
  • Boma for open-air dining
  • Massage sala in the forest Gym-in-a-Basket
  • Swimming pool
  • Outdoor showers

5) Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp-Midrange

Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp lies along the 600 meter Rift Valley Escarpment over the river basin overlooking the lake itself. The accommodations and infinity swimming pool are built right at the edge of the escarpment and provide unparalleled views of the region. The camp is divided into cabins and safari tents, offering visitors a range of options for accommodations.

Accommodation at Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp comprises;

10 tents and 8 double story cottages. The setting of the tents and cottages allows our guests to have an open experience of a wilderness camp. Each tent and cottages are identical in designs and amenities offered. The tents and cottages are expansively designed beneath the traditional roofing of “Nyasi.” The interior wall partitions separate the bathroom, which offers both hot & cold showers and the bedroom area which is fitted with a king-size or twin or triple bed flanked by twin side tables with lamps. Furniture are traditional and obtrusive, imitating the travelling camps of old.

Honeymoon tent ent

Room size 55 meters squared. This tent is a privately scheduled setting with views to both the lakeshore and the Manyara escarpment configured for two persons on a King-size bed with a few extra amenities and space to ensure maximum comfort.

Double or Twin Room

Room Size 39 m²; A standard room in both the cottages and tents with views either to the Manyara escarpment or the Lakeshore configured for two persons sleeping on one bed or alternatively configured as two separate beds placed side by side.

Triple Tent;

Room Size 39 m²; A standard room in both the cottages and tents with views either to the Manyara escarpment or the Lakeshore configured for three persons on three separate beds placed side by side or alternatively configured as one double bed and an extra bed on the side.

Quad room

Room Size 39 m²; A standard cottage room with a view to the Manyara escarpment configured for a family of four persons (two adults and two children under the age of 12) on one double bed and an extra bunk bed on the side.

Superior family room

Room Size 70 m²; A standard cottage room configured specially for a family of four persons on one double bed and two separate beds in their own rooms.

Facilities and services at Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp comprises;

  • Swimming pool
  • The “Eserian” restaurant serves continental classics and contemporary Indian and traditional dishes with vegetables and herbs grown from the local villages.
  • Hakuna Matata” bar stocks a very good range of spirits, wines, and cocktails. Enjoy your drink near the fireplace area or upper lounge area with a splendid view of Lake Manyara.

6) Kirurumu Manyara Lodge-Midrange

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge is set high on the edge of the Great Rift Valley, enjoying a marvellous, uplifting and panoramic view eastward over Lake Manyara, the Rift floor and Mt. Losimingori. Behind Kirurumu, the Ngorongoro Highlands rise in green and fertile splendour and form the gateway to Ngorongoro Crater and, finally, Olduvai Gorge and the Serengeti.

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge accommodation comprises;

  • 27 spacious luxurious tented cottages
  • 2 Honeymoon suites & 2 family cottages
  • All include personal verandah that overlooks the Rift valley escarpment over Lake Manyara

Lodge facilities

  • Showers; Pressure Boosters Hot Rain Showers with for the perfect rinse after a long day on safari. Fully ensuite bathrooms, hot and cold running water.
  • Coffee & Tea In-Room Service; Request a hot cup of tea of freshly ground and brewed local coffee at your doorstep with a gentle wakeup call.
  • Daily Housekeeping; Housekeeping services provided in all Kirurumu Under Canvas accommodations
  • Free Wifi; Wifi designated area. We encourage posting after your Safari to ensure the protection of wildlife from poachers.

7) Burudika Manyara Lodge-Midrange

Burudika lodge is situated 113 km from Arusha town or 1:30 hours drive. It is accessible on the Great North Road (Arusha – Dodoma), turns off in Makuyuni in the direction of Mto wa Mbu and Ngorongoro. The wooden signpost for the lodge is 19-20 km after the turn in Makuyini, on your left side. Then, it’s another 5 km of dirt road towards the lodge.

Accommodation at Burudika Manyara Lodge include

19 bandas (banda is the Swahili word for a single standing house, chalet or bungalow) each one with a private veranda. Among them, six are doubles, two twins and eleven families. From your private veranda, you’re overlooking Lake Manyara and the Great East Rift Valley escarpment. It offers to the sight of plains wildlife such as wildebeest, gazelles, zebra and an abundance of bird species. The use of canvas windows with secure mosquito netting, not only allows for constant air-flow but also intensifies the safari experience.

Each Banda consists of a spacious bedroom with Tanzanian styled wooden beds interwoven with sisal ropes; mosquito nets and working desk. The en-suite bathrooms entail a hand basin, separated shower, and separated toilet. Towels, slippers, toiletries and morning cloth are provided. From the reclining chairs on your private sheltered veranda, you’re overlooking Lake Manyara and the majestic Great Rift Valley escarpment

facilities and services at Burudika Manyara Lodge include;

  • Restaurant: The restaurant is nestled under a majestic Baobab tree and offers a tempting range of international and local inspiring meals made of the finest ingredients.
  • Free WiFi is available.
  • A seating and dining area.
  • A toaster and coffee machine are also featured
  • Bike hire and car hire are available at the property and the area is popular for cycling.

8) Twiga Camp-Budget

Twiga Campsite is located at Mto wa Mbu -one and a half-hour drive from Arusha town. Its extensive facilities and beautiful setting have made Twiga a very popular stopover along the route to many Northern Circuit Tourist attractions. If you would like to sleep under the stars, we have a few extremely affordable options for you: You can choose to pitch your own tent, bring a camper van or hire one of the budget tents at the camp.

Camping Facilities

Extensive camping ground; For more than 200 campers as well as budget-tent facilities with outdoor bathrooms for those without tents 

Services at Twiga Camp      

  • Curio Shop
  • Wi-Fi
  • Mini-Supermarket
  • Facial and Massage services
  • Laundry Services
  • Bar
  • Restaurant