The Northern Circuit’s Lake Manyara is the smallest of the four parks that make up the circuit. The park’s famed tree-climbing lions appear to have attained almost mythological status, as the lake makes up a large chunk of the park.

Lake Manyara National Park is located in northern Tanzania, near the bottom of the Great Rift Valley. The lake takes up approximately two-thirds of the park, making Manyara the smallest but possibly the most beautiful park in northern Tanzania. The legendary Northern Circuit’s first destination is Lake Manyara. Manyara is noted for its natural beauty as well as its legendary tree-climbing lions. It is located midway between Tanzania’s safari center, Arusha, and the Ngorongoro Crater.

Manyara is famous for both its natural beauty and its fabled tree-climbing lions.

Because Manyara is located just off the major road leading to the Ngorongoro and Serengeti, it is one of the busiest parks in the country. Many travelers stop here en way to the larger parks. Manyara is ideal for short introduction game drives, but we discourage visitors from staying longer since the park is too crowded and the game-driving network is too limited.

The park’s natural beauty, especially in the deep south where few visitors take the time to explore, cannot be ignored. The Rift Valley is at its most spectacular, and the park’s famed tree-climbing lion pride makes its home here.

This beautiful park, located on the road from Arusha to Ngorongoro, is nestled between the Great Rift Valley and a lush lake, and is frequently visited by visitors on their way to the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park. It is recognized for its famed tree-climbing lions, habituated baboons, and substantial elephant herds, despite having a lower concentration of species than some of Tanzania’s other parks.

The park is tiny, with a total size of about 330 square kilometers, although the lake itself occupies a significant amount of the land mass.

About Lake Manyara

Because the Lake makes up the main part of the park, the game-driving areas can be tiny and crowded, especially in the northern sections near the entry. Manyara, we feel, provides a fantastic introduction to safari in a short amount of time – great for an afternoon on the route to Ngorongoro. The hippo pool in Manyara is a nice place for a picnic meal. We usually recommend spending time in Tarangire or the Serengeti if you have a longer visit.

Lake Manyara Safaris

Game drives are available both during the day and at night at Lake Manyara. When staying at some resorts, short walks are also feasible.

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When is the best time to visit Lake Manyara?

Because the game at Lake Manyara is very consistent throughout the year, it may be visited at any time. However, seeing the lake at full capacity is always a pleasure, therefore we recommend visiting during the first eight months of the year. This also helps to avoid the dust that the park is known for later in the year!

The views from the top of the escarpment, which stretch for miles out toward the lake, are surely breathtaking, and if you’re visiting the park on your way to somewhere else, it’s a terrific location to start and sets a nice tone for the remainder of your journey.


Manyara’s black-maned tree-climbing lions may be a fun sight to see as they scale the branches of the trees before relaxing in a calm location. Buffalo, cheetah, Maasai giraffe, baboon, elephant, hippo, and impala are among the numerous animals found in the park. Thousands of pink flamingos flock to the lake’s beaches, and other birds are plentiful.

Water birds abound here, with pelicans, storks, stilts, egrets, and herons all visible close to the source, while guinea fowl, crowned eagles, and hornbills may be seen in the wooded sections.

Lake Manyara Travel Advice

It’s not a good idea to remain here! Apart from the super-expensive Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, the hotel alternatives at Manyara are the type of mass-market accommodations that we strive to avoid. Stay at the Karatu region, which is closer to Ngorongoro, where the accommodations are considered superior.