- GENERAL INFORMATION
Of the 127 square miles (329 km2) of Lake Manyara National Park, the lake’s alkaline waters (with a pH near 9.5) cover approximately 89 square miles (231 km2), though the area and pH fluctuate widely with the seasons, and dry spells expose large areas of mud flats.
The climate in Lake Manyara NP is mild and temperate. Temperatures drop by about 6.5°C for every 1000m you climb. Average temperatures are consistent throughout the year. Manyara’s dry season is from June to September. The wet seasons consist of a period of ‘long rains’, which occur from March to May, and a period of ‘short rains’ occurring from October to November. Thunder and showers are common during the wet season, but it rarely rains the whole day.
The name Manyara comes from the Maasai word emanyara, which is a euphorbia species of plant that is grown into a hedge around a family homestead . Giant fig trees and mahogany seen in the groundwater forest. To the south are visible the acacia woodlands.
While most known for baboons, the lake and its environs is also home to animals such as hippos, impalas, elephants, wildebeests, buffalo, warthogs agiraffes , Cape clawless otter, Egyptian mongoose klipspringer . Inland of the floodplain, a narrow belt of acacia woodland is the favoured haunt of Manyara’s legendary tree-climbing lions and impressively tusked elephants.
With over 400 recorded bird species found in Lake Manyara National Park, a visit to the park provides a great overview of the birdlife in Tanzania.
Bird species include numerous water birds, especially the flocks of pink flamingos, found in the thousands fringing the shallow Lake Manyara.
Other water birds also flock to the park, among them pelicans, cormorants and storks. Hornbill, Spoonbill, Egyptian Goose, White Faced Duck, Red Billed Quelea, Long-crested Eagle, Grey-headed Kingfisher and Sacred Ibis are also found in Lake Manyara National Park.