Activities in Lake Manyara national park
Activities in Lake Manyara national park are the different adventures that tourists on safari in the national park engage in as they explore the national park which is located in the northern part of Tanzania.
Lake Manyara national park is among the wildlife viewing destinations in the northern tourist circuit and is known for harboring the rare tree climbing lions as well as many herds of elephants.
Apart from the beautiful scenery that gives tourists engaging in different activities during safaris at this destination amazing views of the rift valley escarpment, this national park is also known for its shallow alkaline lake that covers a big part of the national park.
Initially established to protect the elephant species, Lake Manyara national park boosts of a number of wildlife species such as baboons, klipspringers, zebras, buffalos, impalas, giraffes, monkeys in the forests as well as a variety of bird species in the lake area, in the woodlands and the forests.
Tourists are required to pay entrance fees before being granted entrance into Lake Manyara national park to engage in the different activities and visit the different attractions at the destination. The fees differ according to non-foreign residents, foreign residents and east Africans. Foreign tourists pay entrance fees of 53 USD and East Africans pay in Tanzania shillings.
The management of Lake Manyara national park also put in place different rules and regulations that visitors to this destination are required to follow as they engage in different activities and the rules include;
Keeping distance from the wildlife species during game drives and other wildlife viewing activities in Lake Manyara national park prevents the tourists from scaring away the wildlife species. This rule is encouraged especially when tourists are at a location where the wildlife has been spotted.
Avoiding noise during the different wildlife viewing activities in Lake Manyara national park prevents scaring away the wildlife species and interfering with their normal way of life in the wilderness of the national park.
Not feeding the wildlife is emphasized by the park officials in Lake Manyara national park since feeding of the wildlife species during different wildlife viewing activities at the destination like nature walks, game drives interferes with the normal feeding habits of the wildlife.
Avoiding littering of the national park is another rule put in place to be followed as tourists engage in different activities in Lake Manyara national park. This is a way of promoting the conservation of the environment and surroundings of the national park.
Paying attention as the rules and regulations are being explained by the park officials before proceeding to engage in different activities in Lake Manyara national park. Following the rules and regulations deters visitors from paying fines and other penalties.
Lake Manyara national park attracts a number of tourists from all over the world to visit its attractions and engage in various activities which include the following;
- Game drives
The game drives are among the famous wildlife viewing activities that tourists visiting Lake Manyara national park engage in. Being home to the famous tree climbing lions that can be seen relaxing in tree branches, this national park also has diverse habitats for other wildlife species that include elephants, baboons, impalas, giraffes, klipspringers, zebras, hippos, warthogs, antelopes among others.
Game drives in Lake Manyara national park take place at different times of day and include morning game drives, afternoon or evening game drives, night game drives as well as full day game viewing excursions.
Morning game drives start early and chances of catching sight of a variety of wildlife species during this game drive is high because of how active the animals are at this time of day. Tourists also get to catch the sunrise over the rocky escarpment of the rift valley as they drive in the savannah plains.
Another game drive in Lake Manyara national park is the afternoon game drive or evening game drive that takes place in the course of the day. As the guide drives the tourists in the savannah and in the heat of the afternoon sun, wildlife sightings are a little unpredictable since at this time of day, the wildlife species seek shelter under the trees and in other hidden locations around the national park.
Night game drives are also available for tourists visiting Lake Manyara national park and they provide an opportunity to catch sight of the nocturnal wildlife species in the national park. This form of game drive is accompanied by a ranger guide.
Full day game drives are a highly recommended option for a game drive experience in Lake Manyara national park. This type of game drive starts in the morning and continues throughout the course of the day as tourists explore the wilderness of the national park and see the different wildlife and bird species at the destination.
Despite being an all year round wildlife viewing destination in Tanzania, the best time for wildlife viewing in Lake Manyara national park is during the months from June to October. Tourists can also engage in other activities such as photography during their game driving experiences in the national park.
- Nature walks
Another wildlife viewing activity that takes place in Lake Manyara national park is the nature walk. This activity is carried out in the company of a ranger guide who accompanies the tourists as they explore the nature around them and follow different routes in the national park.
In Lake Manyara national park, these nature walks include the treetop walkway that involves walking along a designated walkway into the forest area of the national park which gives an up close experience with nature and wildlife species such as monkeys. Different bird species can also be seen during this nature walk.
Another trail followed by tourists during nature walks in Lake Manyara national park is the majimoto board walkway. This route followed during game drives enables the tourists to enjoy views of Lake Manyara and also other scenic photography locations at the destination.
There are also different viewpoints around the national park which gives the tourists a good vantage point to see the rest of Lake Manyara national park and these include the hippo pool view point which is a raised wooden platform on the northern shores of the lake that offers a view of the hippos and the walls of the rift valley.
- Bird watching
Different bird species can also be seen during a visit to Lake Manyara national park which boosts of a diverse habitat making it a good birding spot for an avid tourist. Lake Manyara in particular is a good birding location in the national park.
The bird species which can be seen during birding excursions in the national park include flamingos, secretary birds, storks, cormorants, herons, egrets, pelicans, ducks, glossy ibis, the long crested eagle, grey crowned crane, guinea fowls, hornbills, crown eagles among others.
A good time of the year to engage in a bird watching activity in Lake Manyara national park is during the months of November to July.
- Boat or canoe ride
A boat or canoe ride is another activity that tourists visiting this national park can opt to engage in as they relax and enjoy the scenic views around the national park. The cane ride is also a good way to explore the aquatic species.
During a boat ride on Lake Manyara, hippos can be seen in the shallow lake and also enjoy views of the rift valley escarpment as well as the beautiful scenery in the national park made up of a forested area, open savannah plains and the woodlands.
These canoe rides in Lake Manyara national park can take place between 7 am and 5 pm East African time.
- Community visits
Community visits involve tourists visiting the local community in Mto wa mbu town located close to the national park. This activity involves interaction between the tourists and the Maasai locals known for their unique culture.
During these cultural or community visits, tourists engage in activities such as visiting the “manyattas” and the kraals of the Maasai where livestock such a goats, cattle and sheep is kept. The homesteads are enclosed in thorn fences which help to keep out any form of danger that threatens the locals and their livestock.
The Maasai people also perform their traditional dances for the tourists during these community visits and tourists can also join in on the fun as traditional songs are chanted and the Maasai warriors jump around in rhythm.
The Maasai also have different artifacts such as the famous beaded jewelry such as necklaces, bangles, earrings and anklets that are usually made by the Maasai women. The beads are significant to the Maasai and are made in different colors and patterns.
How to get to Lake Manyara national park
After choosing to visit Lake Manyara national park, a question of how to reach the destination is left and this can be done by air or road means of transport. There are flights to Lake Manyara airstrip to access the national park by air.
By road, tourists can follow the route from Arusha and continue to Mto wa mbu town and then drive into the national park.
Book your safari with Focus East Africa tours today for an unforgettable safari experience as you engage in a variety of activities in Lake Manyara national park.