Lake Manyara National Park

Stunning park dramatically located under the sheer wall of the Rift Valley escarpment


Lying about 60 miles west of Arusha, just south of the Ngorongoro Highlands this is a thin strip of land sandwiched between the Rift wall and the lake itself. The park has good populations of game including lots of elephant, lion and buffalo to mention just some.

Lake Manyara often receives the hard sell - with promises of trees stuffed full of lions or elephants that are personal friends of Saba Douglas-Hamilton, but, while both of these are possible, it's actually somewhere that benefits much more from a quiet contemplative approach for which time, and a visit to the far south of the park is necessary.

Lake Manyara National Park is scenically stunning, dramatically located under the sheer wall of the Rift Valley escarpment. Wonderfully diverse with evergreen forest, escarpment, acacia woodland and lake shore, the location of Lake Manyara, in particular the northern section, means it is perfectly placed for a short visit en-route to or from the Ngorongoro Crater and Highlands or the Serengeti National Park. As somewhere you can see a large variety of mammal and bird species quickly and closely, it’s a good starting point for any Northern Tanzania safari - particularly for children, the very impatient or the short sighted. It's also one of the few parks where it's possible to make night drives and spot a variety of nocturnal species that otherwise remain unseen.

Solitude is in short supply here until you get south and with many camps and lodges around its peripheries this small park could not be described as a wilderness experience. Having said that, the farther south you roam the richer the experience often becomes, and the park works well in combination with visits to other parks in Northern Tanzania.


Lake Manyara offers excellent game viewing year round, with the best time being the dry season between June and October. At this time water is limited, so the wildlife gathers round sources of permanent water making it more predictable and therefor easier to see.

Our favourite camps & lodges in Lake Manyara National Park

With the park located perfectly for a transition into the Serengeti or the Ngorogoro Crater, we always recommend heading to the south end of the park where you'll pretty much have the place to yourself. Our favourite light tented camp is set at the bottom of a waterfall and is a stunning location to spend your first couple of nights on safari. Expect elephants in camp and resident buffalo wandering through at night. Simply magical.  



A camp full of character with spacious stylish tents

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Our experienced travellers include:

Alex Edwards
Alex Edwards
Olly Williams
Olly Williams
Andrea Hulme
Andrea Hulme

It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary.

All of us at Natural High have over 20 years’ experience in the countries we offer. We’ve lived there, worked there and arranged countless one-off journeys for clients. We live to travel – and love to share our tips on what’s really worth doing. For expert advice (and a traveller’s tale or two), speak to one of our team. They’ll be happy to let you in on their travel secrets, and help you plan a tailor-made trip that’s truly unforgettable.


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