Lake Manyara is really two lakes. Well, it is depending on the time of year you visit. In the dry season, with the water level low, it basically splits in two.
The northern end, where the Simba River feeds in, is swampy with fresh(-ish) water. There are reeds, plants, and lots of wildlife. Hippos soak in the muddy water, and zebras, wildebeests, and impala graze.
The other end looks very different: a vast, flat, featureless plain from the alkaline water. Lake Manyara is, after all, basically a salt lake (or, more properly, a soda lake). The grass, such that there is, is low. Only a few giraffes and wildebeests wander through the hazy heat.
Ernest Hemingway called Lake Manyara “the loveliest [lake] … in Africa.”
The National Park, which is relatively small compared with the nearby Tarangire National Park and very different from Ngorongoro Crater, also nearby, is famous for its climbing lions and troops of baboons. You’ll see plenty of baboons, although the lions are harder to catch a glimpse of (as are the leopards). And the thick jungle near the park entrance is the ideal habitat for blue monkeys and hundreds of varieties of birds.
I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »
I take photos and travel. I do it for a living. Seven continents. Dozens of countries. Up mountains. Under water. And a bunch of places in between. Based in Washington DC.