The Park is that lush and green, that you will have problems spotting animals.
With all the trees it can be that you are suddenly standing in front of an elefant - BIG surprise.
At water holes or small rivers they are easier to be seen (see picture).
The park is famous for its tree climbing lions. Maybe they go up so that they can see better?
Well, I did not have the luck and saw none of them.
Lake Manyara NP is known for its wildlife. The best time to go for a game drive is in the dry period between July and October.
Changes are you see elephants, because there are many in the park. But be on the lookout for the famous treeclimbing lion. It is said this the only region where lions climb trees. ( We must have seen one having a holiday in the Serengeti - see the intro page)
In the hot and humid months of November and December the park is best visited for birdwatching. There are about 350 birdspecies in the park. Ofcourse there is the flamingo in the salt water lake, but there are all sort of smaller and less known birds too.
Buy a book on eastern african birds and you will know what you see.
In the case the wildlife is not ready to show itself you can always enjoy the beautiful landscape of the park. After the long rainy season from march to june, the lake is filled with water and the roads can be muddy. But then the dry season starts and part of the lake starts to dry, dustdevils can be seen at the salt flats.
The lake is at the bottom of the Great Rift Escarpment and the 600 meters high wall provide some great landscapes too.
The Park is a refugee for any birds. The area closest to the water of the lake is closed for tourists, so that the birds can nest in peace and quiet.
There are hundreds of them.
In the picture you see some Pelicans. They are resting on a tree.
If you want to make a picture try how close you can get before they fly off.
The diversity of animals and birds is so great in such a relatively small area.
This was the first park I went to on safari and loved it. It is small(ish) compared with others, but I would imagine in high season can get busy. Never the less, this lush forested area, with the lake and savanna areas, set again the rift valley wall is beautiful.
Also, because it is "on the way" to Ngorongoro and Serengeti from Kilimanjaro and Arusha, it makes an ideal place to visit en-route.
After the previous day's disappointing discovery that giraffe are not frequently seen in the Ngorongoro Crater (they don't like to climb up the rim to get in), giraffe were top of our list of animals to see in Lake Manyara National Park. Fortunately we didn't have to wait long to see the first one and before the day was over we had seen more than a dozen. For such gangly looking creatures, they are amazingly graceful. They are also especially easy to spot on the park's very flat central plains!
Lake Manyara is probably best known as a birding destination, especially for water birds. While the flamingoes once made the park famous, the lake edge has retreated far from the usual driving routes and the flamingoes can often only be seen as a vague pink shimmer in the distance. However, near the wetlands and streams you can still see dozens of different birds - ducks, waders, egrets - and the drier sections of the park are also especially known for hornbills.
Lake Manyara has a diverse population of wildlife, and is distinct from other safari locations in terms of what you will see. The elephants are a bit less aggressive and smaller than in other areas because of the density of the trees. So you can get right up next to them without risk.
It is also a great place for bird watching, with over 300 migratory birds.
It isn't a great place to spot carnivores -- lions and leopards are there, but hard or impossible to see in the densely packed trees.
Lake Manyara is an easy stop on the way to the serengeti. The looping road through the park only takes a few hours to traverse while you are looking for wildlife.