Lake Manyara National Park
Stretching for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600meter high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Earnest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”. The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
Size: 330 sq km, of which up to 200 sq km is the lake when water levels are high.
Location: in northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km) west of Arusha along or newly surfaced road, close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.
Getting there: By road, charter or scheduled fight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
What to do: Game drivers, canoeing when then water level is sufficiently high. Cultural tours, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
When to go: Dry season (July-October) to see large mammals; wet season (November-June) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.
Accommodation: One luxury treehouse-style camp, public bandas and campsites inside the park. One luxury tented camp and two lodges perched on the Rift Wall overlooking the lake. Several guesthouses and campsites in nearby Mto wa Mbu