Tanzania, Travels

Game drive experience at the Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

The Lake Manyara National Park was our first destination for the Great African Safari Experience in the Northern Circuit of Tanzania. We decided to do half day game drive in the National park and then spend a night over at the Serena Lake Manyara Lodge, before heading off to the Serengeti National Park. Deciding on places to visit during the Safari was definitely not an easy task as there were so many options in the Northern Circuit. After a lot of discussion with our safari tour company, Easy Travel & Tours, we decided to include Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro National Park as part of our itinerary.

Related post: 48 hours in Serengeti National Park

The Lake Manyara National is located close to Arusha and is one of the smallest National Parks in the Northern Circuit. After an overnight stay at the capital city, Dar Es Salaam, we flew to Arusha early next day. Our tour guide Mr. Deogratius Kinabo picked us up at the airport and after a quick briefing on the Safari followed by a picnic lunch, we headed off to the Lake Manyara National Park. It is about an hour and a half drive from the Arusha Airport and the drive takes you through some of the most scenic views of the Maasai land.

Related post: Safari experience at Ngorongoro Crater

Lake Manyara National Park
Enroute Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara National Park

Once we were inside the park premises our guide quickly completed the entry formalities and then we started with the much-awaited game drive. The park comprises of a Lake Manyara, which is an alkaline lake, thick forest, and drylands. As said by our guide, for a Northern Circuit safari, game drive in the Lake Manyara National Park can be termed as the starters for the safari before you head of to explore larger park like Serengeti National Park. I could not contain my excitement thinking about what lay ahead for our evening of fun and adventure.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park
Drive through the African wilderness

Thanks to Easy Travel, hubby dear and I had a 7-seater Land cruiser all to ourselves, which made our game viewing sessions very special. The vehicle swooped down the narrow mud roads of the forest with our guide parting interesting tidbits about the area and also his previous safari experiences. Within few minutes of the drive, we crossed paths with the troop of Baboons and African Elephants leisurely walking down the dusty roads, in turn, causing brief traffic congestion. In comparison to the Asian elephants, the African elephant has larger ears (which is according to our guide is the shape of African subcontinent) and also longer tusks.

Lake Manyara National ParkLake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park
The Baboon troop

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park
Blue Monkey

Lake Manyara National Park

Our guide then drove us through the dense African jungle towards the lake, making stops to point at the wild animals he spotted along the way. We were lucky to spot Blue Monkey, Gazelles, Waterbuck, Bushbuck and so on. Lake Manyara is known for the wide species of birds inhabiting the park and the pink-hued Flamingos are one of the best highlights of the bird watching session. Although we were not lucky enough to spot this gorgeous bird, we enjoyed peaceful time watching the pelicans across the lake along with many other rare African bird species.

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park

Lake Manyara National Park
Hippo Pool

As the sun was started to set across the horizon, we made it to our last stop, the Hippo Pool to watch the herd of Hippopotamus submerged in the water to avoid the day’s heat. We waited for a while for the hippos to come out of the water but sadly they were in no mood to get out of the soothing lake water. With a quick detour around the lake, we made our way towards the main gate towards our lodge to rest and charge up for the adventures that lay ahead next day.

Related post: Stay experience at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge

Lake Manyara National Park
Pelican land
Lake Manyara National Park
Beautiful Impalas

Lake Manyara National ParkLake Manyara National Park

The Lake Manyara National Park was my first glimpse into the African wildlife and it provided me a perfect opportunity to enjoy the beautiful fauna driving through the lush jungles of the park. Although I was disappointed with not being able to spot the famous “Tree Climbing Lions” and the Flamingos during the jungle safari, there couldn’t have been a better way to start our trip than Lake Manyara.

Lake Manyara National Park
Bye, Bye Lake Manyara!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my experience at the Lake Manyara National Park, do let us your thoughts regarding the post by commenting on the post below. Also, please subscribe to receive updates about our future posts!

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57 thoughts on “Game drive experience at the Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

  1. wildlife adventure tours are always a bliss. Hippos are very shy animals but also very aggressive in case they have their babies around, i remember a story where an tourist was killed by a mother Hippo. The sad part is she was not even aware that the baby is nearby.

  2. I’ve heard of the Serengeti but never Lake Manyara. The drive into the park on the dusty streets looked a little scary with the African elephants, I love how you brushed them off as traffic congestion! Interesting information about the ears being different, I wonder if the Asian elephants ears as shaped like the Asian continent?

  3. I hadn’t heard of Lake Manyara, but it looks beautiful. And you saw so much wildlife — what a cool experience, even if you didn’t get to see lions or flamingos. You just can’t count on lions ;). I am adding this to my list of places to see! Thanks for the preview.

    1. Not being able to see the lions or flamingos was the downside of the safari, but then all the incredible wildlife species made up for it :).

  4. So beautiful, I envy you a bit for such a trip! African Safari is something like a big dream of mine, since I am fascinated about African wildlife since I am a child. Just in the zoo these big animals have been fascinating for me but I can imagine to see them in nature must be an outstanding experience. Pity that you did not see the Tree Climbing Lions, but still there are already so many amazing other animals 🙂

  5. How wonderful that you were able to get so up close and personal to animals, such as the Elephant. And wow to seeing the Hippo Pool – this is so fascinating. I would imagine with the heat, the hippos were happy just chilling out in the water. It sounds like you had a comfortable tour in a 7-seater land cruiser all to yourself!

  6. I love any safari in Africa and this one looked like a great one! Looks like you got to see a lot on the day – safaris can be so hit and miss with the whole wild animals thing so it’s always mind-blowing (to me at least) to see so much on any given day!

  7. I am so jealous 🙂 I did a safari in South Africa but never in any other country. No wonder you look so happy in the car 🙂 It seems the animals you two saw were so interesting and the wildlife there was fantastic. I definitely added it to my list, so thanks for the inspiration.

  8. I am yet to do a jungle or desert safari but I know I would love it!

    I have seen quite a lot of flamingos here in the US…hope you see them soon in your future travels. Otherwise, you did see quite a lot of animals!

  9. It’s nice to have the land cruiser all to yourself while enjoying such an incredible experience! Crazy to see elephants with tusks running around–that’s totally on my bucket list! Those baboons are quite a sight as well–it looks like you had a great time!

    1. Yea, having the vehicle to ourselves made a huge difference in our safari as the guide could plan the drives and sightings as per our choice.

  10. You guys were so lucky to spot so many wild animals along the way.It’s indeed too bad that you couldn’t spot the tree climbing lions but all those other animal seem to have made up for it.Gorgeous pictures and a beautifully written article.Loved reading this!

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