The Lake Manyara National Park is situated between the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara and covers an area of 330 km2 – out of which the lake covers almost two-thirds of the land.
Among other facilities, the National Park is one of the few places in Tanzania where you can go on night game drives.
What is a Night Game Drive?
A night game drive is an altogether different approach from the traditional daytime safaris. Many animals remain inactive during the day and spend the sunny hours resting away. However, when the sun sets, these nocturnal species come out to look for food (Don’t worry, you’re not their food unless they’re known for attacking humans – in that case, be careful!).
The Night Game Drive in Lake Manyara National Park
The night game drive is usually available upon request. Thus, you would need to book your seat beforehand. The drive starts at 8:00 pm (after dinner) and lasts for two to three hours. The guide will provide you with instructions. The authorities expect the passengers to properly follow the instructions, as the night is the calmest time of the day, and you’re expected not to disturb the animals.
The drive takes place in an open safari jeep which has a canopy for its roof. Firstly, you travel to the thick forests of the park and then towards the lake to the hippo pools. Then, you make your way back through the forest to the starting point.
Which Animals can be seen during the night drive?
The Lake Manyara National Park boasts a rich amount of wildlife, which means that you can view plenty of animals at night. These animals are seen hunting for game or going about their daily rituals.
The lions spend much of their day sleeping and lying around. At night, they’re full of energy and their roars pierce through the silence of the night. You can even spot “Climbing Lions” here, for which this National Park is pretty famous!
Hippos are truly nocturnal animals and are rarely seen during the day. However, at night they can frequently be seen searching for grassland to graze on.
A large population of leopards is present in the park. The leopards are elusive animals, but the probability of spotting one increases sharply during the night.
You can also see elephants silently progressing as groups across the clearings in the park.
Animals such as aardvarks, civet cats, blue monkeys, and porcupines, genets become more active at night, and you can observe their unique nocturnal patterns.
So, what are you waiting for? Visit this wonderful National Park and see these interesting animals for yourself! It’s a great experience that brings you closer to nature and removes your fear of wild animals (if any!)
You might also want to check out the Expert Guide on Selous Game Reserve and visit it while you’re there in Tanzania!
Picture Courtesy: @andBeyond