Tanzania is filled with endless natural beauty and wildlife for your eyes to feast upon. You might want to opt for a walking safari the next time you explore Tanzania. It gives you a chance to view the wild animals from up close (don’t get too close though!). The Lake Manyara National Park is one of the best places to go for a walking safari because you can spot the Big 5 here!
The National Park is situated between the Great Rift Valley and Lake Manyara. Spanning over 325 km2 – out of which the lake surface covers 230 km2 – the park has come up as a popular tourist attraction. Sporting a rich flora and fauna – the park is home to over 350 species of birds. Lake Manyara National Park is a place you definitely need to visit!
Walking Safaris in Lake Manyara National Park
The park aims to accommodate each tourist, which is why there are several walking tracks available to accommodate each age group.
Located inside the park is Tanzania’s first suspended walkway. The walkway is situated high among the trees and reaches a height of more than 18 meters above the ground in some places. This makes it one of the best places to observe exotic birds, mammals such as blue monkeys, and large baboons in their natural habitat.
The walkway can be accessed from near the entrance gates of the park, and you may visit in at any time during the day (6:00 am to 6:00 pm). The walkway is around 370 meters long, which means that it may take 30-60 minutes to complete the whole safari. From the walkway, you can also look down and observe elephants, buffalos, antelopes, and dik-diks.
The park not only offers you the opportunity to hike through the dense trees but also to walk along Lake Manyara’s shore. You may choose any of the routes – each lasting 2-3 hours – targeting different areas, and wildlife.
The Msara trail lies around 11 kilometers away from the entrance and follows along the Msara river near the Rift Valley Escarpment. It is most suitable for those travelers who would enjoy a great birdwatching experience!
Lake Shore Trail
This trail starts from the Hot Springs (around 38 kilometers from the entrance) and covers the savannah and acacia woodlands. This trail provides you the opportunity to view flamingos and mammals such as zebras, bushbucks, gazelles, giraffes, and elephants.
Iyambi River Trail
The Iyambi River Trail is even deeper into the park and follows a rocky and woody path. Be prepared to sight beautiful birds and large mammals on this trail.
A Walk near the Shores
You may even choose to have a light walking safari near the shores of Lake Manyara. Here, you can see water-loving birds such as Flamingos, storks, herons, and pelicans.
Although you can visit the park all through the year, you should visit it during the wet season – November to June – for an optimal bird watching experience, or during July-October to view the larger mammals.
So, what are you waiting for? Mark Lake Manyara National Park in your maps, and make sure to include it as a part of your next vacation!
You might also want to check out the other cities in Tanzania, like Arusha. Don’t forget to check out the Arusha Food Guide while you’re there!