Lake Manyara National Park

Stretching from the base of the dramatic Rift Valley escarpment in the west to Lake Manyara (an alkaline or soda lake) in the east, Lake Manyara National Park boasts some highly contrasting habitats with a wealth of flora and fauna. Lush green forest greets the visitor upon entering Park, where troops of baboons and Sykes monkeys can be seen, as well as dainty bushbuck and numerous bird species (over 400 species recorded). Beyond the dense forest, buffalo, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe congregate in an expansive grassy floodplain adjacent to the lake. Here, thousands of flamingoes can be seen as well as other large waterbirds such as pelicans, herons and cormorants. The lake expands and contracts with the rains, covering as much as 200 km2 in the wet season but is virtually non-existent in the dry season. Sandwiched between the forest and floodplain, a narrow strip of acacia woodland is home to the legendary tree-climbing lion and herds of elephants at Lake Manyara National Park.