Being a relatively small park, and with Lake Manyara taking up the majority of the area, Lake Manyara National Park can be covered easily on half-day game drives, but these drives are usually very rewarding despite their brevity.
The scenery and birdlife are Lake Manyara's major attractions, with the lake being perfectly located to offer spectacular views along the Great Rift Valley.
Lake Manyara is not necessarily worth a diversion to visit, however, as it is so well located close to Arusha and on the road to the Ngorongoro Crater, it is ideal to use as a stop-off point on a road safari, and acts as a great introduction to a Tanzanian safari.
Lake Manyara National Park is particulary popular amongst twitchers, and even those who didn't expect to enjoy birdwatching find themselves enthralled with the variety of feathered creatures flitting through the foliage.
Flamingoes are one of the main attractions as they line the lake's edge in a shimmering pink hue, while pelicans, and numerous raptors are also residents, with apparently 46 species of bird of prey being reported. Included in this list are Ruppell's griffon, Egyptian vulture, palmnut vulture, Verreaux's eagle, crowned eagle, martial eagle, bat hawk and peregrine falcon.
During the wetter season, when animals from Tarangire National Park generally migrate away from the marshy lands, many elephants move into the Lake Manyara region, and this can provide some great elephant sightings in the months from November through to June.
Another wildlife highlight of Lake Manyara are the famous tree-climbing lions, however, finding these is increasingly rare, and you must consider yourself really fortunate if you do manage to get some photos.
Although not technically inside Lake Manyara National Park, Mto Wa Mbu Village is an interesting melting pot of many different nationalities and cultures. A village visit here can be very informative.
Lake Manyara was the first national park in Tanzania to allow night game drives, and if staying in the vicinity of the park entrance gate, it is usually possible to include a night drive here on a safari itinerary.
Driving through the African bush at night is particularly exciting, as the bush becomes alive with the nocturnal creatures and predators, and the sense of the hunt can be felt in the anxiety of all forms of prey.
This 500m walk starts with a short board walk and will gradually climb on to the walkway. You walk over a series of hanging bridges with thick netting on the sides, and reach a height of 18m off the ground.
Each of these 9 bridges ends on a viewing deck situated high off the ground around tree trunks.
Enjoy a unique birds-eye view of the world around you.