Tarangire National Park Tanzania
Close to Tarangire, 130 km west of Arusha, Manyara offers 325 sq km of un comparable beauty rests in a diverse terrain, which includes open grasslands, forests and the dominant red western rift escarpment that provides a stunning backdrop to the Lake itself. In Manyara can be found resident Baboons, also Elephants, Hippo and among others.
Lying on the eastern side of Lake Manyara, this excellent national park is included on many northern circuit itineraries. It preserves a classic piece of dry African woodland studded with plentiful baobabs and transected by the perennial Tarangire River. Best known for the prodigious elephant herds that congregate along the river in the dry season, Tarangire also harbors a rich birdlife and such localized antelope species as fringe- eared oryx and gerenuk. The lake also attracts migratory Flamingos and over 300 different species of birdlife.
Larger mammals vacate Tarangire in a mass exodus during the annual October from the Masai Mara.
Lake Manyara National Park has a classic mosaic of different habitats, which attracts a whole host of animals including a high density of elephants. Look out for monkeys, antelopes, zebras and hippos too. There are also lions and some have developed the unusual behavior of climbing trees for their afternoon rest. However, they have not learnt the tactics of taking their kill high into the branches, as the leopard is so fond at doing.
Birdlife is wide at Lake Manyara and different species are at their peak during the rainy season when seed-eaters, insect-eaters and water birds thrive. Nomadic quelea these finch-like birds that gather in breeding flocks of many thousands and fly across Lake Manyara National Park in vast twittering clouds. Pelicans, storks, geese, herons and cormorants share water with migrant flamingoes, which come to feed on the algae rich water and turn the crystalline edges of the soda lake a vibrant pink.
Waterfalls flow over the escarpment wall and fill rivers, some of which can be canoed down for an interesting safari adventure. In the south of the park hot springs bubble to the surface but are too hot for a dip.
The mixture of different habitats, animals and birdlife in Lake Manyara National Park, is unlike anything else you are likely to see. Another bonus is that Lake Manyara is only a 2-hour drive or half an hour light aircraft flight, west of Arusha - the gateway to the Northern Safari Circuit.
Several lodges are to be found in and around the park.