Lake Manyara is located in the Manyara region of Tanzania in the middle of Lake Manyara National Park that covers roughly 330 square kilometres. This park is a lovely scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater, with the lake taking a big part of the park. Lake Manyara is a pretty shallow lake and became prominent since Ernest Hemingway called it the loveliest lake in Afrika.
The park is famous for being the home to impalas, zebras, wildebeest, buffalos, giraffes, hippos and warthogs but also for the tree-climbing lions that can be found here. Why these lions climb trees is yet unknown.
The groundwater forests are populated by mahogany and fig trees that get their nourishment from underground springs filled from the nearby crater highlands above the lake.
The planes around the lake are wide and juicy green at least towards the crater and this view down from the road up to the Ngorongoro Crater shows the vast amount of all different kind of animals living around the lake.
Lake Manyara Nationalpark covers over 300 migration bird species from flamingos to grey-headed kingfisher as well as long-crested eagles that all sums up to be a perfect paradise for birders.
One of the nicest camps in that area is the Maramboi Tented Camp that offers permanent camp facilities. There are a total of 32 standard tents, 8 suites and even 2 units with interconnected rooms available – and you find all of that in a tented camp! The tents are spacious and luxurious and are built on wooden decks offering 24 hours 220V electric lightning that is very important for photographers and videographers in order to charge their camera and computer batteries.
At the centre of the camp are a restaurant, a bar and a swimming pool and you can even find a library and lounge. From the restaurant you can enjoy an almost crazy view towards the lake with the pool in the foreground and all kind of animals between the pool, some watering places and the lake in the background. Can you imagine what great experience sundowners or pre-dinner nibbles can be sitting around the fireplace in the middle of all this paradise.
Sitting at the bar or the restaurant and enjoying this peaceful view is really some of the coolest experiences I had in my life.
The outstanding location of this camp is a guarantee to see plenty of wildlife and even migrating herds of wildebeest followed by predators. Zebras were as close as a few meters away and absolutely not shy.
We took the chance for a nature walk from the camp towards the lake. This was a breath taking adventure as the zebras, wildebeest or antelopes that were around were only a few meters away. The animals were very calm and they actually opened up room for us as we walked by slowly, they were by no means shy. There are endless stunning photography and videography opportunities.
Lake Manyara as well as the Maramboi Tented Camp are definitely worth a visit, especially if you prefer to stay in a camp as close to nature as you can in such a beatiful place.
Learn more about safari tours including Lake Manyara on our African Safari Tours page with a variety of sample tours.
Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa