Lake Manyara National Park.
Stretching for 50 km along the base of the rusty-gold 600meter high Rift Valley escarpment, Lake Manyara is a scenic gem, with a setting extolled by Earnest Hemingway as “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”.
The compact game-viewing circuit through Manyara offers a virtual microcosm of the Tanzanian safari experience.
Size: 330 sq km, of which up to 200 sq km is the lake when water levels are high.
Location: in northern Tanzania. The entrance gate lies 1.5 hours (126km) west of Arusha along or newly surfaced road, close to the ethnically diverse market town of Mto wa Mbu.
Getting there: By road, charter or scheduled fight from Arusha, en route to Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater.
What to do: Game drivers, canoeing when then water level is sufficiently high. Cultural tours, mountain bike tours, abseiling and forest walks on the escarpment outside the park.
When to go: Dry season (July-October) to see large mammals; wet season (November-June) for bird watching, visiting the hot springs
Accommodation: One luxury treehouse-style camp inside the park. Public bandas and campsites inside the park. Outise there are several lodges, luxury tented camps and guest houses.