Wildlife at Lake Manyara
Created to protect its magnificent elephant herds, Manyara National Park is equally famous for the unusual behaviour of its tree-climbing lions as for the flocks of pink flamingos that inhabit the lake's shores.
Created to protect its magnificent elephant herds, Manyara National Park is equally famous for the unusual behaviour of its tree-climbing lions as for the flocks of pink flamingos that inhabit the lake's shores. Large numbers of buffalo, cheetah, leopard, Maasai giraffe and hippo can all the encountered. The park is also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with more than 400 species, particularly waterfowl and migrants. In October, migrant species arrive at Manyara from as far as the Arctic.
The tree-climbing lions of Lake Manyara, which prefer resting in tree branches during the day rather than dozing on the ground, have become iconic of this incredible park. Another evocative image from the shores of Lake Manyara is the huge flocks of flamingo that feed in the shallows of the lakes during much of the year, often perched on one leg and with their heads inverted under the water as they feed on the algae that thrive in these saline waters.
Unlike the flamingos, hippo rarely venture too far out into the alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, preferring the stream-fed pools of fresh water along its shores. While these huge mammals spend most of the day in the water, after dark they emerge to feed on the floodplain.
The reserve is considered to have the highest density of the olive baboon anywhere in Africa, with troops of up to 200 members. The acacia dominated woodlands around Lake Manyara provide the perfect habitat for the Maasai giraffe.
With its ample water and luscious vegetation, Lake Manyara attracts an incredible amount of bird species. Perhaps the most elegant of these is the grey crowned crane, with its extravagant crown and long legs. One of the most spectacular sights in the birding world is the courtship dance, when groups of birds assemble before breeding season.
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