Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park is a scenic 330 sq km (127 sq miles) Park in northern Tanzania. It is located about 945m (3100ft) above sea level at the base of the Western Rift Valley Escarpment. It is home to a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife, including buffalo, elephant, giraffe, lion, hippo, baboon, blue monkey, various antelopes, just to name a few. Hunting seized in 1960 when it became a National Park. The lake itself, said by Ernest Hemingway to be “the loveliest lake in Africa”, is a shallow lake and covers about 200 sq km (77 sq miles) with its high alkaline waters. It's name Manyara originated from the word "emanyara" which in Maa (the language of the Massai), means "plant" and refers to the Euphorbia Tirucalli bush, used as a living blockage to keep cattle from straying.
Besides it’s abundance of game, the park consists of a diverse landscape, from lush ground-water forest with massive mahogany and fig trees, to acacia woodland, marshes and savannah.
The recommended time to visit varies depending on what you expect to do and see, although generally speaking there is never a bad time. Dry season (july-october) for large mammals, wet season (november-june) for bird watching, the waterfalls and canoeing.
Various accommodations from budget to luxury, as well as camping, are available inside and outside the park!
Mto wa Mbu
Mto wa Mbu (Mosquito Creek in Swahili) is a nearby town not far from the park entrance and frequently used for overnight stays by travelers wishing to visit Lake Manyara National Park. It is a market town and unique in that its residents consist of many different tribes integrating their various languages creating a very interesting linguistic fusion. The Chagga, Massai , Mbugwe, Iraqw, Gorowa, Irangi and Tatoga people have all used the town as a trading post for centuries. It is the only place where you can hear the Bantu, Cushitic, Nilotic and possibly even Khoisan the language of the Hadzabe people, all spoken in the same area.