Located 125 km west of Arusha town, under the wall of the Great Rift Valley, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the oldest and most popular sanctuaries in East Africa. The park has a large variety of habitats, making it possible to support a wealth of wildlife in its small area. The main habitats include the shallow soda lake itself which occupies 70% of the National Park total area of 320 sq. km, the ground water forest, open grassland, acacia woodland and the rift wall.
The most famous spectacle in the park is the tree-climbing lions, which are occasionally seen along branches of acacia trees. Other animals found in the park include buffalo, elephants, leopards, baboons, impala, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, ostrich and hippos. Popularly referred to as an ornithologist’s paradise, Lake Manyara National Park contains over 400 bird species found in most savannah and river habitats in East Africa. Common water birds to be seen here are pelicans, spoonbills, Egyptian geese, hammer kops and the migratory flamingos, which arrive in hundreds of thousands creating one of Africa’s great natural sights over the soda lake.
Nestled below the verdant slopes of the spectacular Usambara and Pare Eastern Arc Mountain ranges and overseen by the iconic snow – capped peak of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mkomazi is a virgin breathtaking beauty exhibiting unique natural treasures and an immense sense of space. All this adds to the fulfillment of enjoyment visitors can expect. Mkomazi National Park provides a much needed and beautiful ridge between the northern parks and coastal attractions.
Everyday, thousands of tourists pass within a few kms of Mkomazi on one of Tanzania’s busiest highways. These and northern circuit safaris – goers are invited to discover the real treasures of this wedge of hilly semi – arid Savannah, home of large herds of giraffe, eland, hartebeest, zebra, buffalo, and elephant.
Mkomazi is a vital refuge for two highly endangered species, the charismatic Black Rhino and sociable African Wild Dog, both of which were successfully reintroduced in the 1990s. Nomadic by nature, African Wild Dog might be seen almost anywhere in the park, but Black Rhino are restricted to a fenced sanctuary, ensuring their safe keeping for future generations enjoyment and prosperity.
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