The last national park of this trip and I couldn’t have asked for anything better. This short safari fitted on our itinerary perfectly as I had a flight to catch on the same evening.
Lake Manyara encapsulated the whole safari experience within roughly 3 hrs. This park is a microcosm of whatever have seen in Tanzania for the last 2 days.
The grand entrance
The entrance to the park is right on the side of the highway. Picture this, the moment we enter we are in lush green thick jungle and hundreds of Yellow-billed storks welcome us because this park is known for being a birdwatchers paradise. The location of the park which is beneath the cliffs of the Manyara Escarpment, on the edge of the Rift Valley and the alkaline soda of Lake Manyara attracts an incredible array of birdlife which thrives on its saline waters. Even a reluctant birdwatcher like me could spot a few interesting species of birds. Unfortunately, I can’t name them all by their species so if you can, please be my guest.
Within a few minutes of our drive, we bumped into a tusker who introduced us to his little family. They were carelessly grazing their hearts away in this groundwater forest and one of them even enjoyed being photographed.
The world’s largest concentration of baboons happens to be in this park. As a result, we came across plenty of baboons doing all sorts of activities. On a normal day, I would visit this park just to witness these guys interact.
The one and only
This park is most famous for the one and only legendary tree-climbing lions. So, obviously spotting them was our primary motive to visit. Our experienced driver knew where to find them but it was not easy. Patience and perseverance paid off at the end because of his determination. Spotting them between the ancient mahogany tree and acacias branches was challenging. The driver could spot around 5 lions with his experienced eyes while I could spot only a couple.
Even though the tree-climbing lions were at the top of our list we were equally lucky to spot a few other rare species. Most importantly the klipspringer and bushbuck as they are really shy creatures
Then came in a group of banded mongoose crossing the inland of the flood plains and it was a sight to remember
Manyara = “You have been humbled”
What a great way to end this amazing journey. Yes, indeed it was one of the most humbling experience to see these majestic creatures in their own habitat. And also feel privileged to share this planet with them.