Manyara National Park (“manyara” comes from the name of the emanyara plant, from which the Maasai tribes built their dwellings) is located in the Great Rift Valley, in northern Tanzania, at an altitude of 950 m above sea level, around a picturesque lake. The reserve extends for 50 km along the steep 600-meter escarpment of the Rift Valley.
How to get there
Pakr is located between the alkaline Lake Manyara and the rock of the Great African Rift, 126 km west of the city of Arusha, on the road to the Serengeti and the Ngorongoro Crater. The park can be reached in an hour and a half from Arusha and two from Kilimanjaro International Airport.
Weather in Manyara
The best time for animal watching is from July to October (dry season), and the best time for bird watching is from November to June (rainy season). See citypopulationreview for weather in the capital of Tanzania.
Entertainment and attractions of Manyara
Lake Manyara National Park was founded in 1960. It is here that you can see the famous spectacle – lions climbing trees. And also: buffaloes, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, hippos and zebras. The bird life of the park is also rich, especially near the lake: pink flamingos, three species of cormorants, an darter and several species of herons, an ibis, a red pelican, a marabou and a razin stork (whose amazing beak shape allows him to catch snails), as well as migrant birds, which there are over 380 varieties.
The best time for animal watching is from July to October (dry season), and the best time for bird watching is from November to June (rainy season).
In the south of the park there is a hot spring (80 °C), whose water is rich in sodium and salts. Before entering the park, the road crosses the village of Mto-Wa-Mbu (“Mosquito River”), which has a good fruit market and antique shops.
Canoeing, hiking, ecological and ornithological tours, safaris, bicycle tours.
Diving, sport fishing, water sports and a relaxing beach holiday are the list of things that a wealthy outlander can do on the beautiful Mafia. With all this, the Mafia can be described as Zanzibar 30 years ago. There are still few hotels here, some beaches are simply deserted, and the tourist infrastructure is still developing and developing.
Mafia is the main island of the archipelago of the same name, which consists of many small islands. It is hard to believe, but back in the 1820s, the history of the archipelago was truly “wild”: the town of Kua, which is located on the island of Juani, was attacked by the Madagascar cannibals Sakalava. Today on the Mafia you will not find this anymore, but this archipelago still has a lot of color and originality.
The most popular beach on the island is near Chole Bay, a favorite place for divers. 5 large hotel complexes, one lodge and several apartments have been built here. Most of them have created their own beaches for their guests, cutting down sections of mangroves and equipping these paradise sandy shores with everything necessary.
The flight here from Dar es Salaam lasts 40 minutes.
There are no buses or taxis on the island, and traditional dhow boats serve as the only form of public transport. In addition, here you can rent several jeeps (in the lodge or large hotels) and bicycles (8-15 USD per day).
Entertainment and attractions in Mafia
The island is famous for the ancient ruins of Cua, where mosques from the 14th century have been preserved. Also very impressive are the ancient pools of coral rocks. On one of the islands of the archipelago – Chole – amazing fruit-eating giant bats live. Alternatively, you can take a trip to Gibondo Island, where local artisans make traditional dhows.
Diving and fishing on Mafia
The best diving on Mafia is at depths of less than 30 meters. The excellent condition and great variety of reefs made it possible to create here the first marine reserve in Tanzania, called the Mafia Island Sailor’s Park. Any not too myopic diver can easily spot over 50 coral species and 400 fish species here.
The most popular beach on the island is near Chole Bay, a favorite place for divers. 5 large hotel complexes, one lodge and several apartments have been built here.
The most popular place among divers is Chole Bay. The sea here is almost always calm, and visibility depends on the wind and tides. As a rule, visibility is worse during low tides – a lot of organic and mineral suspension rises in the water.
The fishing season for deep sea fish on the island lasts from August to March. Here you can catch barracuda, flying fish, tuna, marlin.