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Lake Manyara Nationalpark, Tansania
A Daytrip in Great Rift Valley

The Lake Manyara National Park is situated at a height of 960 meters above sea level. It covers 300 square meters, thereof 230 sqm surface of water.

 

The park is 125K West of Arusha and it can be visited on the way to Tarangire NP or to Ngorongoro Crater. The entry to Lake Manyara NP is close to MtoWaMbu, the central town of Massai country. Translated MtoWaMbu means Mosquito River what gives you a hint at the danger of Malaria around the place. Prophilactic actions are highly advisable, especially during dawn.

Lake Manyara NP consists of 3 different zones of vegetation: rain forest, scrubland and the lake. Most common animals are baboon, impala and elephant. But birders will like the lakeshore, too. There is flamingo, pelican, ibis and different species of waders, ducks and geese. Tree-climbing lions, whom the Park is famous for, can be spotted very rarely. Others: leopard, giraffe, zebra, buffolo, hippo.

Photos shown here have been taken during a half day visit in February.


 


(below: click to enlarge photo)

 

Lake Manyara is situated in the Great Rift Valley which is the result of the separation of the African and Arabian tectonic plates. The photo shows the view to the Eastern border of the rift.

This geoligical feature is so dominant that it can be spotted by spacemen from the universe. It runs for 5000K from Syria to Mozambique.

If our planet exists that long, Africa will be separated into two parts in a few million years.

     
 

Anubis or Olive Baboon
Papio anubis

Size: m 90cm, f 80cm
Weight: m 30kg, f 15kg
Age: up to 45 years

Baboons are so
numerous in the park that the rangers think about methods to reduce their numbers.

     
 

Acacias belong to the family of mimosas. There are about 500 species of acacias, this one is the Umbrella Thorn Acacia
(Acacia tortilis).

Leaves and blossoms are food for many kinds of animals. The tree defends itself by production of tannin. A tree is able to communicate with its neighbours in case of danger who then start to increase their toxin production.
 

     
  Impala
Impala melampus
Aepyceros melampus

Impalas live in little prides with one buck and 20 to 30 females and their pups.




 
     
 

Their only way of defense is running away from their numerous predators. Leopards, lions, hyenas and jackals like to hunt them. Sadly there are still humans who believe they could be proud to present such a trophy.

     
 

Termites form big states of up to 3 million individuals. Material for building their capitals are earth, parts of wood and their own excrements.

Termites mainly feed on wood and self bred (!) mushrooms.

A termites' state consists of a royal couple, workers and soldiers, who defend the population against hostile ants.
 

     
  Sooner or later every visitor will come across an elephant.
     
 

African elephant
Loxodonta africana

Living free an elephant gets an age of up to 30 years, in zoos up to 40 years.

It is the largest land dwelling animal with a weight of up to 10 tons. The adult ingests a daily amount of 200kg of vegetarian food. Elephants drink around 200 liters of water daily.

     
 

Even within the game reserves elephants are still being poached for their ivory. Both males and females have tusks.

     
  To care for their thick skin elephants take a bath in the mud first and then throw dust all over their body.
     
  Sandpiper (?)


 
     
  White-faced Whistling Duck
Dendrocygna viduata

 
     
  left:
openbill stork
anastomus lamelligerus
(thanks to Brigitte)

right:
Sacred Ibis
Threskiornis aethiopicus

     
 

Giraffes always work very well as a decoration in the landscape. They show an enviably mixture of elegance and calmness.


Literature  (Amazon UK - commissions are donated without any cuttings)

 
 

         


Links



Lake Manyara National Park official tourism site
Tanzania Parks 
African Dream Safaris 
GORP Away  commercial site, extensive information on the parks
Paul Gross  very nice private page

 

also on this website: Kilimanjaro  Mount Meru  Arusha NP  Lake Manyara NP  Ngorongoro Crater

 

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