Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Lake Manyara is located in northern Tanzania, between the Serengeti and Arusha. Lake Manyara is a national park of roughly 330 km2 (130 square miles) in size. It is a destination that is often included in itineraries for the Serengeti due to its proximity to the park. Aside from its easy access from the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, there are other reasons to be sure to visit this park. The biggest reason is the wide array of bird life it offers. If you are a birder and are more keen on looking to the skies for your wildlife, Lake Manyara may be your ideal location. There is a large soda ash lake that is heart of the park. Here, you will find many bird species, including large numbers of flamingos and raptors. The park is very green and can be difficult to navigate during the heavy rains season, which runs from mid-March through mid-May.

As for large animals, Lake Manyara is home to elephants, buffalo, wildebeest, antelope and, if you are lucky, you may even see a tree-climbing lion.

Outside of the park, there are also other activities to enjoy. Two main activities are tribal visits and visits with local orphanages. If you are planning to visit a local orphanage, donations are always needed and greatly appreciated. Items that are always in need are school supplies, including pencils, pens, paper, erasers, book bags, rulers and stickers.