Lions that climb on trees – the Lake Manyara National Park is famous for this unusual sight. Unfortunately, you never know where they are…and we didn’t find them. But lots of birds and zebras instead – also really nice.
|Tanzania, Northern National Parks (Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara) and Zanzibar
|How and when I got there
|Flights with Turkish Airlines from Cologne via Istanbul and Zanzibar to Kilimanjaro Airport; return flight from Zanzibar via Kilimanjaro and Istanbul to Cologne; January – February 2019
|Where I stayed
|Lake Duluti Lodge (near Arusha, https://www.lakedulutilodge.com/)
Highview Hotel (Karatu, http://www.highviewhotel.com/)
Meru View Lodge (close to southern Arusha Nat. Park Gate, http://www.meru-view-lodge.com/meru/en/)
Shu’Mata Camp (2 hours north of Moshi/Asursha, http://www.shumatacamp.de/index.php)
Hatari Lodge (close to nothern Arusha Nat. Park Gate, http://www.hatarilodge.de/en/contact.php)
Le Parlour Apartments (Boma La Ngombe, close to JRO airport, no own website)
Melia Zanzibar Hotel (Kiwengwa, Zanzibar, https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/tanzania/zanzibar/melia-zanzibar/index.html)
Dhow Palace Hotel (Stone Town, Zanzibar, http://www.dhowpalace-hotel.com/)
|we tried only the Restaurants of the above mentioned hotels / lodges. And we liked best:
Hatari Lodge, Shu’Mata Camp and Lake Duluti Lodge: outstanding!
Meru View Lodge and Melia Zanzibar: very good
|Things to do
|Game drives in the National Parks – the obvious thing
Hiking at Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru: not exactly the relaxing type of vacation
Walking Safaris and relaxing (e.g. at the Hatari Lodge or a tented camp like Shu’Mata): more solitude to “feel Africa”
|Recommendations in a nutshell
|see the post regarding “things to consider for travelling in Tanzania”!
Use a renowned travel agency for organising the safari trip (like Chamaeleon)
get some rest between the bumpy rides
Further Reading: Lonely Planet Tanzania Travel Guide
Mwema Street Children Center
On our fifth day of safari started early from the Highview Hotel in Karatu, and our first destination was a school at Karatu. Our travel organization , Chamaeleon, funds the “Mwema Street Children Center“ (https://www.chamaeleon-stiftung.org/soziales/afrika/tansania/mwema-platz-zum-leben-fuer-strassenkinder/ ) – a social project that takes care of street kids in the Karatu area. They offer accommodation (either at the school or a foster families, if possible) and education at the small school. It was impressive to see the center and talk to the people.
However, it was also sad to realize that street kids in Tanzania have little chance to get out of their misery. The social system as we know it does obviously not exist.And therefore, any donations are not only welcome, but really needed.
Lake Manyara National Park
The fifth day was then dedicated to the Lake Manyara NP, which is famous for its tree climbing lions. On our way to the entrance, we passed a very nice lookout over the Lake Manyara area at the road:
The park entrance is right off the main road from Karatu to Arusha. Easily accessible on the way from Serengeti back to Arusha – that’s why many safri groups stop here. So, don’t expect any solitude.
Our first animal encounter of the day was a huge group of baboons:
One of them was quite interested in our car:
We continued the game drive in the forest part of the park, searching the famous lions. Unfortunately, the lions change their trees and you never know where they are. And this NP is large and very diverse: bush, lakeside areas and dense rain forest. Almost no open plain and very difficult to spot animals from a distance. Nevertheless, the diversity gives a special atmosphere, and we liked it. The rainforest area is full of monkeys – baboons mostly, but also blue monkeys and velvet monkeys, and we saw lots of them.
And Velvet Monkeys:
On the grassy bushland there are lots of zebras and gazelles, and very picturesque in different landscapes:
LOTS of birds
And in the lake area there is a great number of different birds, from tiny ones up to Hornbills and Cranes.
|Southern Ground Hornbil
|African Jacana bird
|African Grey Hornbill
and cranes everywhere:
Like in Ngorongoro, there’s a designated ”hippo pool”, but the hippos in Lake Manyara were difficult so spot, due to the extensive reed growth. So, a nice landscape, but no isible Hippos.
The outskirts of Lake Manyara are a real bird’s paradise:
We had “lunch with birds” – a very nice picnic area next to the lake and overseen it, where we could sit outside. And watch more cranes:
Lake Manyara Landscape and vegetation
Lake Manyara does not feature the spectacular density of animals – but is attractive due to it’s very diverse landscapes and vegetation. Here some impressions:
a nice lane (just the lions on the trees are missing!):
zebras in between:
and beautiful trees:
On our way back we spotted some elephants in the woods – really difficult to spot. As soon as they walk around a bush, they are basically invisible.
So, no wonder, we could’t spot the (much smaller) lions…
Lake Manyara was our final day of the 5 day tour that we booked with Chamaeleon. Our fantastic tour guide Luis “delivered” us back to the Arusha area (we had booked a night at the “Meru View Lodge” before going to the Shu’Mata Camp). The way back to Arusha led us through barren yet atmoshperic landscape:
The Arusha area
…and villages, some with colorful street markets:
Many young people offer transport services by motor bikes:
People by and sell basically everything on the street markets – and leave a lot of plastic garbage behind.
The everyday life
Overall, housing and gastronomy look a bit different from what we know in Europe:
Tanzania does not exactly belong to the richer countries – and it shows on the streets. We found particularly precarious that everybody can buy land and built a house (or whatever) anywhere. This leads to an urban sprawl and uncontrolled settlement, which repels nature more and more. In addition, how can supply with water, waste water removal and electricity be organized when houses are scattered everywhere? I’m afraid that there’s a lot to improve. And do hope that improvement comes soon – before the National Parks and Conservation Areas are mere islands in an urbanized country.
See more of our Tanzania Safari and Zanzibar Beach Trip here:
And find more information about Travelling in Tanzania here:
*According to a German Court decision, all texts containing links to commercial pages (e.g. links to Tripadvisor, Airline, hotel or restaurant websites) have to be identified as “commercial” (in German “Anzeige”). As my texts do contain links like that, I therefore identify each post and page containing a link as “Anzeige”. However (and referring to the “About Me” page) I would like to point out that I do NOT post any sponsored content in my texts; I pay for all my trips myself.