The restaurant is spacious and, like the bar and lounge, faces the hotel garden. There
is a souvenir shop next to the reception. This is one of few hotels where all main facilities
are found in on single floor: rooms (at least some of them), reception, bar and restaurant.
The bathrooms are small, though, and not made for wheelchair access.
The garden is large and lush, and unlike many lodges
in parks, you don't have to worry about meeting dangerous animals. The garden has a
terrace, a swimming pool and great views of the Great Rift Valley. Huge numbers of flamingos
and pelicans may be seen on the lake or in the air. Elephants, giraffes and herds of
buffalos may be spotted in binoculars.
Lake Manyara Hotel is some 30+ years old. A renovation completed in 2008 seems to have
focused mainly on the public areas and kitchen, while the rooms still show wear and
More about Lake Manyara
The national park below the hotel is densely vegetated. The north is covered
by groundwater forest, the middle by drier savanna woodland, and the south by shrubs.
The dense vegetation makes game spotting harder, while on the other hand offering a
good habitat for many animal species. Lake Manyara has the highest elephant density
among the Tanzanian parks, and you're likely to see some of the elephants during a game
drive in the park.
Lions and other animals
The tree-climbing lions are another attraction. Unlike lions in most other parks, the
lions of Lake Manyara regularly spend time in trees, the same way leopards do. Most
lions are seen on the ground, though, as they are hard to spot up in the foliage.
Other mammal species seen in the park are baboons, which are often observed in large
troops, blue monkeys, giraffes, impalas, buffalos and bushbucks. There are leopards,
but due to the vegetation and their secretive habits, they are not seen very often.
Bird watchers may enjoy the park a lot. Two trophy birds that are spotted now and then
are the monkey-hunting crowned eagle and the giant kingfisher, which is mostly seen
along the creeks from the rift valley escarpment. Bee-eaters, African fish eagles and
silvery-cheeked hornbills may be seen in the forests, while storks, different species
of heron, pelicans and Egyptian geese are found on the lake shores. All in all, Lake
Manyara has a bird list of 380 species.
The wildlife population in the park is fairly stable, and doesn't vary much depending
on time of year. You may want to avoid the rainy season in April and May. The roads
in the park are mostly gravel and are generally good, but some bridges may get flooded
and make parts of the park inaccessible.
The largest numbers of flamingos are seen when the water level in the lake is high,
i.e. during and after rainy seasons.
Wildlife around the hotel
A steep escarpment separates Lake Manyara Hotel from the national park below,
and it's unlikely that dangerous animals from the park should enter the hotel area.
Baboons and banded mongoose are often seen roaming the garden, but avoid both staff
and guests. If you are quiet and patient, and don't mind losing some sleep, you may
be able to spot the nocturnal white-tailed mongoose around the hotel buildings in the
middle of the night.
Lake Manyara Hotel has a relaxed atmosphere and a nice location. The poolside
garden is a perfect place for refreshments after a hot day on game drive in the park
below. The sunrise over Great Rift Valley can be really beautiful.
Lake Manyara National Park has maybe the best roads among the Tanzanian parks, and getting
there from Arusha
is no more than two hours. You may combine it with Tarangire
(a very good combination during August to October) or the Ngorongoro
Crater for a short safari or for a safari avoiding the worst roads. For longer safaris
to Ngorongoro and Serengeti, Lake Manyara is en route.