Birding Safari in Lake Manyara National Park
Birding in Lake Manyara national park is an adventurous activity where bird lovers get an opportunity to explore the park with great views of different and colorful bird species. Lake Manyara national park is one of the small national parks in Tanzania located at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment on the road to Serengeti national park and Ngorongoro conservation area. The park was established in 1960 and covers a total land area of 330 square kilometers which is composed of Lake Manyara an alkaline lake which covers two thirds of the park’s total surface area, savannah grassland and acacia woodland plains, ground underwater forest which act as habitats for wildlife species such as large herds of elephants, buffaloes, giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, hippos, hyenas, leopards, warthogs, tree climbing lions which will be viewed lying up in acacia tree branches, primates like baboons, blue monkeys and colorful bird species.
Lake Manyara national park is a home of more than 400 recorded bird species including migratory birds from Europe and northern Africa, endemic birds which are only found in Tanzania, near endemic birds which are also found in the neighboring countries and water birds hence making the park one of the best birding destinations in Tanzania.
There are different birding areas in the park such as the savannah grassland, acacia woodland plains and the shoreline of Lake Manyara which is a shallow alkaline lake that covers two thirds of the total surface area of the park. Birding in Lake Manyara national park is best done early in the morning with an experienced birding guide who will take you to different birding areas where you will be able to spot bird species such as black heron, African fish eagle, African jacana, little bee-eater, baglafecht weaver, silvery cheeked hornbill, grey crowned crane, hamerkop, African spoonbill, lesser and greater flamingos, black faced sandgrouse, crowned plover, long tailed fiscal, pangani longclaw, narina trogon, emerald cuckoo, ground dwelling crested guinefowl, pied avocet, pink backed pelican, knob billed goose, spur winged goose, yellow billed stork, white pelican, open billed stork, marabou stork, saddle billed stork, abdims stork, black collared lovebird, great cormorant, grey headed heron, African darter, cattle egret, common squacco heron, goliath heron, sacred ibis, Egyptian goose, little stint, pied kingfisher, malachite kingfisher, fischers lovebird, red and yellow barbet, red collared widowbird, southern red bishop, martial eagle, bateleur eagle, roufous tailed weaver, ashy starling, verreaux eagle, augur buzzard, African hawk eagle, African fish eagle among others.
Best time for birding safari in Lake Manyara national park
Birding safari in Lake Manyara national park can be carried out anytime throughout the year though the best period is during the wet season in the months of November to April because that’s the time when bird lovers will be able to view migratory bird species.
The wet season is also the time when resident bird species will be nesting therefore you will be able easily view birds while in breeding plumage.
What to pack for a birding safari in Lake Manyara national park
- A field guide book, when going for a birding safari it’s important to carry a field guide book or bird book so as to know the different bird species in the area. A good field book can be acquired from the local book store in Tanzania or from your tour operator. You can also download the bird guide book so as to avoid carrying a bulky book.
- Camera, a camera will be used to take photos of different bird species and also capture the moments of birds in flight during your birding safari.
- A pair of binoculars, binoculars will be used to view small birds in flight or far bird species.
- Hiking shoes, birding in Lake Manyara national park involves walking through different bird habitats such as ground water forests, savannah grassland and acacia woodland plains therefore bird lovers should wear comfortable hiking shoes to keep their feet dry
- Waterproof rain jacket, birding safari is best done in the rainy season therefore the rain jacket will protect you from rainfall.
- Insect repellent, the insect repellent will protect your body from insect bites during your birding safari in Lake Manyara national park.
- Water bottle, it’s important to carry water bottle on your birding safari so as to keep you hydrated because birding involves moving from one place to another.
- A hat, this will protect your head from direct sunshine.
- Back pack, this will be used to carry your birding items such as camera, binoculars, extra batteries,
Lake Manyara national park is an ideal destination for birding safaris where bird lovers will get an opportunity to view unique, endemic and migratory bird species and also enjoy views of animals like elephants, tree-climbing lions, buffaloes, waterbucks, leopards, giraffes, zebras among others. If you are planning to go on a birding safari in the park do not hesitate to contact Focus East Africa Tours.