Lake Manyara National Park is a good soft introduction to the safari experience. Manyara is a magical and scenic park with a horseshoe-shaped driving route through wooded pathways that wind between the banks of the alkaline soda water lake and the impressive rise of the Great Rift escarpment. Flamingos gather when the water level is suitable, as do many other water birds. An indigenous fig forest is home to many species as are the grassy flood plains and the light acacia woodlands and grasslands.
At the northernmost aspect, close to the park gates, the forest and woodlands are fed by streams of freshwater flowing through the porous volcanic rock there, but further south, around Msasa River, the volcanic rock gives way to ancient, crystalline rock, creating impressive waterfalls down the Rift Valley escarpment.
Famous for the large elephant population which used to live here, and tree-climbing lions, Manyara National Park is often the first or last stop of a safari. The Park's habitat and scenery is one of the most diverse in Tanzania as is the game found here.