Lake Manyara

February 9, 2013

Leaving Tarangire early in the a.m. (Doug was chasing a rumor of wild African dog someone may have sighted), we were fortunate to encounter a pride of 13 lions instead. The lions basically ignored us as we madly snapped their photos, even though we were just a few feet from the group. We discovered the lions of Tarangire are very accustomed to human visitors.
We traveled about 2 hours  to Lake Manyara, immediately at the base of the Great Rift Valley escarpment (600 meters high), an enormous valley in Africa stretching from the Red Sea, through Kenya and Tanzania and down to the Orange River in South Africa. Noted for olive baboons, blue monkeys, a meandering river,  and ancient mahogany trees, Lake Manyara National Park offers dense jungle foliage, grassy flood plains along the edge of alkaline Lake Manyara, views of the Maasai Steppes, and groves of acacia trees favored by both elephants and lions. Lake Manyara is home to more than 400 bird species including pink flamingos, cormorants, storks, and pelicans.
We stayed at the beautiful Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge on the edge of the rift valley escarpment overlooking the lake, valley and the town of Mtu Wa Umbu, bordering the park notable for growing rice and bananas. The next morning we awoke to a beautiful sunrise and started our journey to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Forest Reserve.

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