Which is better Tarangire or Lake Manyara?

Which is better Tarangire or Lake Manyara? Deciding on where your next African adventure will be is challenging. If you are free and don’t know where you can go, then Tanzania is among the best countries you should visit. This country offers memorable safari experiences. On a Tanzania safari, there are many things to try and places to visit.

Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Park offer beautiful views of the Rift Valley escarpment. The two parks are on the eastern arm of the Great Rift Valley.

They are some of the favorite destinations of many safari-goers. This is because they are not so far from Arusha, which is the safari capital of Tanzania. The two parks are neighbors, separated by a nature reserve and a few villages. Both parks are perfect for game viewing and offer unique experiences with wildlife.



If you want to see elephants on a safari, then Tarangire is the best place. These intelligent giants roam in large herds across the plains and woodlands of Tarangire. You can get close to the life-giving Tarangire River to catch elephants and other big animals.

Lake Manyara National Park hosts rare tree-climbing lions. Tree-climbing lions stay on the acacia trees to cool and keep away from insects. The number of tree-climbing lions in Lake Manyara is promising. You can enjoy the views of these beautiful creatures in Lake Manyara National Park.

In addition to the large herds of elephants, Tarangire National Park is also home to large animals. They include lions, leopards, zebras, wildebeests, and many more.

For a great experience in the wild at Tarangire National Park, we recommend you travel in the dry season. The game drive becomes smoother in the dry season because most wild animals come closer to the Tarangire River to quench their thirst. Moreover, Tarangire has a high concentration of wildlife in the dry season, like the Ngorongoro Crater.

Apart from tree-climbing lions, Lake Manyara National Park is home to other wild animals. You can see troops of olive baboons, Maasai giraffes, large herds of buffalos, impalas, cheetahs, and rare African wild dogs. Lake Manyara also has Syke’s monkey, Egyptian mongoose, klipspringer, Cape clawless otters, lesser kudu, and short-eared galago.



Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Park introduce visitors to Tanzania’s bird life. Tarangire National Park also hosts more than 550 species of birds.

Three endangered species of birds reside in Tarangire. They are the Rufous-tailed Weaver, Ashy Starling, and Yellow-Collared Lovebird. The woodlands are home to hoopoes, hornbills, brown parrots, and white-bellied go-away birds.

Some frequently viewed birds include owls, lilac-breasted rollers, barbets, striped swallows, mousebirds, swifts, and hammerkops. You may also view green-wood hoopoes, southern ground hornbills, double-banded coursers, and greater painted snipes. Others include miombo wren warblers and white-headed buffalo weavers.

Lake Manyara, on the other hand, houses over 425 bird species. A large number of water birds live on the shore of Lake Manyara. Among the water birds are the beautiful pink-hued flamingos, which decorate the shores of Lake Manyara. These brilliant birds thrive in alkaline waters.

Others include silvery-cheeked hornbills, crested guinea fowls, and the rare Pangani long claws. You can also encounter grey-crowned cranes, Fisher’s sparrow larks, and many more.

Which is better Tarangire or Lake Manyara?
Bird watching in Tarangire national park


Tarangire is a breathtaking landscape that comprises baobab trees, rolling hills, riverine forests, woodlands, and grassy plains. The Tarangire River is a lifeblood for wildlife, particularly during the dry season.

In contrast, Lake Manyara National Park comprises an alkaline lake, plains, and woodlands. Lake Manyara takes up two-thirds of the park.



Tarangire National Park is much larger than Lake Manyara National Park. The former is 4,160 square kilometers, while the latter is 330 square kilometers. Tarangire National Park has more space for game drives than Lake Manyara National Park.

Lake Manyara occupies two-thirds of the park area, leaving only about 90 square kilometers of land. You could explore the terrestrial part in a single day.


Safari experiences

Both Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks offer exciting experiences to visitors. Tarangire National Park offers an unparalleled experience through the application of all senses. You can explore the bush through guided nature walks, game drives, bird-watching safaris, night game drives, and hot-air balloon safaris. Balloon safaris offer a bird’s-eye view of the green plains of this national park.

In Lake Manyara National Park, on the other hand, you can go on game drives, nature walks, and night game drives. Lake Manyara also offers unique safari experiences such as canoe safaris, boat trips, sport fishing, and canopy tree walks.

The choice of Tarangire National Park or Lake Manyara National Park largely depends on your interests. You can explore these two parks in two or three days. So, if you have spare time, we advise you to visit both because they offer contrasting safari experiences.

Are you motivated by the wonders of Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Park? Join us on a Tanzania safari. Focus East Africa Tours provides tour services to visitors to different destinations in Tanzania. Plan a trip to discover the untold wonders of Tanzania.

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