Lake Manyara

Name ID 709

See also

Map and Guide to Tanzania
Page Number: 04l
Extract Date: 1890-1892

Colonial geography

Oscar Baumann, the Austrian geographer, found Lakes Eyasi and Manyara during his 1890-1892 expedition and Hans Meyer from Leipzig, professor in what was by then called colonial geography reached the top of Kilimanjaro (Kibo) with his colleague Purtscheller in 1889.

Extract ID: 4015

See also

Lindblad, Lisa and Sven-Olof The Serengeti; Land of Endless Space
Extract Date: 1892

First German, Dr. Baumann, to reach Serengeti in 1882

First German, Dr. Baumann, to reach Serengeti in 1882, recorded first sightings of Lakes Eyasi, Manyara, and Ndutu. Took 23 days to cross Serengeti.

Extract ID: 106

See also

Hemingway, Ernest The Green Hills of Africa

a green, pleasant country

It was a green, pleasant country with hills below the forest that grew thick on the side of the mountain, and it was cut by the valleys of several watercourses that came down out of the thick timber on the mountain. ... If you looked away from the forest and the mountain side you could follow the watercourses and the hilly slope of the land down until the land flattened and the grass was brown and burned and, away, across a long sweep of country, was the brown Rift Valley and the shine of Lake Manyara

Extract ID: 3698

See also

Crile, Grace Skyways to a Jungle Laboratory: An African Adventure
Page Number: 163
Extract Date: 30 December 1935

Maji Moto Camp

EARLY this morning, the Chief, Captain Hewlett, and I left for the marshes to collect some birds for Mr. Fuller's Lake Manyara Group. We motored over the smooth sands as far as we could, and then tramped through the high reeds and marsh until we reached little clearings - small ponds - on which hundreds of various species of birds floated.

We all wished we had elephant feet. They contract and expand as needed. Elephants apparently have no difficulty in manoeuvering in a marsh, while we found ourselves in imminent danger of losing not only our shoes, but our legs as well, in the giant elephant spoor.

Ducks of every variety were in these little ponds, Egyptian geese and beautiful white egrets, while far out in the lake was a wide ribbon of pink - thousands of flamingoes - which as we watched, slowly took wing, rising, higher and higher, in a great V-shaped formation, until the sky was rosy with their wings.

Suddenly the formation turned and headed for the shore. Nearer and nearer they came, like a great pink cloud. We froze in our tracks of mud, until all about us, stretching over us, like a pink Milky Way, were thousands of flamingoes.

I've made a guess that the Captain Hewlett mentioned here, becomes the Major Hewlett refered to in the 1950's.

Extract ID: 4523

See also

Crile, Grace Skyways to a Jungle Laboratory: An African Adventure
Page Number: 165
Extract Date: 30 December 1935

A ground-hornbill

In the afternoon Captain Hewlett brought in a ground-hornbill. To our surprise, the natives shook their heads. They did not want to touch it. Ali kept repeating something ominously which Jonah finally interpreted as "very bad luck."

Ugly it was, but mere ugliness is not apt to breed such superstition. It may originate in the fact that when the female incubates her eggs, the male walls her up; therefore, it would be bad luck to kill the male as the female might perish. As a matter of fact, however, observers have noted that when the male does not come back, the neighborhood takes on the rearing of the family.

Be that as it may, this evil-looking ground-hornbill was a wonderful bit of color for the Lake Manyara Bird Group. Mr. Fuller was so amazed at the red and blue and purple coloring of the naked portions about the eyes and throat, that he made a portrait of the bird's head and beak.

Extract ID: 4526

See also

Tanganyika Guide
Page Number: 069
Extract Date: 1948

Typical safari starting from Arusha

It would take a book to describe the variety of sport to be had in the areas where shooting is permissible, and there is only space here to give a brief sketch of a typical safari starting from Arusha by car and motoring by way of Engaruka, Ngorongoro Crater, and the Serengeti plains.

Arusha itself may be reached by air, by road or by railway. Ten miles out of the town antelope, giraffe and zebra can often be seen. Forty miles further comes the first view of the Rift Wall, that great crack in the Earth's surface which cuts through Africa almost from north to south. Lake Manyara can be seen under the dark shadow of the Rift. At seventy miles out the road turns northwards along the Rift Valley through great herds of game to Engaruka. On the left there is the great wall of the Rift Valley, and away on the right is open undulating country, with many herds of game and Masai cattle sharing the grazing and living in harmony.

The green swamp and forest belt at Kitete conceals many buffalo and rhinoceros, and elephant and hippopotamus occasionally visit the place. To the right the plains are covered with hundreds of termite hills. Grant's gazelle, ostrich and impala will be seen on the way as well as giraffe, accompanied often by their young, who gaze with soft eyes at the car and sometimes allow it to pass within a few yards of them.

At Engaruka there are stone ruins of a great village where the inhabitants were perhaps once concentrated for defence against the Masai. On a frontage of about three miles tier upon tier of terracing is still clearly visible and closer inspection shows the rock-built homes, the graves and the huge cairns of a vanished people. From Engaruka Masai bomas may also be visited without difficulty.

During a stay of a week in this neighbourhood lion, zebra, Grant's and Thomson's gazelle, impala, wildebeest, rhinoceros, oryx and gerenuk may be obtained.

From here Maji Moto, sixty miles south along the Rift Wall, may be visited. The hot springs there seem to be a natural spa for wild life and there will be found spoor of elephant, rhinoceros, buffalo, lion and all kinds of smaller game. The place is a game photographer's paradise.

Lake Manyara, seen from the hot springs, has a great variety of birds, including thousands of flamingoes. On from here the route lies over the Rift Wall up steep slopes to the Ngorongoro Crater.

The first view of the crater is magnificent ; it is one of the greatest in the world, the floor, twelve miles across, lies 2,000 feet below the precipitous walls, covering an area of approximately 100 square miles. The drive along to the Ngorongoro Crater Rest Camp is one thrill after another, each succeeding view of the crater being more beautiful than the last. Suddenly the most delightful camp is sighted-a group of about twenty log cabins, in the most wonderful natural setting. A night or two may be spent here* and the great concentration of game on the crater floor may be watched with glasses. Thousands of animals make their home in the crater throughout the year.

Then the way leads into the Serengeti Plains which may one day become the greatest national park in the world. In a stay of a few days in the Serengeti great concentrations of game will be seen, It is not uncommon for visitors to photograph as many as fifty different lions in a stay of only a few days, and the masses of game have to be seen to be believed.

On the return route the visitor can go to Mongalla, west of Oldeani Mountain, where hippopotamus, rhinoceros and other big game may be hunted, then pass through Mbulu, camp in the game area at Basotu Lake, go past Hanang Mountain and Babati Lake and so back into Arusha. Such a trip gives a month of enjoyment . which for the lover of wild life cannot be surpassed, and it is only one of many that can be made in the game areas of Tanganyika Territory, the finest hunting ground in the world.

Extract ID: 4355

See also

Herne, Brian White Hunters: The golden age of African Safaris
Page Number: 212a
Extract Date: 1960~

south of Lake Manyara

Jacky gauged his clients carefully, and those he figured liked close encounters or who could stand up to the moment of truth without blinking he would take along when he went after wounded dangerous game. One client who witnessed Jacky's delight in close shaves was Peter Hirsch. Their hunting camp was south of Lake Manyara on a farm owned by a Greek named Marianakis. The Marianakis family hoped Hamman would help them get rid of elephant and buffalo that were tearing up their plantation. Late on the first evening, Hamman had seen hundreds of buffalo, but the next day they could not find any. There had been rain, and the grass was head-high. Hamman and his client hunted in the long grass, and as the men climbed a small knoll, Hirsch saw a buffalo bull standing on a little mound eyeing them.


Extract ID: 3832

See also

Smith, Anthony Throw out two hands
Page Number: 140
Extract Date: 1962

Lake Manyara

Some 600 species have been spotted at Lake Manyara, and its mixed environment makes it an ideal place for observing such a representative collection of African bird life. It is also an amazing spot for flamingoes and pelicans. Sometimes there are a million of these two species living on that stretch of water, sometimes even more.

The lake was swollen from all the rain of the recent months, and was probably 30 miles long and 10 miles wide. No one knew exactly. The heavy rains had also drowned the traditional points

of access, and even we from our camp site had been unable to get at it. Besides, if someone had been able to survey its dimensions, the next bout of rain would have added a mile here, half a mile there, and confounded the calculations. People agreed it was probably about 300 square miles in extent, and were content to leave it at that. However, its swollen size did mean it was inadvisable for us to come down either in it or on its shores. It was normally possible to drive, or at least to progress, through the forest and the stretches of mud-flat beneath the Rift Valley's western wall; but now that was out of the question. The track had been passable for a mere 7 miles when we arrived, but the sudden and amazing flooding of the Marera River had knocked another 2 miles off even that diminutive journey.

Extract ID: 3743

See also

Reuter, Henry J. Official Touring Guide to East Africa: 1967 International Travel Year
Page Number: 073
Extract Date: 1967

Lake Manyara National Park.

About 20 miles from Ngorongoro lies the third of the areas' tourist attractions, the 123 square mile Lake Manyara National Park. The park lies on the North-Eastern shores of Lake Manyara, one of the great saline rift lakes of East Africa. The lake, which is fed by springs coming from the foot of the Great Rift Wall, shrinks to a few square miles during the dry season. It supports hundreds of thousands of flamingos, pelicans and water birds of many species and is fascinating for the ornithologist.

The Park also boasts a large variety of wild animals. Buffalo are plentiful and there are numerous herds of elephant. Lions in the area have a habit of climbing trees to escape from tormenting flies.

Lake Manyara is reached easily from Arusha - a 75 mile trip, 50 miles on tarmac to Makuyuni and thence on an all-weather gravel road running Westwards to the village of Mto-wa-Mbu immediately below the Western wall of the Great Rift Valley.

The entrance to the Park is li miles beyond the village, and is open to visitors from 6 a.m. to 6.30 p.m. The park area includes about two-thirds of the lake and all the land on its western shore as far up as the top of the Rift Wall.

The main all-weather track goes South from the entrance gate until it reaches the hot springs called Maji Moto at the Southern end of the Park. These springs are a favourite feeding ground for many water birds.

There are several circuit tracks branching off from the main track taking visitors into the principal wild life areas. These tracks may be closed in wet weather. On the lake shore there are swampy patches of fresh water which are also frequented by many birds.

Within this glorious setting can often be found leopard and rhino as well as large herds of elephants and buffalo. Lion keep up with the various herds of wildebeeste and should be looked for amongst the acacia trees along the lake shore.

The best way to spend a day in the Park is to enter in the early morning and drive slowly down to the Hot Springs at Maji Moto, where you may see klipspringer standing on the rock outcrops and reedbuck in the marshes. After lunch drive back by way of some of the circuit tracks, to arrive at the gate by 6.30 p.m. Visitors may enter and leave the Park only at the Mto-wa-Mbu gate.

Entry fees are: Residents of East Africa, 5/- per day per adult. Nonresidents of East Africa, 20/- per day per adult. Children between the ages of 3 and 16 are admitted at half-price; children under 3 are admitted free. Vehicle charges are 10/- per entry for vehicles under 40 cwt. Tw. and 60/- for vehicles over 40 cwt Tw. Guides are available at 5/- per day or part of a day.

Many visitors to the Park stay at the luxurious Lake Manyara Hotel situated on the Rift Wall overlooking the lake which has now been included in the National Park, and six miles from the Park gate. (For details of tariff etc, see Hotels Section).

Extract ID: 3473

See also

Matthiessen, Peter The Tree Where Man Was Born
Extract Date: 1972

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara, like Lake Natron, is a soda lake or magadi that lies along the base of the Rift Escarpment. The east side of the lake lies in arid plain, but the west shore, where the streams emerge from the porous volcanic rock of the Crater Highlands, supports high, dark ground-water forest. The thick trees have the atmosphere of jungle, but there are no epiphytes or mosses, for the air is dry. On the road south into Lake Manyara Park, this forest gives way to an open wood of that airiest of all acacias, the umbrella thorn, and beyond the Ndala River is a region of dense thicket and wet savannah. The strip of trees between the lake and the escarpment is so narrow, and the pressure on elephants in surrounding farm country so great, that Manyara can claim [~1969] the greatest elephant concentration in East Africa, and estimated twelve to the square mile. For this reason - and also because the Manyara animals are used to vehicles, and with good manners can be approached closely - it is the best place to watch elephants in the world.

Extract ID: 3669

See also

Amin, Mohamed; Willetts, Duncan and Marshall, Peter Journey Through Tanzania
Extract Date: 1984

Lake Manyara

The park in fact has the highest density of elephants in Africa, about eight to the square mile. Despite being harried by neighbouring farmers, their numbers are increasing - 613 of them were counted in 1981. In Iain Douglas-Hamilton's study of them, Among the Elephants, he observes that these intelligent and co-operative animals show grief at the death of a relative and even bury their dead. Although he claims to have been accepted by them, many of the Manyara elephants are bad-tempered and charge without hesitation.

Extract ID: 3681

See also

Norton, Boyd The African Elephant: Last Days of Eden

450 elephants

[in Lake Manyara] there were 450 elephants four to five years ago. Today 150. [1990]

Extract ID: 3690

external link

See also

Rohde, Rick and Hilhorst,Thea A profile of environmental change in the Lake Manyara Basin, Tanzania

Clink on the link read the paper

Extract ID: 4796

See also

Rohde, Rick and Hilhorst,Thea A profile of environmental change in the Lake Manyara Basin, Tanzania
Page Number: 08 (footnote #2)

Documents of the Lake Manyara

One of the best sources of documents of the Lake Manyara area is to be found in the East Africa Collection and the Fosbrooke Collection, both housed within the Library of the University of Dar es Salaam. Rhodes House Library in Oxford holds a collection of photographs, diaries and reports by the geographer Clement Gillman who worked in this area sporadically during the 1920s and 1930s. It also holds many similar documents by other authors who worked in Tanganyika before Independence.

Extract ID: 4797

See also

Tanzania Parks
Extract Date: June 2004

Mass deaths of Lesser Flamingo in Lake Manyara


Mass deaths of water birds, mainly Lesser Flamingo, Phoeniconias minor, but also few Greater Flamingo, Maccoa duck and Egyptian geese began in mid June 2004.This is the first massive deaths of birds ever recorded in this lake. Clinical signs of the birds showed staggering and uncoordinated movements before death. Deaths occurred on the wet sandy lakeshore out of water. Currently, Lake Manyara hosts an estimated population of over 3 million Flamingos probably as a result of drying off of other neighboring soda lake.


Veterinary Doctors from Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute (TAWIRI), Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), together with experts from Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIS) and Tropical Pesticide Research Institute (TPRI) joined to investigate the problem.

TAWIRI,VIC, and TPRI took water and dead Lesser Flamingo tissue samples for analysis at their respective laboratories. In addition, TAWIRI sent replicates of the samples to Berlin, Germany.

TPRI analyses tissue, fish and water sample to test for chemical residues. The results indicated trace of Fenvelerate (derivative of summithion, used for cotton pesticide) at insignificant levels.

These findings currently do not support the possibility of pesticide poisoning of the birds. VIC analyses for bacteria infection of bird's organ and water. No pathogenic bacteria were isolated in the samples examined. Results from Berlin Germany have not yet been received.


Following similar incidences that have occurred over the past decade in Kenya's alkaline lakes, that is Nakuru, Bogoria and Elmentaita and in Tanzania in Lake Natron and Embakai in 2002 a toxin from cynobacteria was found. Deaths were again observed in Lake Embakai in September 2003.

Analysis of Lesser Flamingo carcass samples from Lake Bogoria and Nakuru carried out at both Leibniz Institute of Fresh water Ecology and Inland Fisheries in Berlin, found cynobacteria toxins in dead Lesser Flamingo livers. Two hepatoxins (mocrocystin-LR and RR) and the neurotoxin, anatoxin-a were found at estimated harmful concentrations.

The only sources of these toxins are cynobacteria. Cynobacteria is the main diet of the Lesser Flamingo. Anotoxin-a being neurotoxin, is consistent with opisthotonus observed at post mortem.

Extract ID: 4767

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Valentine Marc Nkwame
Page Number: 345
Extract Date: 6 Nov 2004

Lake Manyara turns into dust bowl as drought persists

Elephants, Buffalos and other land mammals are now replacing Hippos in parts of what used to be Lake Manyara. The 220- square kilometer water body is drying up at an alarming rate, leaving a large, dry and hot chalky-basin.

A recent visit to the Lake Manyara National park has revealed a wide, dry plain of the former lake on which, giant elephants were seen enjoying their "Dust bath" scooping loose dry soil from the lake bed with their trunks and pouring it all over their bodies, while buffaloes grazed on the growth which has formed on the new "Pangea!"

A shimmering waterline, could be seen from a very long distance indicating a measly remains of what used to be a large lake, whose history of over flooding, following the 1998 El-Nino rains spell is still fresh around the area.

The Acting Park Conservator, Donald Simon Mnyagatwa said that Manyara National Park covers a total of 330 square kilometers of land, which means Two thirds of it consisted of the body mass which is almost gone now.

The lake has left a shiny white plain of white Soda ash, whose large part has already started to turn into grassland thus attracting buffaloes, antelopes and gazelles that have taken over from hippos, with the exception of the Hippo pool which is however also drying up.

This situation is being explained as the result of prolonged drought in the area, which according to official reports has lasted for three years now. A similar experience was recorded in 1999 but this year�s situation is bound to be worse for the lake is just about to dry up completely. In fact, the entire part of it which lies within the park has turned to dust.

Lake Manyara, according to the officials, highly depend of rainfall, even though three local rivers of Simba, Mto-wa-mbu and Kirurumo, that flow into the park then join to form the Hippo pool, also feed the lake.

The area around Lake Manyara has a highly unreliable rainfall, which varies between 10-47 inches per year. In 1961 the lake dried up completely, yet just one year later, in 1962, it flooded the area. In this area of rainfall extremes, the forests and plants find an alternative water supply that sustains them - underground springs that surface at the base of the cliffs.

Lake Manyara itself is slightly alkaline and maintains a huge population of water birds; pelicans, storks, cormorants, geese, ducks and flamingoes, all these are supported by the rich waters of the lake and provide wonderful photographic opportunities.

Recently, mass deaths of the flamingo species were reported in Manyara park though the real and actual cause for the sudden demise of the pink colored birds is yet to be known. The incident together with the drying lake are threatening the park�s unofficial trademark of being the "Birds Watcher�s paradise!"

Within the park there is also the "Maji Moto" area, literally 'Hot Water' in Swahili, a natural hot springs where the heated water, bubbles out of the ground at temperatures of up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The water itself is fresh although there are the occasional sulphur smelling gas emissions.

Extract ID: 4889

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Yvonne Starks
Page Number: 2007 04 19
Extract Date: 2007

Among the Elephants

Just finished reading Among the Elephants. Because of the span of time and projections from 1975, curious about few outcomes:

Chapter 15: What has happened to the home ranges of the Manyara elephants. Did it tighten or loosen and what was the phase that occurred?

Chapter 17: What was finally decided about the correct management of elephants all over Africa, judged by each individual park's merits? Culling? Noninterference?

Postscript: Only 40% of ID-H's marked trees were still alive at writing. Predicted that by 1980 there would be none left. True? Story & comments?

Postscript: Overcrowding crisis at Manyara solved? Marang Forest as promised, happen? Conversion of corridor of farmland to wildlife conservation occur for larger elephant ranges?

Are there any photos of Iain, Oria, Mhoja from the 1960s and currently? Some in book dark and hard to see.

Site and links good, but a little difficult to navigate, at least for the questions/info I was searching for�

Thanks for your email and feedback with questions.

Unfortunately I'm not in any great position to answer. You'd need to talk directly to people working in the park, and to other scientist who might be currently studying the Manyara elephants. Results are probably in the scientific literature which I only have occasional access to, and don't really try to include research publications in the database unless they have some wider appeal.

I know that there's work going on to create a corridor between lake Manyara and the Tarangire National Park. In time gone by the elephants used to move freely between the Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Manyara, but this corridor is effectively block by towns, villages and cultivation, but I suspect that a few elephants do make the journey.

I'll put your email on the web site, and maybe others will have some answers to your questions.

Btw, do let me know what sort of things you found difficult with the navigation. I'm always open to improvement. The overall design is nearly 8 years old, and I plan one day to move it to an online database, and will rethink the structure and navigation then.

Also, my initial focus was on indexing people and dates, and I haven't tried much to index e.g. animals. Hence, no specific index for elephant. However, the search option on the front page might help - it finds 243 pages which include the word elephant.

Extract ID: 5352

See also

Arusha Times
Extract Author: Richard Kipuyo
Page Number: 495
Extract Date: 17 Nov 2007

Conservationists take action to ensure Lake Manyara�s survival

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), is funding an agro-forestry program in Karatu that will among other things ensure Lake Manyara and its environs survival.

The programme implemented by Karatu district under the banner Mazingira Bora Karatu (MBK) is aimed at reducing environmental degradation through tree planting and contour farming practices on the Karatu highlands.

It focuses on improving vegetation cover along river banks and encourages locals to plant trees as a sustainable source of fuel wood as well as beekeeping projects that will help improve their livelihoods.

The MBK program is facilitated by AWF under its five- year USAID-funded project launched two years ago entitled; "Investing in livelihoods through resource management in Manyara and Tarangire" or in short ILRAMAT.

The programme which is part of an overall national strategy objective of the USAID and Tanzania Government on natural resources management and economic growth by conserving bio-diversity through livelihoods driven approaches.

Beside the MBK programme, according to it�s officials, to-date ILRAMAT has spent over US Dollars 700,000 to address issues of conservation of wildlife corridors in Kwakuchinja area at the border of Monduli and Babati districts, as well as rangeland conservation in wildlife dispersal areas of Manyara ranch and Simanjiro plains.

Karatu hills lay on the upper escarpment where many rivers that drain into the Lake Manyara National Park pass through and unchecked soil erosion is threatening the existence of the lake and the park itself.

Lake Manyara which is the lifeline of Lake Manyara National Park has been experiencing occasional declining levels and potential threats of drying up. This has been attributed to siltation from soil erosion caused by poor farming practices on Karatu highlands.

Lake Manyara National Park receives over 140,000 tourists annually who inject into the park an income of over US Dollars 3 million annually.

On the community side, a lot of income generating activities around Mto-wa-Mbu and Karatu area also have a bearing on the existence of Lake Manyara National Park.. Many local residents have developed curio shops and tourist products that help them improve their livelihoods. The park commits about 10 per cent of its income to support small community initiative programs (SCIP) including construction of schools, water-systems, health centres and village offices.

Thus the agro-forestry program on the Karatu hills has multiple benefits including: improving the water retention and the soils on the highlands, reduction of soil erosion, improved agricultural productivity, beekeeping and also filtering water and reduce siltation of downward streams leading to Lake Manyara.

MBK has been working in the area for 10 years. Previous USAID assistance helped them to build capacity in terms of human resources to carry out agro-forestry tasks. This time around, the program aims to re-launch and rejuvenate the activities started 10 years ago and give momentum for an expansion of the program throughout Karatu highlands� villages and popularize it among all the communities.

Extract ID: 5464

See also

nTZ Feedback
Extract Author: Anon
Page Number: 2009 03 25
Extract Date: 05-Mar-2009

Update about Manyara National Park

... I see some questions in your websites (from the readres) which I could give some updates, although I would not like my name to appear on the webpage (you can reach me via my email).

The Marang Forest and the 'farms' have recently been added to the area of the national park, good for the elephants migration. The corridor to Ngorongoro, Yaeda Chini up to Lake Eyasi is under regular surveillance, further mushrooming of permanent settlements is kept on check by joint efforts (TANAPA and Districts), but it is still not completely clear of human settlement. We are giving more attention to this problem and there may be improvements of the corridor with time.

I hope this information helps, and kindly let me know if there is anything else I can provide information about. �

Good work!!

Extract ID: 5993