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Lake Manyara 

 

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Lake Manyara National Park, nestled in the Great Riff Valley, is a wonderful place to visit, not only for what’s inside the park, but especialy for what’s outside. The park is surrounded by a fascinating a diverse community of more than 100 ethnic groups and tribes from all over Tanzania, who have settled in this little melting pot to take advantage of the great fertility of the valley. No where else in Tanzania have so many different groups gathered in such a small area. The diverse cultures, and their proximity to the park provides an excellent opportunity for visitors to add cultural excursions such as short walking tours through the village of Mto wa Mbu, and mountain bike trips or even canoe trips to nearby villages. A visit to Lake Manyara is a perfect opportunity to experience the hospitality of the African people, sample the local markets, and maybe even try the local banana beer, all just minutes away from a spectacular national park.

 

Inside the park, visitors will find a unique park that is home to 380 species of birds. There, along with other big African wildlife such as leopards, giraffe and elephant you will also find hippos wallowing in the famous hot springs and tree dwelling lions. In contrast to many other parks with wide expanses of open savannah plains, Lake Manyara National Park is very green and forested, with lots of streams, water holes, hot springs and of course the Lake. There is also an abandoned emerald mine in the park called Maji Moto Mine (Hot Water Mine) that was closed when the area became a national park. This area was once the home of a large population of Rhinos, and is the subject of Ernest Hemmingway’s classic, “The Green Hills of Africa”.

 

 

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