Lake Manyara

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Lake Manyara National Park is a small spectacular park of 325sq km situated between the Great Rift Valley escarpment and Lake Manyara, a shallow alkaline lake supporting thousands of flamingo. The best known feature of Lake Manyara National Park is its legendary tree-climbing lions. It also has hot springs which originate from rainfall in the mountains. It has varied vegetation from marshland and reed beds to open grassland and acacia woodland and a diversity of wildlife to match, including blue monkeys, baboons, hippo, buffalo, zebra and elephant. The broken forests and escarpment also make it good country for leopard. Huge troops of baboons - possibly Africa's largest density of this particular animal - are an obvious feature. Birding is well catered for here as well.

Being only a short drive, both from the town of Arusha and also from the Ngorongoro Crater, the area can suffer from heavy game viewing traffic (it is also increasingly encroached upon by human settlement), which can detract from its appeal to some extent.

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Africa is home to many thousands of species of birds, so don't forget your binoculars and spotting guide.

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We think any opportunity to step outside the cosseted realm of the safari goer and into the real Africa should be taken if at all possible.

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There are many lodges and hotels in Africa that positively encourage families with young children to stay - find out more by clicking here.

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The main attraction of most safaris is the wildlife - find out what to expect here.

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A safari and beach combination offers the perfect solution for adventurous newlyweds looking for something a bit different.

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A great way to explore the bush is at dusk when nocturnal wildlife begins to emerge.

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The only way to get truly acquainted with the African bush is to see it on foot. Walking safaris offer a unique insight into an amazing habitat.

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Boat cruises offer a different perspective on the bush, allowing you to get much closer to much of the wild life.

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