Lake Manyara is a shallow Lake in the Natron-Manyara-Balangida branch of the East African Rift Valley in Tanzania, it is also the home of a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife. The name Manyara comes from the Maasai word "emanyara", which is a euphorbia species of plant that is grown into a hedge around a family homestead. The name "is a Masai description not for the lake, but in general for a lake shore region".
Of the 127 square miles (329 km2) of Lake Manyara National Park, the lake's alkaline waters (with a pH near 9.5) cover approximately 89 square miles (231 km2), though the area and pH fluctuate widely with the seasons, and dry spells expose large areas of mud flatsapproximately 89 square miles (231 km2), though the area and pH fluctuate widely with the seasons, and dry spells expose large areas of mud flats.
Seen in the groundwater forest immediately around the park gates draw nourishment from the underground springs replenished continuously from crater highlands directly above the Manyara basin
Leopards, although in abundance, are hard to get a glimpse of, just like the other elusive carnivores - the lions - of this park.
Lake Manyara provides opportunities for ornithologists keen on viewing and observing over 300 migratory birds, including Flamingo, Long crested eagle and Grey headed kingfisher.
Flora and Fauna. The Rift Valley escarpment forms a noteworthy landmark and provides a spectacular backdrop to Lake Manyara.
To the east of Lake Manyara lies the Kwakuchinja wildlife corridor. The corridor allows wildlife to migrate between dispersal areas and parks that include Tarangire National Park to the southeast, Lake Manyara to the west and the rift valley, Ngorongoro highlands and the Serengeti National Park to the north. Within the Kwakuchinja corridor are several villages that include Ol Tukai Village and Esilalei along the lakeshore.
Further from the lake and outside of village lands, lies the 44000 acre Manyara Ranch, of which 35000 acres comprise the Manyara Ranch Conservancy. This is a pioneering conservation and tourism project supported by the African Wildlife Foundation, the Tanzania Land Conservation Trust and the Manyara Ranch Conservancy. While not a park, the conservancy is frequented by resident and migrating wildlife including elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and the more common plains game. Rarely seen in the parks but a common resident on the Conservancy is the Lesser Kudu.