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Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara is a shallow lake in the Natron-Manyara-Balangida branch of the Great Rift Valley in Tanzania.

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.

Of the 127 square miles (329 km²) of Lake Manyara National Park, the lake's alkaline waters cover approximately 89 square miles (231 km²), though the area and pH fluctuate widely with the seasons.


Said by Ernest Hemingway to be the "loveliest [lake] ... in Africa," it is also the home of a diverse set of landscapes and wildlife.


While most known for baboon, the lake and its environs is also home to hippo, impala, elephant, wildebeest, buffalo, warthog and giraffe.


Giant fig trees and mahogany seen in the groundwater forest immediately around the park gates are fed by the underground springs from crater highlands directly above the Manyara basin.

The Rift Valley escarpment provides a spectacular backdrop to Lake Manyara.