IMG_6587IMG_6585When you go on your first African safari, you remember certain things: Your excitement the morning of your first game drive, the first time you see an animal in the wild and the moment you realize that your wildest dreams are now your reality.

This is no zoo, people! There are no guarantees. There are no fences that contain these animals to ensure you’ll get the perfect view. Your chances of seeing wildlife depend on many things: the time of year, how good your guide is and how well you can spot animals that are not in plain sight.

Lake Manyara is known for a few different things: Pink flamingos that inhabit the lake, tree-climbing lions and baboons. During the wet season the flamingos inhabit the edges of the lake in flocks of thousands but they are not so present during the dry season.  We were there in January, which is one of the dry seasons, hence, we have no flamingo pictures. However, we have tons of baboon pictures. IMG_6671IMG_6670

The baboons are curious little buggers. And can also be considered a nuisance. If we stopped the vehicle for any reason, windows had to be shut and the roof had to be down. The baboons would take advantage of any and every opportunity to sneak into a jeep and help themselves. IMG_6669

Lake Manyara is a great way to be introduced to a safari adventure. We were able to spot baboons, elephants and warts hogs right away at the beginning of the journey.  While the scenic beauty of this park certainly makes it worth a visit, the game viewing here didn’t quite compare to what Tarangire, the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti had to offer.   Lake Manyara is worth a day trip but not much longer.IMG_6672

Lake Manyara is a beautiful scenic park on the road from Arusha to the Ngorongoro Crater. The lake itself takes up much of the park, leaving a strip of land running along its shores where game concentrates.IMG_6589

We went through the park in the morning on our way to the Serengeti.  It was the perfect way to get us broken in and even more excited to spot big game. We didn’t see any lions, leopards or cheetah here, but little did we know, getting deeper into the bush would offer up amazing animal sightings. Lake Manyara….was just the beginning.