Lake Manyara National Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Tanzania and attracts thousands of tourists every year. One of the park’s main attractions is the Lake Manyara Boardwalk, which is a 325-meter-long wooden structure built over the swampy Maji Moto Kubwa hot springs on the western shores of the park.
The boardwalk has a 1.5-meter-wide spectacular wooden construction that creates an over 300-meter-long walkway that stands 1.5 meters above the ground and winds up to a 15-meter-long and 2.5-meter-wide observation platform.
The walk winds past hot springs and along the shoreline before arriving to the lake. At each curve of the trail, the boardwalk will provide tourists with a distinctive vista and fantastic picture possibilities.
Visitors will have free access to the amenities and will be able to stroll 600 meters back to the shoreline and over the hot springs.
Educational signage with amusing themes has been strategically placed in important spots to allow visitors to easily read and comprehend the nature and resources present in the region.
The boardwalk gives visitors a chance to safely explore the hot springs from above, as well as preserve the unique ecosystem of the area. In this article, we will discuss in detail the Lake Manyara Boardwalk, including its location, activities, the best time to visit, and how to get there.
Lake Manyara Boardwalk: A Walkway Above the Hot Springs
Lake Manyara Boardwalk is a unique wooden structure that is built above the swampy Maji Moto Kubwa hot springs on the western shores of Lake Manyara National Park. This boardwalk is designed to give visitors a chance to safely explore the hot springs from above while preserving the unique ecosystem of the area. The boardwalk is 325 meters long, 1.5 meters wide, and 1.5 meters above the ground. It starts at the lower edges of the rift valley wall and ends up in an observation platform over the lake that is 15 meters wide – a jetty of some sort.
The Lake Manyara Boardwalk offers an excellent opportunity to see the hot springs up close and learn about the unique ecosystem of the area. The boardwalk is also a great place to go bird-watching, as there are over 400 bird species in the park.
Activities at Lake Manyara Boardwalk
Visitors to the Lake Manyara Boardwalk can engage in various activities to make their experience more enjoyable. These activities include:
Exploring the Hot Springs
The boardwalk offers an up-close view of the hot springs, which are fascinating to observe. Visitors can learn about the unique ecosystem and the formation of the hot springs.
Lake Manyara National Park is a bird watcher’s paradise, and the boardwalk provides a great opportunity to spot some of the park’s over 400 bird species.
Enjoying the Lake
The boardwalk offers an excellent view of Lake Manyara, and visitors can spend time enjoying the lake’s beauty.
Best Time to Visit Lake Manyara Boardwalk
The Lake Manyara Boardwalk is open to visitors all year round, so you can plan your trip at any time of the year. However, the best time to visit the boardwalk is during the dry season, which runs from June to October. During this time, the park’s vegetation is less dense, making it easier to spot wildlife.
Location of Lake Manyara Boardwalk
The Lake Manyara Boardwalk is located on the western shores of Lake Manyara National Park, sandwiched between the lake and the walls of the rift valley escarpment. The boardwalk lies above the swampy Maji Moto hot springs and near the Marang forest reserve.
How to Get to Lake Manyara Boardwalk
To get to Lake Manyara National Park, you can either fly or drive. If you choose to fly, there are daily flights from Arusha to the nearby Lake Manyara airstrip. From there, you can take a taxi or arrange for a transfer to the park.
If you prefer to drive, the park’s main gate is located at the northern end, near the town of Mto wa Mbu. The drive from Arusha takes about two hours and offers stunning views of the lake along the way. There are also passenger buses that run to Mto wa Mbu from as far as Arusha or Mwanza, although you may need a vehicle to enter the park. Keep in mind that 4×4 vehicles are preferred for night game drives.