Best Time to Visit Lake Manyara National Park

One of the best parts about Lake Manyara is that there is great year-round wildlife viewing. No matter what time you decide to come to the beautiful Lake Manyara, you’ll be able to experience some of the best wildlife Tanzania has to offer. 


If you aren’t sure when to make your journey to this stunning national park, here is a month-by-month guide to help you decide. 

Best Time to Visit Lake Manyara Quick Look

Here is a short guide on the best months to visit Lake Manyara:


  • Best Time Overall: June through September 

  • Best Weather: June through October 

  • Worst Weather: April and May because of high rainfall

  • Cheapest Time to Visit: April and May 

  • Most Expensive Time to Visit: July to March


There are many different factors when deciding on what time of year to visit Lake Manyara. While most travellers come during the dry season, there are also plenty of reasons to visit in the wet season. 

The Dry Season

The dry season is one of the best times to visit Lake Manyara for a few different reasons. June through October sees little to no rainfall making it easy to do both driving and walking safaris. 


However, it’s also the peak tourist season so you’ll find that safari and lodging prices are a little higher during these months. 


There are a few reasons why the dry season is the main time that people go to Lake Manyara:


  • Vegetation is thin so animals are easier to see. 

  • The sun is sharp and animals congregate around watering holes where you can easily spot them. 

  • There is little to no rainfall meaning you don’t have to worry about the weather dampening your vacation. 

  • Fewer mosquitoes mean a smaller chance of contracting malaria. 


The dry season isn’t perfect for everyone though. The earing mornings and evenings can be very cold. If you are looking for a hot African vacation this might not be the best season for you as you’ll need to wear layers or jackets on game drives during certain parts of the day. 


If you’re on a tight budget, the dry season might also not be affordable, especially for those that want to stay in luxury accommodation. 


The good news is that there are affordable safaris even in the dry season especially if you are willing to go with a group! 

Short Dry Season

There is a short dry season between the two main rainy seasons from January until the end of February. Sometimes March is also dry at the beginning of the month, but not always. 


January and February are usually completely dry while March can be dry or wet depending on the year. Large tourist groups come to the park during this time to try and spot all the animals before the heavy rains start. 

Pros and Cons of Visiting During the Dry Season 

  • All the animals within the park can be spotted easier because the greenery is not overgrown

  • Very little rain 

  • Fewer mosquitoes and other critters. 

  • June and August have very cold mornings so you’ll need to bring layers and a heavy jacket 

  • Prices are higher since it’s peak tourist season. 

The Wet Season 

Lake Manyara’s wet season is from November through May. As the rainy season goes on, the vegetation in the park grows up and becomes green and lush. The scenery is beautiful and makes some spectacular photos. 


Since Lake Manyara is less savanna dominated compared to other parks, the rainfall makes a huge difference in terms of the park’s landscape. The wet season brings lush grasses and waterfalls that are breathtaking. 


April and May are the wettest months with it raining for a few hours every day with heavy rainfall. Since these are the months with the most rainfall, they are also the months with the lowest prices. 


For safari travellers that want a more affordable safari, coming during these months is often easier on the wallet. 


Many of the animals are easier to spot during the dry season, but there are certain species of animals that are actually more active during the wet season. 


Birds are extremely abundant during the wet months. Migratory birds from North Africa and Europe also come to the park from November to May. 


If you’re an avid bird watcher or you want to see some of the famous Lake Manyara birds make sure to book your safari during the wet season. 

Pros and Cons of Visiting During the Wet Season 

  • Scenery is prettier since everything is green

  • Low tourist season so prices are cheaper and the park is less crowded. 

  • Best for bird watching 

  • Not best for general wildlife viewing, but all animals can still be seen easily with the help of your expert safari guide

  • March through May see large rainfall for several hours every day

  • Some of the roads are very hard to drive on because they get flooded or muddy 

Lake Manyara is Ready to Welcome You Every Month of the Year 

Even though Lake Manyara has two major seasons with a long dry season and a long wet season, wildlife viewing is possible all year round. No matter what month you come, Lake Manyara is a stunning national park in Tanzania that is ready to welcome you! 

OUR BEST SELLING TOURS IN Lake Manyara National Park