Discover the lakes of Tanzania

Lake Manyara

Lake Manyara

Described by Ernest Hemingway as the ‘loveliest I had seen in Africa’, Lake Manyara National Park is situated on the Western escarpment of the Rift Valley. Home to lesser …

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Lake Natron

Lake Natron

Reaching an alkalinity of over pH 12 and scorching temperatures up to 60°C, Lake Natron is an extremely hostile environment. Remarkably, the lake’s pinkish waters are the only …

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Lake Tanganyika

Ol Pejeta Bush Camp, Kenya

White sandy beaches, azure blue waters, and old mango trees; Lake Tanganyika is a beautiful spot to catch your breath on your journey through Tanzania. That doesn't mean there's no…

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Lake Manyara

Located in the Arusha Region of northern Tanzania, Lake Manyara is the centrepiece of Lake Manyara National Park. Lake Manyara is a shallow soda lake and its 230km² surface area covers two thirds of the park’s total area.

The northern section of Lake Manyara contains a hippopotamus pool and there is a hot spring on its western shore.

The park is home to a diverse range of landscapes, including marshland, dense acacia woodland, and steep rocky slopes. It is home to vast flocks of flamingos, tree-climbing lions, and one of the highest concentrations of elephants in all of Tanzania.

Lake Manyara is part of the northern circuit of national parks in Tanzania. A popular route is to start in Arusha and visit Lake Manyara before continuing to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and finishing your adventure at Arusha. These attractions can be combined as part of a 5–6-day itinerary.

Lakes of Tanzania

Lake Natron

Located in northern Tanzania, near the border with neighbouring Kenya, Lake Natron is a salt lake which is situated north east of the Ngorongoro Crater.

Lake Natron does not have an outflow, so its evaporation levels are very high, and this has resulted in the build-up of natron and trona. The lake’s waters can reach an alkalinity of over pH12 and it is one of the deadliest lakes on the planet.

Remarkably, a unique ecosystem has developed in this harsh environment, and the lake is famous for being the only recurring breeding area for lesser flamingos in East Africa. From August to October, flamingos amass at the lake to lay their eggs and you can witness this breath-taking spectacle if you visit during these months.

Lakes of Tanzania

Lake Malawi

Located on the border between Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, Lake Malawi is also known as Lake Nyasa. Lake Malawi is the world’s 5th largest freshwater lake (29,600km²), and it is one of the Rift Valley lakes.

Lake Malawi is home to a plethora of wildlife, including African fish eagles, Nile crocodiles, hippos, over 700 species of cichlid fish. The lake is renowned for the large swarms of harmless lake flies which gather on its surface. From a distance, these flies can be mistaken for clouds of smoke.

The most popular activities at Lake Malawi are snorkelling, diving, and swimming. You can also visit local villages and buy handmade wood carvings.

Lakes of Tanzania

Lake Tanganyika

Located in western Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika's waters are shared between Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Burundi, and Zambia. Lake Tanganyika is famous for being the longest freshwater lake in the world and its maximum length is 673km.

Estimated as 9-13 million years old, Lake Tanganyika is second only to Siberia’s Lake Baika in age, volume, and depth. Lake Tanganyika is fed by several rivers, and its spectacular ecosystem contains forests which are perfect for chimpanzee trekking, ravines, and cascading waterfalls.

The lake’s sandy beaches and sheer size create the illusion that you are standing on Tanzania’s coastline. The crystal-clear water accentuates the bright colours of the cichlids that dart around the lake. Lake Tanganyika is a great destination for diving and snorkelling.

Lakes of Tanzania

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