Just after the southern entrance gate is ground water forest,this jungle like forest support the highest population of baboons in Africa. The ground water from Ngorongoro highland feed directly above the Manyara basin, a dense evergreen forest of mahogany trees, wild date palms and giant fig trees thrives here. The forest is home to three species of primates including the vervet monkey, blue monkey and baboon. The elevated walkway around the visitors center at the park gate is the best spot to see the stunning blue monkey
The acacia woodlands offer the best overall wildlife viewing in the park. This habitat is favored by the park's famous tree-climbing lions, leopards and giraffes and can claim the greatest elephant concentration in East Africa. The first long-term field study of elephants in the wild was conducted here and the book entitled 'Among the Elephants' by Iain Douglas-Hamilton documents this pioneering work.
A menagerie of different animals gathers together on the open floodplains. This unique habitat of grassy shoreline emerges during the dry season when the water recedes, exposing vast stretches of land alongside the lake. A temporary park like habitat soon develops and persists till the rains of the wet season flood it over again. In the meantime grazing herbivores gather in these wide open spaces to indulge in the nutrient-rich grasses. A highlight here is the elevated hippo and flamingo viewing boardwalk.
Great masses of pink hued flamingoes gather on the saline waters of Lake Manyara. Lake Manyara was formed as a result of the Great Rift Valley - over millions of years as the rift grew wider, streams cascaded down and pooled into what is now the famous lake. Algae thrive in the high saline content of the lake. Huge and colorful flocks of birds gather in the water to feed, including many different varieties of birds that coexist together. In fact, well over 300 different species of birds have been recorded here!