With a surface area of only 318sq km, this park has such a diverse terrain that its animal and bird life is so impressive. Large areas of ground-water forest with giant fig and mahogany trees alternate with acacia woodland and more open places, all well watered. This park is famous for its tree-climbing lions. Other animals include elephants, buffaloes, leopard, jackal, zebra, warthog, giraffe, hippopotamus, hartebeest, dik dik, among others. Rhinos are very uncommon. Lake Manyara is well known for its birdlife. At times the park is visited by many thousands of Lesser Flamingoes, together with ducks, plovers, goose, vultures, eagles etc.

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