Some of the world’s deepest and oldest lakes call Tanzania home and with them, comes a rich ecological diversity emanating from a host of lakes with pristine waters and white sandy beaches on the shores.
Others are wrapped in lush green forests making Tanzania’s lakes a gem worth every minute of your visit. These are the most popular lakes in Tanzania.
Scenic it is; wildlife in its numbers and the topography doesn’t disappoint at all. This is the story of Lake Manyara whose picturesque nature has earned it the reputation of “crown jewel” in Tanzania’s lake system. The Lake stretches to Lake Manyara National Park covering at least two-thirds of the park.
Pelicans and flamingos cover the lake’s alkaline waters while the lush green forest area of the lake hosts hornbills and guinea fowls. Wetlands, grasslands and acacia forests abound thereby giving the lake a new feel. While at the lake, it is easy to spot the famous tree-climbing lions of Tanzania.
The fascinating birdlife of Lake Eyasi is what has made is it so popular in the land of Swahili as Tanzania is widely known. Coupled with a complex cultural interaction between the Hadzabe and Datoga tribes, Lake Eyasi within the highlands of Ngorongoro oozes a spectacular image from the allure of the purple volcanic walls enclosing the vast white alkaline waters of the lake.
Towering palm trees flank the lake’s shore and their beauty is a major attraction to Fischer’s lovebirds, flamingos, pelicans, storks and spurfowls. Between June to November, the Lake is a prolific breeding ground for pelicans and flamingos.
Lake Rukwa is the epicentre of attraction within Kitavi National Park. The lake has a fascinating reptile life filled with solitude and the groaning of hippos which cohabit a section of the lake with huge crocodiles. Being the fourth largest lake in Tanzania, it has abundant birdlife. Pelicans, ibis, flamingos and African skimmers are the most common bird species found here.
On the valley cutting across the park and onto the lake is a scenic expanse of land with an impressive grassland and papyrus swamp towards the mouth of the lake where shoebill stork and Tanzanian masked weaver hunt down their prey.
For anyone who has been to Lake Tanganyika, they will tell you that this is the first destination in your bucket list of Tanzania’s lakes. The lake’s landscape is irresistible and with it is a host of outdoor activities, snorkelling taking the lead. The lagoons in the lake have over 250 coloured species of fish. The shores are coated in white sand and the pristine waters from the lake are refreshingly relaxing. Mountain ridges and ravines surrounding the lake have an enviable primate life as well as butterflies and birds crowing it all in Africa’s deepest lake and the world’s longest and second-largest freshwater lake. It is on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, at Ujiji, that the famous iconic words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” were spoken by Henry Morton Stanley to Dr. David Livingstone on November 10, 1871.