The Great Rift Valley, which runs through Africa is a magical thing – populated by huge escarpments, vast lakes and beautiful vistas it is usually a hit list on anyone’s itinerary when planning to visit East Africa. Tanzania has a wonderful portion of the Great Rift Valley which is absolutely breathtaking, including Lake Manyara which is famous for it’s huge herds of elephant, buffalo and magical bird life. Here you can either base yourself from Lake Manyara, looking up at the dwarfing escarpment or from up on high, looking down at Lake Manyara and the wilderness that surrounds it – both are sensational. Here are top five Great Rift Valley Views:
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge
Although not strictly in the Rift Valley this luxury lodge is the perfect stop on your way to or from Lake Manyara. It is set in the world’s only caldera that is still intact (610 metres deep). Protected within the Crater rim is endangered black rhino, large tusked elephants, black-maned lions and flamingoes – all of which wander freely in this natural animal sanctuary. While cheetah move in and out of the Crater, leopards are often spotted in the Lerai Forest nearby. Ngorongoro Crater lodge has spectacular views of the Crater with it’s fresh springs and huge soda lake. As you look over the wilderness guests will be able to see the Maasai herdsmen graze their cattle. This is one of the highest resident game densities in Africa and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it is regarded a one of the most stunning and sophisticated destinations to stay.
Located with views of Lake Manyara and the Escarpment beyond this lodge is exceptional value for money. The lodge provides picturesque views across the Manyara National Park, Rift Valley, Ngorongoro highlands and on clear days guests can see Ol Donyo Lengai (an active volcano and a sacred mountain to the Maasai). Maramboi offers the unique opportunity to explore the Tarangire and Manyara ecosystem. The impressive landscape of Tanzania rich in wildlife will mesmerise guests.
Situated between the wildlife corridor of Tarangire and Manyara National Parks, Manyara Ranch provides a fantastic mix of fantastic wilderness and different culture for travellers in Tanzania. The camp has lovely views of the Rift Valley Escarpment and Lake Manyara and as it owns the land it sits on, offers unparalleled freedom to explore on foot, on horses or by vehicle.
Pakulala Safari Camp
The unique Pakulala Safari Camp in Northeast Tanzania is placed at the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, providing dome of the most spectacular views. The camp is overlooking wildlife such as zebras, wildebeest and rhinos as well as running rivers and deep forests. With over 100 species of birds in the area and much to learn about the traditional and culture of the Maasai tribe, Pakulala is not a place to be missed, it also works beautifully with Manyara extensions.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is exceptionally luxurious and offers guests a real chance to get off the beaten track and into Lake Manyara National Park itself. It is set in thick forest with the Great Rift Valley Escarpment climbing up behind it.
Rose Hipwood is Managing Director of The Luxury Safari Company.