Building peace in the minds of men and women

Lake Manyara Biosphere Reserve, Tanzania

This biosphere reserve is situated in the depression of the East African Rift Valley in the Lake Manyara Basin in northern Tanzania. Below the rift wall, perennial springs in the north support a ground water forest (characterized by Trichilia roka and Croton macrostachyus or the yellow fever tree (Acacia xanthophloea) but also riverine habitats, swamps, woodland and alkaline grasslands characterize the area.

Designation date: 1978


Regional network:  AfriMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 346,761 ha

    • Core area(s): 64,443 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 203,018 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 79,345 ha

    Location: 3o35’1’’S; 35o45’34’’E

    Administrative Authorities

    Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Burunge Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Manyara Ranch Conservancy, Monduli district, Karatu district, Mbulu district and Babati district

    Allan Kijazi
    P.O. Box: 3134

    Tel.: +255-27 250 8040


    Website ǀ Facebook ǀ Twitter



    Ecological Characteristics

    The Biosphere Reserve is rich in a variety of environments within its boundary. The combination and variety of landforms and vegetation types create a unique scenic landscape that is both diverse and ecologically complex. These  provide  varieties of habitats and harbour an exceptional diversity of living organisms that are important for ecosystem services.

    The principal features of the core area are the Lake Manyara, flood plains and associated grasslands, riverines, groundwater forest, escarpment, Acacia woodlands, lakeshore, swamp, Marang’ forest and the hot water springs. All these provide a variety of habitats and harbour an exceptional diversity of living organisms of special attractions for tourism. The 220 ha Lake Manyara is in the only one in the southern most of a chain of saline lakes of the Rift valley. These lakes are very diverse in their formation, water quality, animal life and appearance. The lake is also an important Bird area and habitat for some 2 million flocks of flamingos and a bird-life totalling over 380 species. In terms of fauna Lake Manyara National Park has what is possibly the greatest biomass density (weight per area) of mammals in the world.

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The human population in the biosphere reserve is estimated to over 250,000 people (1999). With most indigenous people practising pastoralism and agriculture, these are the most important socio-economic activities in the area. Ethnic groups of the Lake Manyara region are the Maasai, the Iraq and the Barbaig. Most of the immigrants in the region depend on tourism. Poaching of wildlife for meat and trophies, illegal fishing, selling of firewood and charcoal constitute threats to the biodiversity in the biosphere reserve. 

    The LMBR is in the Northern tourism circuit of Tanzania which receives about 80% of all tourists visiting Tanzania. The industry is dominated by nature based tourism activities such as tourist hunting, photographic tourism, nature walking, biking, and day and night game drives. For the past 14 years number of resident and non- resident tourist has increased. Non- resident has increased by 52%. Advantages drawn from tourism industry in the Reserve include creation job opportunities, generation of foreign exchange, tax revenue for the Government and attraction to medium and small size enterprises. Also tourism provides linkages to other sectors and generates fund which in turn are used for various ecological activities around the Reserve.


     Back to Biosphere Reserves in Tanzania
     Back to Biosphere Reserves in Africa 
     Back to World Network of Biosphere Reserves

    Last updated: February 2019