The newly constructed boardwalk way and hippo pool viewpoint will indeed boost the number of visitors coming into Lake Manyara National Park. This construction was initiated by the Tanzania’s ministry of Tourism to counter the decreased trend of tourist numbers in the park following the flash floods that hit the park in March 2013, damaging most of the park’s tourist infrastructure.
The first ever tourism product in the national parks, the boardwalk way is featured with 1.5 meters wide impressive wooden structure, creating a 300 meters long trail standing 1.5 meters above ground, winding up in an observation platform that is 15 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. The trail meanders through the hot springs and lakeshore around a marsh and finally into the lake. The structure gives visitors a unique view and wonderful photo opportunities at every turn of the boardwalk trail.
Educational signage in key locations with entertaining themes have been erected along the boardwalk, enabling visitors to have an easy reading and understanding of the nature and resources found around the lake and entire park. This enhancement of view, improved way of information will eventually be achieved without necessarily disturbing the environment.
It takes a mere 5 mile drive from the main gate to this magnificent spot. Standing at the top of the viewing platform enables the viewer a spectacular view of the marshland and its inhabitants – waterfowl, hippo, buffalo and wildebeest – from a point of vantage while affording the visitor a high sense of security from the surrounding wildlife, making Lake Manyara a must-stop destination before proceeding to Ngorongoro and Serengeti or when returning to Arusha.