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LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK, TANZANIA, AFRICA

Lake Manyara National Park lies in the East African Rift Valley, a 6500-kilometer long fault that runs from Jordan in the north to Mozambique in the south. Clearly seen from space, this fault looks like an immense gash in the earth. Here, two of the earth's tectonic plates meet and grind against each other, moving in separate directions.  This movement built up stress in the earth's crust, until one day, eons ago, the earth shook and the eastern side of the fault dropped hundreds of feet, creating the Rift Valley.  On the west side of the fault an escarpment looms over the valley, aside which sits Ngorogoro Crater National Park.  The road between the two parks climbs the face of the escarpment and runs along the narrow crater rim, affording spectacular views, with the sheer drop into the East African Rift Valley and Lake Manyara on one side and the equally steep drop into the volcano crater on the other. At the entrance to Lake Manyara National Park is this sign: "Remove nothing from the park except nourishment for the soul, consolation for the heart, and inspiration for the mind."

Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Close up and personal with a BIG member of the herd, standing on the edge of the road
Mama crosses the road without hesitation
Mama crossed the road without hesitation, but baby held back in the bushes at the side of the road
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
After two aborted attempts to cross the road, the baby finally, nervously, catches up with mama and crosses, staying as close as possible until back in the safety of the bush
Bull elephant looks at us from the side of the road
In this herd, the bull elephant sniffs the urine of one of the females, just seconds before charging our jeep because it was too close to where they wanted to cross the road
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
This elephant was missing a tusk
The only elephants that lie down are the babies - they spend their adult years standing up, sleeping only five minutes at a time
Blue Wildebeest
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Blue Monkey
Blue Monkey
Vervet Monkey
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Vervet Monkey grooming himself
Vervet Monkey
Vervet Monkey
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Vervet Monkey in heat
Vervet Monkey
Red Monkey
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Herd of giraffe along the shores of Lake Manyara
Maasai Giraffes are darker in color than a regular giraffe
Hippo
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Yellow Billed Stork
Yellow Billed Stork
Egyptian Geese
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Grey Headed Kingfisher
Grey Headed Kingfisher
Cinnamon Chested Bee Eaters
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lesser Flamingoes
Southern Ground Hornbill
D'Aranaud's Barbet
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Grey Hornbill and Hildebrandt's Starling
Lovely flowers, despite being the dry season
Giant Baobab tree, said to "grow upside-down
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Dik-Dik, a very small member of the antelope family
Dik-Dik, a very small member of the antelope family
Male Impalas
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
My guide, Joseph, at the Lake Manyara Hot Springs
Lake Manyara Hot Springs
Lake Manyara Hot Springs
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Lake Manyara National Park
Baboons by the hundreds walk the road to a watering hole
Family grooming among the Baboons
Baboons quenching their thirst
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