Where other parks may be vast or dramatic, Lake Manyara National Park is picturesque. Between the soda lake, which expands and contracts according to season, and the steep western wall of the Rift Valley, the park protects a narrow 330km2 tract of land. Its lush ground-water forests, woodlands, open plains and sulphur-rich hot springs are home to nearly 400 bird species, including bee-eaters, kingfishers, pelicans and flamingos. Large mammals include giraffe, leopard, buffalo, Olive baboons, hippo, elephants, and the famous tree-climbing lions. The main gate is at the north of the park, less than two hours from Arusha, so the northern sector is busier, especially in the afternoon.