We describe the stratigraphical/sedimentological and structural evolution of the Manyara Rift in the Tanzania Divergence Zone, East Africa. The rift-related Manyara Beds on the shoaling side of the Manyara Rift were deposited between <1.7 and 0.4 Ma and can be separated into a lacustrine lower member and a fluvial upper member. The transition from lacustrine to fluvial sedimentation at ~ 0.7 Ma appears to be related to a southward shift of major rift faulting. Fault geometry and the kinematics of the faults are consistent with major faulting during NE/E-directed extension. There is also evidence for other extensional directions including radial extension, which might be caused by magmatic activity and/or might reflect oblate strain symmetry where the East African Rift propagated into the Archaean Tanzania Craton and associated termination of rifting caused an increase in the strained area.