A number of measurement studies have convincingly demonstrated that network traffic can exhibit a noticeable self-similar nature, which has a considerable impact on queuing performance. However, many routing protocols developed for MANETs over the past few years have been primarily designed and analyzed under the assumptions of either CBR or Poisson traffic models, which are inherently unable to capture traffic self-similarity. It is crucial to re-examine the performance properties of MANETs in the context of more realistic traffic models before practical implementation show their potential performance limitations. In an effort towards this end, this paper evaluates the performance of three wellknown and widely investigated MANET routing protocols, notably DSR, AODV and OLSR, in the presence of the bursty self-similar traffic. Different performance aspects are investigated including, delivery ratio, routing overhead, throughput and endto-end delay. Our simulation results indicate that DSR routing protocol performs well with bursty traffic models compared to AODV and OLSR in terms of delivery ratio, throughput and end-to-end delay. On the other hand, OLSR performed poorly in the presence of self-similar traffic at high mobility especially in terms of data packet delivery ratio, routing overhead and delay. As for AODV routing protocol, the results show an average performance, yet a remarkably low and stable end-to-end delay.