Reviews of Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Being in our room was like living in the jungle - surrounded by thick undergrowth and tall trees, filled with monkeys and bush babies. There were quite a few exciting moments here!
We met a large bull elephant on the path as we were going for breakfast the first morning so we backtracked up to steps to safety and they monkeys obviously thought Lawrence needed to diet since one stole his breakfast right off his plate!!
The same day Patrice, our wonderful butler set up our lunch at the poolside, next to the wallow hole. He later warned us that an elephant was on its way to the hole and was using the footpath, advising us to put the swimming pool between us and the elephant. This did happen and after studying us for what seemed like an age, it progressed to the water hole. A second less friendly elephant arrived later and was less pleased to see us. After a lot of ear flapping, trumpeting and mock charges, we decided that discretion was the better part of valour and gave our dessert a miss, leaving him in peace ! The staff did keep a careful watch on how things were going so we didn't feel as if we had been abandoned ! It was a reminder though that these are wild animals and not peaceful and benevolent giants. We saw many family groups of elephants during safaris in Manyara and it was a treat to see how carefully they guarded their young and how sociable they are.
Another treat here were the enormous troops of baboons, who held evening meetings on the road !!
Sundowners at the beautiful shore of Lake Manyara. Malley our guide was always very keen to ensure we saw everything, always trying to put in the extra effort to ensure we had a holiday of a lifetime.
On the final day, we were a little late arriving at the airstrip and were just handed a packed up breakfast as we left the car to go to the plane, when a cup of coffee would have been very welcome indeed, especially as it had been a cold drive. We felt very jealous of the new arrivals who had time for a leisurely coffee before beginning the next leg of their trip.
First, the hotel is really beautiful. It was a perfect blend of modern luxury with being in a jungle. I loved it.
The only downside was the excessive presence of bugs and bats in our room. At night, we had no fewer than four bats flying around our heads, which was a little frightening for my friend. That said, the rooms were beautiful and I loved the outdoor shower.
Also, the main section of the lodge is just so Out Of Africa-style that I'd want to live there.
Another and beyond superb lodge and service
As expected with and beyond, the lodge, service and staff are all excellent. The rooms are great, superb guiding and warmth and hospitality. Had a great time and wonderful game viewing experience with my guide Malley particulary with the 300 or so elephants!!
They really know how to look after you and this is what I expect. Great lodge. My butler Liberati was also great and so was Scott the manager! Am running out of superlatives. As a single traveller I would recommend it to other single travellers. Don't have to worry about anything.
They pick you up feed you and really look after you and drop you back at the airport, making sure you have packed lunch or breakfast depending on the time of your flight. On arrival a table is laid out ready to greet you with tea coffee biscuits, lunch, etc depending on time of arrival.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge review
Beautiful rooms set up in the trees. Baboons and monkeys wandering around camp. Elephants came by chomping on the trees just in front of our room. Hot and cold running water, with electricity up until late (off overnight to safe generator). Excellent location deep in Lake Manyara park.
Overall, a but too 'luxury with animal viewing' as opposed to 'animal viewing with luxury' for our taste. It was all very nice but felt like a place for wealthy/elite people to stay (which is not us!).
Used lodge guide for local game drives - lots of great knowledge and information, but sometimes felt like a time-share salesman telling us about the other &Beyond camps and opportunities (you can get a membership! with discounts!). Game was a bit disappointing compared to Tarangire (and northern Serengeti). Enjoyable, but animals were seen occasionally, and in ones and twos (compared to large and plentiful herds).
Camp staff were a bit over the top - a butler eager to cater to our every whim at the drop of a hat as long is it included maximum quantities. When we asked for a small lunch (like soup and a bit of toast) we were still pressured into eating the 3 course meal. A gin and tonic before dinner included about 5x the amount of gin that we were expecting. Having all the staff turn out to sing to us when we arrived made us feel a bit uncomfortable.
Dinner was at private tables so there was no need to talk to other guests.
None of it was bad, it just wasn't to our taste.
This is a beautiful lodge, but it is a long drive from the Manyara airstrip to arrive in camp. We left the airstrip at noon, and after stopping to look at every bird (as requested by the other couple in the car), we managed to arrive in camp after dark after 7:00 p.m.. It was an enjoyable, but tiring day.
We had a brief stop in our rooms where we intended to enjoy showers before dinner. The showers are outside, and we were confused to find the faucet handles tied together. A call to reception brought our butler Robert to straighten things out -- we learned that they have to tie up the handles to keep the monkeys from turning the water on! Our room was beautiful and spacious and very private. The open lodge facilities are comfortable, and the outdoor dining area with a blazing fire is lovely and romantic.
We left early on a game drive, then returned to the camp for a cooked-to-order brunch. An afternoon of rest and relaxation was very welcome, and then we joined our guide Msami again for an afternoon drive. The game was plentiful and interesting. We saw lions mating, and then watched two lion sisters climb a tree and rest together. While stepping into the bathtub at the end of the day, I looked up to find elephants walking by, just a few meters from our hut. What a delightful experience!
The staff was all wonderful, and they seemed to enjoy the game sightings as much as we did. The food was delicious, especially the crepes at brunch and the tandoori-baked naan one evening.
While we initially were unhappy that the lodge is such a long drive away from the park entrance, we realized that the remote location makes for wonderful, uncrowded game viewing once you arrive. You have the mornings to yourselves with the game, since no other vehicles are in the park for several hours. It makes it well worth the drive.
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge review
The Manyara tree lodge was a fantastic start to our safari. One minor point was that we could have done with a clear warning that as soon as we got to Manyara airport we would be going into a 4 hr game drive through the park. We weren't quite prepared in terms of clothing and sunscreen, but the drive was a brilliant start to the holiday. After all the flights and the game drive in, the bath and bubbles that were waiting for us were thoroughly appreciated! (it felt like they had read our minds)
The staff at Manyara were really welcoming and helpful, and gelled together well - they really seemed to enjoy us being there.
The game drives were amazing, and our guide (Emme) was very enthusiastic, knowledgeable and took account of what we wanted to see. He seemed as thrilled as we were about all the wildlife we saw.
The accommodation at Manyara was very comfortable and probably our favourite of the lodges. The room (room 1) seemed completely secluded and the outside shower is a great feature. We also enjoyed watching the monkeys from our veranda while drinking our morning coffee.
Perfection! The lodge is lovely, the atmosphere that is created at this lodge is amazing..the candles, the bonfire at the dining area, the wildlife just passing in front of you, the excellent game drives..truly perfect!
We do remember one sundowner we had very close to the lake..it was fantastic! And we were very lucky to see the lions on the trees and the only cheetah on the park!
Our ranger and our private butler were absolutely great! The food was very good and the snacks before dinner were excellent! Our tree house was brilliant..romantic..perfect! We would certainly recommend this lodge our friends!
Great Little Lodge
Nice to get away from the heavily trafficked northern part of the park. Really nice rooms and generally a much better camp than I had been expecting.
Lots of tree climbing lions.