Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is a special place, deep in the forest.
Tree houseFrom the Tree Lodge's sandy pathways, its 'tree houses' appear to blend harmoniously with the surrounding bush. Each is freestanding, raised several feet off the ground on a large wooden platform. They appear to be comprised entirely of natural materials – the rail for the stairs, for example, is built out of long knotted tree branches; the walls are made from folded banana leaves, and the roof is thatched.
Once inside, however, all is luxury and style, albeit with a rustic charm. The rooms are also very spacious, with a lounge area as you first enter followed by the bedroom area, plus an en-suite bathroom and a vast outside deck.
Muted natural colours set the scene, and rustic materials combine with minimalist furniture to stylish effect. The touch of an interior designer is clearly in evidence! For example, the wooden floor boards are varnished, but have been distressed to have give an almost 'warehouse' feel. Then the coffee table is a contemporary design with whitewash staining. The mix is fantastic. Each room is dotted with thoughtful touches – small, soapstone boxes filled with dried fruit snacks on the coffee table; wellington boots in the cupboard in case of rain.
The beds are vast, with crisp white sheets, a warm comforter and – for the odd colder night – an additional blanket over the foot of the bed. Above the bed and sofa is a fan, and the rooms also boast phones for calling the office, and power points for charging batteries.
The contemporary style continues into the en-suite bathroom, with its rustic wooden floorboards and wood-panelled walls. Bright and quite spacious, each has his-and-hers white porcelain sinks atop a dark wooden surface, and – behind a door – a flush toilet. But the most noticeable feature is the large free-standing bath perched on two vast blocks of wood in the centre of each room, with a view out over the bush.
French windows leading out onto the veranda, where a wonderful outside shower is open to the sky, yet carefully screened behind a curved wall of bamboo poles. Indulge in the hand made South African toiletries, then snuggle into your deep-pile dressing gown, and relax before dinner!