Lemala Manyara is an authentic tented camp located in Manyara National Park...
Lemala Manyara: Our full report
Lemala Manyara is a seasonal tented camp set in the heart of Lake Manyara National Park, about 60 minutes south of the main gate. It's one of only two lodges situated within the park boundaries allowing instant access to the quieter southern parts of the park, and its wildlife, that a half-day visit would not allow. Set on the edge of acacia woodland it has lovely views towards the lake.
There are eight tents, each accommodating up to three people, at Lemala Manyara, as well as one family tent accommodating up to two adults and two children under 12. All of the tents have wooden floors covered in rugs and wooden twin or double beds with bright green bedcovers. They are comfortably furnished in a colonial style with wooden chests, a leather chair and an old writing desk. Beside each bed is a bedside table with bottled drinking water, a solar lamp and a radio for contacting staff. It is also possible to make your own tea, coffee or hot chocolate - hot water is delivered in a flask on request. There is a hanging rail with canvas shelving to store clothing.
Through a canvas flap at the back of the tent is a spacious en-suite bathroom with flush toilet, a copper basin set on top of a wooden cabinet and a bucket-shower. Hot water is delivered on request. A member of staff will heat water over a fire, and fill your ‘system’ when you request it; we had lovely hot showers within 15 minutes of requesting hot water!).
The main mess tent houses the lounge, dining area and bar. On the canvas floors are brightly coloured rugs. At one end is a lounge area with confortable sofas and leather chairs. A large low coffee table dominates this area with a few nature books and magazines. On a recent visit to Lemala Manyara (July 2013) a couple of teenage boys were playing backgammon here between safari activities. A bookshelf to one side houses some curios and beaded jewelry which is available for purchase. At the other end of the mess tent one long dining table where all the meals are enjoyed. At night this is set with candles so guests can all dine together and reflect on the day's sightings. Beside the table is a drinks cabinet which acts as the bar.
In the evening a campfire is lit and camp chairs set around it. This is a great spot for guests to get together for pre-dinner drinks and do some star-gazing and to chat about the days events.
Guests have a choice of staying here with their own driver/guide and arranging their own activities within the park, or using Lemala’s own vehicles and guides. In addition to daytime 4WD safaris, walks and nightdrives are possible from here at an extra cost. These need to be prebooked in advance.
Lemala Manyara is a sister camp to Lemala Ngorongoro, the seasonal Lemala Mara and Ndutu camps, Lemala Ewanjan and the recently opened Lemala Kuria Hills.
Lemala Manyara is a good option for guests who wish to stay within the park and visit the quieter southern reaches of the Lake Manyara National Park. Its an authentic tented camp with friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere.
Ideal length of stay: Stay here for 2 nights to explore the quieter parts of Lake Manyara National Park and take advantage of the walking and night drives on offer here.
Directions: Lemala Manyara is a 4 hour drive from Arusha or 90 minutes drive from Manyara airstrip
Owner: Lemala Camps
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: During a brief visit here in July 2013 we found the food to be very tasty.
We arrived in time for dinner and had a starter of butternut soup served with freshly baked bread rolls. This was followed by a pork chop served with potato wedges and fresh vegetables and finished off with a desert of fresh mango served with a ginger syrup.
For breakfast the following morning a buffet was laid out with a choice of fresh fruit, freshly baked muffins, cereals and fruit juice. A cooked breakfast was also available with a choice of eggs, bacon, sausage and toast as well as tea or coffee.
Unfortunately we were not in camp long enough to sample lunch.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Included except for premium wines, champagne and spirits.
Attitude towards children: Lemala Manyara welcomes children six years and older.
Property’s age restrictions: Children must be six years and older .
Special activities & services: None
Generally recommended for children: Although Lemala Manyara welcomes children of six years and older we feel that this is more suitable for older mature children over the age of 10 years.
Notes: Although Lemala Manyara welcomes children of six years and older we feel that this is more suitable for older mature children over the age of 10 years. Parents need to be aware that the camp is not fenced and that game wanders through the camp day and night.
Communications: There is no Wi-Fi or email. There is good cellphone reception here.
TV & radio: There are no TV’s or radios
Health & safety
Malarial protection recommended: Yes
Medical care: The camp staff are trained in first aid and there are doctors in Mto wa Mbu, Karatu or Arusha. For more urgent cases it is possible to be flown out of Manyara airstrip.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Askaris are on duty at night to escort guests to and from their tents after dark.
Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in the main area as well as in each tent.
Disabled access: On Request
Laundry facilities: Laundry is included and is limited to three garments per person. For cultural reasons underwear is not accepted. Soap is provided in the bathrooms for this.
Money: No exchange facilities are provided.
Accepted payment on location: Credit cards are not accepted. Cash payments are accepted in US dollars, euros, British pounds and Tanzanian shillings