Lake Manze Camp in Selous stands on the beautiful Lake Manze.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp: Our full report
Lake Manze Adventure Camp (sometimes referred to as Lake Manze Tented Camp, and often known simply as Lake Manze Camp) opened in 2007 as a sister camp to the existing and very good Selous Impala and Mdonya Old River Camp in Ruaha National Park. Since then it has developed an impressive as a rustic camp which gives guests a real feeling of wilderness, while still providing all the comforts you might expect from a good safari lodge.
The open-sided lounge/dining area at Lake Manze Camp is a large, L-shaped banda. Sandy floors and high thatched roofs keep the area cool during the day and maintain the rustic simplicity of the camp. The long lounge, furnished with simple, locally made wicker furniture topped with colourful cushions, points out towards the lake and is a great place to sit and watch passing game. Behind is a well-stocked bar, with tables and directors’ chairs where you sit to enjoy your meals – although sometimes. you will dine out under the stars by the light of campfires and lanterns. Dining here is communal, which gives this tented camp a great community atmosphere. A small curio shop sells some Maasai beads and souvenirs.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp’s 12 tented rooms are raised up slightly on earth mounds which stand above the floodplain, and have good views across the lake from beautifully built stone verandas. These mounds are covered in vegetation, and feel quite natural, and each has been sited under its own cluster of shady borassus palm trees. Three pairs of tents are set quite close together, which makes them suitable for families.
Inside each spacious walk-in tent is a double bed (or twin beds) with a lovely wooden frame. There is also a large wooden chest with a padlock for valuables, and a simple wardrobe with a wrought-iron frame and canvas shelves. Large mosquito-gauze windows on all sides of the tent allow the breeze to pass through, whilst keeping insects out. Bug spray is supplied, as is a whistle to attract attention in an emergency.
Through the back of the tent is an en-suite bathroom with canvas walls for privacy. Partially open air, it’s simple and practical – all you need in the middle of the bush. The sink is set into a large wooden surface, with running water and a mirror. An inner canvas wall separates this from the flush toilet and hot-and-cold shower, which are both on raised wooden slats. Soap is provided, but not shampoo.
Though the rooms are very comfortable, this tented camp has maintained an endearing simplicity, so you really feel that you are out in the wild. Lake Manze is the only lodge in the Selous which has chosen not to have any electricity in the tents; instead, your evenings are lit by storm lanterns, creating a magical atmosphere. The feeling of wilderness is further enhanced by the camp’s position on the floodplain of Lake Manze. Animals come down to drink here – and the old, well-worn elephant trail that runs around the lake and right in front of the camp is a popular route. This makes for great game-viewing opportunities from the comfort of your own tent.
Like all the camps in the Selous, Lake Manze Tented Camp’s
Lake Manze Camp is a great option for those wanting a slightly more rustic and ‘wild’ camping experience, yet with all the basic comforts, and good food. We found the staff and managers to be friendly and efficient, and – because Lake Manze is quite far from any other camps – you rarely see other vehicles while on a drive.
Ideal length of stay: 4 days to do the area justice
Directions: From Dar es Salaam, it’s a 45-minute flight into the Selous, followed by a drive of around an hour to reach Lake Manze Camp.
Owner: Adventure Camps
Food & drink
Usual board basis: Full Board
Food quality: Lake Manze Camp offers fairly simple yet tasty food.
For breakfast you can expect a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, toast and a cooked breakfast with fresh baked bread. Tea, coffee and juice are also available.
Lunch will then be a light meal – when we last stayed in October 2011 we had fish cakes and grilled catfish, caught that morning by one of the guests.
Dinner is a three-course meal with lots of flavour and plentiful servings. We had lettuce soup to start, followed by beef stew, with chocolate mousse to finish. Sitting together with the managers and guides meant it was a very sociable and fun experience.
Dining style: Group Meals
Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included
Drinks included: Drinks are not included at Lake Manze, but they are not expensive. Expect to pay US$2 for a soft drink and around US$3 for a beer.
Walking safaris: Walking safaris in the Selous are permitted for those over the age of 16, and morning walks from Lake Manze last around two hours. The guide will explain tracks and droppings, while pointing out the smaller insects and plants to you.See more ideas for Walking safaris in Tanzania
Wildlife safaris: A stay at Lake Manze allows you to feel close to the wildlife - a wide variety of game including elephant, impala, hippos and buffalos can be seen from your own tent, or you can go on a game drive or boat safari from here.See more ideas for Wildlife safaris in Tanzania
Attitude towards children: Lake Manze welcomes children over the age of six.
Equipment: Lake Manze Camp has no special equipment for children.
Generally recommended for children: Lake Manze Adventure Camp has a friendly and informal atmosphere that is great for children. Having said that, it is a very wild camp and might be better suited to children over the age of ten.
Notes: Parents must be aware that Lake Manze is an area of dangerous big game, so children should be closely supervised at all times. Children under the age of 16 are not permitted to walk in the Selous.
Power supply: Generator
Communications: Although there is cellphone reception and email in the main office, this is for camp use only except in case of emergency. There is also a wireless laptop connection, which may be used by guests if they are very brief.
TV & radio: There is no TV or radio at Lake Manze Camp
Health & safety
Malarial area: Yes
Medical care: There is first aid equipment on site and Lake Manze There is first-aid equipment on site and Lake Manze Camp has links with the flying doctors’ service for serious emergencies. Each vehicle has a first-aid bag and the managers are trained in basic first aid.
Dangerous animals: High Risk
Security measures: Maasai guards will escort guests to and from their tents after dark in case there is any wildlife in and around the camp.
Fire safety: Lake Manze Tented Camp has a fire break around the camp in case of bush fires in the surrounding area.
Disabled access: Not Possible
Laundry facilities: Laundry is an extra charge, with most items costed at around US$2. Your belongings are hand washed and line dried; weather depending, they should be back to you within 24 hours.
Money: There are no money exchange facilities at Lake Manze Camp.