Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Excellent(93%) From 146 travellers
Excellent
99
Good
43
Average
4
Poor
0
Terrible
0
Below are independent comments from 146 of our travellers who have visited Lake Manze Adventure Camp, and have kindly agreed to share their thoughts.

They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Mrs & Mr A from Brighton
Arrived on: 11-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

Staff all very helpful and provided a lot of information on the animals, surroundings etc.

The bird life is especially lovely by the lake and our guide was excellent. We were lucky to see the wild dogs, a large pack with puppies which was great and as we hadnt seen lions our guide went out of his way to ensure we saw a pride!

The choice of activities was excellent and the staff couldnt be more accommodating in ensuring we were able to do what we wanted.

We enjoyed the trip to the hot springs and it was refreshing having a swim in the pool.

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Ms C from Edinburgh
Arrived on: 11-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Average
Average

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

Arrival and welcome
The pick-up from the air strip included a short game drive on return to the camp. This was great for me as it immediately allowed me to relax, feel the stress of work fall away and to get back into bush mode. At camp, I was greeted with a fruit juice and was given essential information about camp life and activities.

Accommodation
The tented accommodation was comfortable and spacious. The bed was comfortable and the shower effective. As advertised, there is no electricity in the tents, which makes it very dark when getting ready for dinner. Either a couple more candles or another storm lantern would be good. Also, the lack of electricity meant that there could be no fan which meant that it was extremely hot, which made sleeping difficult at night. The shaded platform outside the tent is very pleasant for sitting outside in the heat of the day.

The camp
The bar and restaurant area was very attractive with comfortable seating. I very much enjoyed the fact that we ate communally, giving the chance to chat over our daily activities; this was particularly important to me as a single traveller. It was also lovely that Paulo, Diana and Richard ate with us each meal. It was really great to be able to eat outside, in front of the bar area, at night under the stars. The food was excellent, hearty and plentiful.

The camp is certainly in the bush. The camp is frequently visited by a young elephant, Rafiki, who looks as if he wants to join everybody in the bar. Also, I was woken on a number of occasions by elephants eating foliage directly outside my tent, and seeing impala stroll past during the day. You don't get much closer to nature than this.

Activities
The organisation of activities was really great, with the choice of a game drive, walk or boat trip morning and afternoon. I also did a full day drive with lunch set out by a lake and a trip to the hot springs for a swim. This was a long day but really worthwhile as it gave the opportunity to go farther from the camp and thus see more wildlife. The walk was also worthwhile, to learn about animal spoor and the flora and fauna of the bush. I would recommend an early game drive with breakfast in the bush. I was particularly impressed by the fact that, as a single traveller, I did not have to fit in with anybody else but was free to choose exactly what activities I wanted to do.

Guiding
Most of the guides were excellent with a very good knowledge. I would particularly like to single out for praise Samuel and Emmanuel, who were both knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The only difference between the guides here and previous safaris was that I felt that the information given was very book learnt rather than learnt from experience and was, therefore, somewhat lacking in anecdote. I am sure this is simply that the guides are young and many are new to the job and that this will develop with time. The only poor guiding experience I had was on my first boat trip when the guide (I don't remember his name) was both lacked confidence and has a very strong accent, making it difficult to understand him. Carlson, my guide on the second boat trip, was also excellent, very chatty and full of information.

High Point
The high point of the trip was most definitely my experience with the hunting dogs. I had been really keen to see them when I planned the trip but was aware how elusive they can be. I first saw a pack of about 20 dogs, including 8 pups, on my full day drive, which was great, although they were hidden away in long grass and a bit difficult to see. We saw them again fairly near camp at the end of a morning drive. I was lucky enough to be the only person on the afternoon drive and so we went straight out to where they had been in the morning.

We watched them sleeping and moving around in the shade. They then woke up, started barking and making a commotion apparently for no reason. We finally saw a hyena walk past in the distance. They settled down again but gradually started to wake up and the pups started to play. They then moved out of their shady spot and started to line out to prepare to hunt. Eventually we watched them chase an impala. We missed the kill, but not the approach of three male lions who chased them off. The pups got away with some food but the dogs stood back barking at the lions but powerless to do anything about it, as their meal was stolen. Game viewing does not get much better than this and I feel extremely lucky and privileged to have had this experience.

Overall the camp was a true bush experience, the atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, the activities well organised and executed. I would highly recommend it.

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Mr N from Denmark
Arrived on: 2-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

Richard and the staff created a good atmosphere among the guests and my wishes were fully met by Richard.

The quality of the roads around Lake Manze could be better as fx. the roads around Impala Camp, but the camp is not to blame for that.

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J & P from Co. Meath, Ireland
Arrived on: 2-Nov-2008 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

As first timers we may have been spoilt! We found out later a sighting of 4 wild dogs on our journey from the airstrip to the camp is not a normal occurance - in our innocence we didn't realise how privilaged we were. And on the retrn trip the airstrip some days later we wintnessed a large pack of these dogs feeding on thier prey - the guide was so infomative on thier habits as we watched the young ones being led to thier dinner!

Food and accomodation couldn't be faulted. I t was such a friendly place when I decieded against a full day game drive, it was no problem when Jmy partner did want to go off on it - I was quite comfortable to stay behind and join in the walking safair - and then read my book for the afternoon. Richard was concerned when I expressed my feeling of claustrophobia about not being able to wander down to the lake - he even offered to send a Maisi down to accompany me if I wanted to put a chair there to read my book! personal service eh? nothing was too much trouble.

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Mr & Mrs G - Kent
Arrived on: 25-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

Located in a large patch of doum palms the tents are large, very well spaced and nicely appointed. The management make an effort to seat compatible groups together and there was a nice communal atmosphere. Lake Manze itself is not spectacular but its a nice place to be.

The camp has a couple of resident male elephants which makes for excellent entertainment and adds a frison to the longish walks to the tents. The masai do an excellent escort job.

Again the manager makes a big effort to get the right trips sorted out & they are very flexible on timeing. Very good walks. Boat trips not as good as Rufigi but more game close to the camp. We caught the start of the short rains and the lads did well to get us back. Friendly green snake in the bar.

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Ms J & Mr J - London
Arrived on: 11-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 4 nights
Overall:
Average
Average
Location:
Good
Good
Rooms:
Average
Average
Service:
Average
Average
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Terrible
Terrible
Facilities:
Average
Average

A long way to go

There are some things which are quite good about this camp: the management are friendly, the food is reasonable and the tents fairly comfortable. That said we would never return and would advise that this camp really isn't up to standard yet for inclusion by Expert Africa.

The guiding was the worst we have ever experienced by a long way. The guides were young, inexperienced, often forgot to collect their binoculars and had to borrow ours to identify the birds (which they weren't very good at). They seemed mainly to be interested in finding cats and on one occasion pursued a leopard (we had seen the tail) into a thorny bush so enthusiastically that they had to be stopped as we were in danger of being scratched.

It was obvious that for part of the time on each drive that one guide wasn't even looking for animals/birds as his head never turned. Unfortunately there are so many first timers at this camp that they think the guiding is good providing they can tick things off their list. As a final probelm they got the meeting place for our Beho Beho transfer wrong so we sat around in a very hot and empty part of the bush for over 1 and a half hours and seemed quite happy to sit there for the rest of the day until we took action. This camp marred an otherwise excellent trip.

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Expert Africa comments

We’re pleased that overall these travellers liked Lake Manze’s friendly management and its comfortable tents, even if they felt let down by its guiding. Responding to these comments, the manager explained that they’ve just received new binoculars – which the guides are now using. We’re sorry that these had not arrived before these travellers visited.

Lake Manze is one of the less costly camps in the Selous. The guides here aren’t as experienced as those at Mwagusi or Beho Beho; this is one reason why Lake Manze is cheaper. That said, they are trying to improve their guiding, and it’s obviously inexcusable for a guide “not to turn his head” whilst on a game drive. The guide has now been reprimanded for his attitude, and we hope he’s turned over a new leaf.

The manager remembers these travellers mentioning that they were unhappy ‘chasing the leopard through the bush’, but says that that they didn’t make any other comments to him about the guiding. This is a shame, as in cases like this, we always urge our travellers to make clear if they are unhappy about anything, and to explain what they want.

Firstly, we’d urge them to speak frankly with their guide – telling him/her what they do and don’t want. If this is done clearly, most guides will then do their best to accommodate the traveller’s wishes.

Secondly, if any traveller is still not happy with their guide, we’d urge them to be very clear about this to the camp’s manager as soon as they return to the lodge! In most cases, including this one, the manager could easily swap them to a different guide.

One specific point: clearly there was some confusion about a rendezvous point. We’re sorry that this happened; with no road names in the bush, it’s an easy mistake. We hope that they were parked in a spot with good birdlife to watch – and meanwhile we’ve talked to both lodges to try and ensure that such misunderstandings don’t happen again.

We remain very sorry that these travellers were unhappy with their guide at Lake Manze, but pleased that they liked everything else there, and that when leaving they felt able to write in the guest book, “Many thanks for an excellent four days – lots of game and birds and splendid hospitality. S. and P., London.”

Mr and Mrs W - Letchworth Garden City
Arrived on: 8-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Good
Good
Facilities:
Good
Good

Great start to Safari at Lake Manze

This was an excellent start to this year's visit to the Selous. We stayed in Selous last year at Impala Camp and had such a great time that we were not sure that Lake Manze would live up to that - but it certainly did! From the moment we arrived until the moment we left we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Game Drives and boat safaris were very good - we saw a surprising amount of animals on our game walks. Richard, in particular, was great with extensive knowledge of everything we asked about!

Nothing was too much trouble for the staff - from lending a brand new pair of binoculars (whilst waiting for the ones carelessly left at the previous camp to arrive) to sorting out creams for various peculiar bites!!

Rafiki - the almost 'resident' elephant kept us v amused as he trotted round the camp peering into the bar to see what was going on! He was rather noisy at night though when accompanied by other elephants he tore down leaves from the palm trees just outside the tent!

We liked showering under the stars, eating at the long table exchanging the day's safari experiences, having the same guides for the whole of our stay (3 nights), sunsets over the lake and much more.

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Mr & Mrs B - Devon
Arrived on: 6-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Good
Good
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

What a beautiful setting by the lake, with lots of animal visitors, including Rafiki the resident elephant, around and about the tents at any given time of day. Here the phrase 'verandah safari' was coined! Paulo the manager greeted us on arrival and initially proved helpful with a minor crisis we experienced, although we felt let down by him in the end. This wasn't a big issue as Richard the under manager was very helpful and informative.

We found the camp more rustic than Impala, as expected, but comfortable and the food was plentiful and wholesome, enjoyed around communal tables. A pity that it was deemed necessary to charge for water on the game drives, as only bottled water was made available on the vehicles.

Once again birdlife and game superb, brought to us this time by the excellent Ian and Abul our driver. All day drive turned into another adventure that involved rain. Mid afternoon we came across a pack of nineteen wild dogs, including 8 puppies, which was a dream come true for us. We then headed over to the Beho Beho hills for a dip in the hot springs where another of the Manze vehicles was also visiting. We left first and shortly afterwards it started to rain.

It was apparent that the tyre treads left something to be desired as the vehicle kept sliding on the track and had difficulty coping in the gullies. Our drive back, delayed due to an attempted rescue mission for one of the other trucks caught out by the downpour, in the dark (an unexpected night drive!) was rewarded by seeing hyena, hippo and lion. All credit to Ian and Abul for getting us back safely.

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Mr & Mrs E from Letchworth
Arrived on: 3-Oct-2008 Stayed for: 3 nights
Overall:
Good
Good
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Good
Good
Service:
Good
Good
Food:
Average
Average
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Good

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

We particularly liked the lakes trips and the guide was excellent. Paolo was very welcoming and friendly, but maybe a little laid back which reflected on the organisation.

Tent location was excellent with good views and plenty of wildlife and a good introduction to Tanzania.

We also liked the communal dinner table.

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Ms. W & Mr. M from Cheltenham
Arrived on: 28-Sep-2008 Stayed for: 5 nights
Overall:
Excellent
Excellent
Location:
Excellent
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Excellent

Lake Manze Tented Camp review

Everything was first class. The staff particularly were really helpful and friendly and we never once felt as though we were part of a package tour.

My only slight concern was when we went for a whole day safari and the lunch table was set out, it didn't include a place setting for our driver. This made me feel uncomfortable as he was just as important as our guide - surely the drivers should eat in the group too ? We had become really friendly with our driver and I wanted him to be included.

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