Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
We feel that although there are more luxurious camps available than here that this is in keeping with the bush and nature. The different activities, walks, boat trips & drives, were excellent and gave varying views of the wildlife and surroundings. 3 nights, 4 days was an ideal amount of time to stay.
The staff were all very friendly and helpful and the food was good. As it was our birthdays we had a private meal on our verandah one night and a birthday cake on the other. The tents had everything you needed.
We saw all the wildlife we wanted to see including wild dogs, which was one of the reasons we choose to come here, and the elusive leopard.
Lake Manze Tented Camp
This is obviously a more basic camp and we were glad it was the second one, so that the children (or anyone who hadn't been in Africa before) were more used to bush life. The animal life was great (elephants in camp, lots of lions and buffaloes) and the range of activities (including day safari to hot springs) very good. The guides were also excellent - extremely knowledgeable and got on really well with us and children, and the staff as a whole were very good.
It felt rather less confidently run than Impala - it is a rather big camp to manage with only basic facilities and the relatively new manager and his 18-year-old assistant, though very friendly and helpful, did seem less experienced in running such a facility. Food was plentiful though not to the standard of Impala.
One practical point - why use polluting and potentially dangerous kerosene lamps, rather than the individual solar powered lights which are now being used as best practice by development agencies across Africa?
Brilliant game viewing, lovely rustic camp
Our four nights at Lake Manze far exceeded our expectations. It's a beautiful camp and you feel as if you are in the heart of the bush. Not least because we were visited every day by a young bull elephant which literally fed a few metres from our tent. The tents are simply but effectively furnished and living by candles and hurricane lamps at night added to the magic.
The food was excellent - both lunches and dinners, relatively simple fare but absolutely fresh and delicious.
We were blessed with a charming and very knowledgeable guide, Emmanuel, who was terrific with Adam and his many questions.
On our way to camp from the airstrip we were taken to see some lions that had made a kill the day before and I have to say that I was rather alarmed at the number of vehicles that were clustered around them - our main reason for choosing the South had been the reputed lack of traffic compared with the North - but fears were unfounded and we didn't experience anything like that in any of the game drives thereafter.
We were extraordinarily lucky with Wild Dog sightings - one of our favourites - as a pack of ten was rearing four pups and not straying too far. We found them on four drives and spent an aggregated few hours in their company and very close. Fantastic.
Lions were seen on every drive bar one. General game was prolific especially Giraffe but compared with the Ruaha and places where we've beein in Zambia and Botswana relatively skittish. The lakeside setting brought the gamut of beautiful bird sightings and the Manze boat trip is especially good for approaching herons. storks, fish eagles, bee eaters, kingfishers and pods of hippo of course.
I would recommend Lake Manze camp to anyone - whether it was a first time in Africa or seasoned pros.
Well organised despite being busy
Lake Manze was very well organised with good guides and a reasonable range of activities, although would suggest they consider the idea of day boat trips. There was less flexibility in activities as the camp was very busy, so many of the game drives were 3-4 hours and went to the same areas of the Game Reserve as other camps. The guides were good and many of the sightings were very rewarding, particularly buffalo and wildebeest.Read more about the whole safari
Good, not great
My stay at Lake Manze was a bit of a disappointment relative to other locations on the this trip. In part, that was a reflection of the lack of an assistant manager, leaving all the managerial responsibility on one person. I think this is not the normal situation.
However, guiding was clearly the weakest of the 4 locations that I visited, with a personable guide but one that was clearly less skilled than desirable. Again, this may have been just luck of the draw, as our driver clearly emerged as a very skilled (but less communicative) guide. Facilities are fine, and the location seems good, but we say very little of interest on the boat safari, which was VERY different from the second location I visited in the Selous.
Expert Africa comments
The manager of Lake Manze Camp was sad to hear that this guest was a bit disappointed by his stay. He explained that his new assistant managers arrival was delayed due to bureaucratic reasons which we know can often cause delays to safari operations in Tanzania. The manager was therefore running the camp on his own which isnt the normal situation, and he apologised that this impacted on this guests stay; despite his best efforts that it should not. The manager went on to explain that this guest was allocated one of their junior guides for his activities it was good to hear that that guide was personable but he does need time to gain more knowledge and experience. The camp has a number of guides, and the more senior members of the team were already allocated to other guests at the camp. The camp manager said that he would redouble his efforts in pairing guide and guests more suitably wherever possible.
That this guest saw more of interest on the boat excursion from Impala Camp than from Lake Manze is down to the luck of the draw. Seeing big land mammals can never be guaranteed from a boat, its focus is more about the waterways, scenery and birdlife. Having said that, it is the experience of the camp team, and those of us from Expert Africa that have visited Lake Manze, that the lake and its tributary channels are often a better environment for seeing a range of mammals than the main Rufiji River is. It was good to read that the guest wasnt put off by a quiet wildlife experience on the boat trip at Lake Manze, and went on to have such a good boat trip from Impala Camp.
Great times at Lake Manze
We absolutely loved our time at Lake Manze, from the food to the staff to the animal to the camp itself.
Our highlight was the fishing on the lake, not only did we catch cat fish, but we also got to eat them for dinner!
Magical return to Manze
As before we were looked after very well in the camp and on our jeep and boat safaris and we had a wonderful time.
Amazing wildlife and hospitality.The dining arrangements are extremely sociable and Sara runs the camp very well. Thanks to everyone for making our stay so enjoyable again.
Rashidi's knowledge and boatmanship deserve a special mention as do Emmanuel and Samuel who make a great jeep team
Lake Manze Tented Camp
The whole camp is very informal and pleasant. Reading the reviews I expected just filtered water. But we were offered bottled water instead.
Sarah took good care of all of our wishes for activities. She matched us carefully with other guests in case we had to share a vehicle or boat. The guides Giovanny and Ali as well as Elton in the boat, were knowledgeable and eager to tell. It was a miracle how Ali managed to drive on the bumpy and winding roads and could spot animals and birds in the meanwhile.
The walks were short and we went very, very slowly, carefully watching the buffalo on the left hand side and the elephants on the right hand side.
Our tent was large, comfortable and excellently situated on the border of the lake. In the late afternoon we had our private game-experience, when giraffes, impala´s, buffalo and baboons passed our veranda on a short distance.
Lake Manze was an excellent start of our safari.
Great atmosphere & experience at Lake Manze
Really enjoyed our Lake Manze time, a great way to start our trip. Good, friendly guiding, great management(Sarah) & food. Liked the communal atmosphere, very relaxed & friendly - our kind of place.
Think the Safari boats would benefit with 4 stroke outboards - quieter & cleaner. By the way our boat guide, think it was Mbao, he was very good.
The guys went out of their way on the transfer to Impala to give us a great drive Safari.
Also would like the option of prepaying for drinks.
Amazing bush experience
For safari first timers our 2 days at Lake Manze seemed much longer as we saw so much and had so many new experiences. We had a wonderful time and the management (Sara), staff and guides were all very friendly and helpful. The guides were fantastic and extremely knowledgeble. It was nice to have our own guide as he got to know our interests, and knew what we had already seen and what we would like to see. We were able to choose which sort of safari (game drive, boat or walking) we would prefer and when to do it, and did 2-3 activities each day. We saw plenty of game and the birdlife on the lake was wonderful.
The tents were comfortable but torches were essential at night. The fact that the tents were surrounded by trees and bushes made it seem very wild and we were glad to be escorted everywhere by the Maasai guards. Seeing elephant pass right by the tent was wonderful, though hearing the hippo grunting close by at night was a little disturbing the first time!
Eating dinner all together outside with candles,campfires and Maasai guards seemed very authentic and it was nice meeting others and chatting about our experiences. The food was all freshly prepared, tasty and wholesome.
The lack of electricity was not really a problem (since we could still charge our cameras), in fact it helped to create a more natural and old-fashioned experience and the whole atmosphere was very relaxed and informal, while still running very efficiently.