Lake Manyara Green Camp

Lake Manyara Green Camp: Our full report

Rooms
8 tents
Children
Best for 6+
Open
All year

Lake Manyara Green Camp is one of only two safari camps located inside Lake Manyara National Park, allowing you to enjoy early morning and evening drives with few other vehicles around. With eight tents, it provides a good base for experiencing the wilderness of Lake Manyara and the wide range of activities on offer.

Lake Manyara Green Camp is the sister property of Serengeti Green Camp, and provides simple but surprisingly comfortable accommodation in a remote location. These camps, as their name suggests, have been designed to be as green as possible, and the management are committed to keeping the ecological footprint to a minimum. All their electricity comes from solar panels and the camp has rainwater collection in place.

The camp is located on the edge of a wide, dry sand riverbed next to a waterfall which cascades down from the Rift Valley Escarpment. The site feels very secluded, and after the park gates close you will be one of the few people remaining in the park. Its location means that yours will also be one of the first vehicles on safari early in the morning, and you will also be able to enjoy sunsets over the park once the day-trippers have left for the day.

The eight safari tents are discreetly tucked into the foliage alongside the riverbed, each on a raised wooden platform with a small veranda outside. The tents themselves are fairly simple in style yet tastefully designed and furnished, with beaded lamps, woven blankets, wooden floors and cosy chairs, all in a neutral colour scheme of creams and soft greens. A zipped door leads through to the en-suite bathroom, which is open to the elements, with an outside 'bucket' shower and composting toilet with a flush – this captures and recycles water from the washbasin.

At present, the tents can accommodate two people and can be arranged as either a twin or double, however there are plans in place to bring in a family tent, with two separate tents joined by a raised wooden walkway. This is an exciting prospect as we feel that the camp can be a particularly good choice for families. With supervision, older children can enjoy exploring the waterfall and shallow pool at its base, while the range of activities on offer is likely to keep them entertained.

The camp's slogan is 'touch the earth', and a stay at Lake Manyara Green Camp is really about embracing nature and feeling connected to your surroundings. As such the central indoor areas are quite minimal. There is an outside 'lounge' with big cushions and soft seating and a short distance away is a fireplace surrounded by directors' chairs. Dining is typically under the stars, with a barbecue and outside kitchen set up where you can watch the chef at work. For the occasional rainy day, there is a communal tent which also functions as a lounge and dining area.

For Expert Africa, what really makes Lake Manyara Green Camp special is the range of activities on offer here, all of which are led by highly experienced guides. In addition to game drives you can go on safari walks along the scenic lake shore. On our most recent visit in 2018 we saw flocks of greater flamingos and good numbers of giraffes and zebras – and even a couple of bush pigs wading in the shallows. While you’re staying here you can also visit Lake Manyara Treetop Walkway, to explore the forested canopy from high up on wooden walkways. You can often watch monkeys jumping between the trees and elephants are sometimes spotted in the undergrowth below. Outside the park you can go mountain biking through the local villages or canoeing on Lake Manyara itself, a large part of which is beyond the park boundary. You can also visit the village of Mto Wa Mbu, which is only a short drive from the main park gate.

Our view

We are delighted to see another camp opening up within Lake Manyara National Park, and at an affordable price. While it’s not luxurious, the tents have been beautifully designed and are very comfortable and we love the emphasis on the outdoors lifestyle. We were also impressed by the camp’s eco-credentials. A stay at Lake Manyara Green is a great way to unwind and get back to nature.

Geographics

Location: Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania

Ideal length of stay: Stay here for two or three nights to explore Lake Manyara and try the different activities on offer here.

Directions: Lake Manyara is around a three hour drive from Arusha, with the drive from the park gate to Lake Manyara Green Camp taking around a further two hours.

Accessible by: Fly-and-Transfer

Food & drink

Usual board basis: Full Board

Food quality: We found the food at Lake Manyara Green Camp surprisingly good! The camp has an open kitchen, and much of the cooking takes place in front of the guests. The chef welcomes guests to join him to help prepare dishes and learn new recipes. The food is fresh and tasty, with a combination of local fare and international cuisine.

Breakfasts typically consist of a selection of fresh fruit, cereals, toast, pancakes and syrup; eggs are cooked to order.

Lunches are normally fresh and light. On our most recent visit we enjoyed homemade samosas and spring rolls accompanied by dipping sauces and fresh salad, followed by tropical fruit kebabs.

Dinner is a three-course meal, typically eaten outside under the stars. We tucked in to barbecue chicken, served with green salad and vegetable kebabs. Dessert was a tropical fruit salad and cream.

Dining style: Group Meals

Dining locations: Indoor and Outdoor Dining

Cost of meal e.g. lunch: Included

Drinks included: Most drinks are included, with the exception of premium wines and spirits. This is a small, simple bush camp and does not stock a wide variety of drinks. If you want champagne or specialist spirits then you would need to request and pay for these in advance of travel.

Further dining info: Room service is available on request.

Special interests

Walking safaris: Join an experienced walking guide to explore the shores of Lake Manyara where you can discover the diversity birdlife as well as the larger mammals. This is a great way to escape the vehicles and see the park from a different perspective.

See more ideas for Walking safaris in Tanzania

Children

Attitude towards children: Lake Manyara Green Camp welcomes children of all ages.

Property’s age restrictions: There are no age restrictions.

Special activities & services: There are no special facilities, although with supervision children can explore the shallow pools by the waterfall and the guides can help them to discover the different animal tracks around camp.

Equipment: There is no specific equipment such as highchairs or cots.

Notes: The camp is unfenced, and children need to be supervised at all times.

Infrastructure

Power supply: Solar Power

Power supply notes: They say their solar system is more than adequate for the camp's requirements and no backup generator is needed.

Communications: Phone signal is not reliable. There is no Wi-Fi here, the ethos of the camp is about getting back to nature.

TV & radio: There is no TV.

Water supply: Transported in

Water supply notes: Drinking water is transported is, however a rain water collection system is in place for showers and washing.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended: Yes

Medical care: Staff are first aid trained and for anything more serious there is an international hospital in Arusha, which is a three-hour drive.

Dangerous animals: High Risk

Security measures: Guests are escorted after dark. There are no safes, however the manager would be happy to safely store valuables if you wished.

Fire safety: There are fire extinguishers in camp and the riverbed acts as a fire break.

Extras

Disabled access: Not Possible

Laundry facilities: Laundry is included, this is hand washed and line dried. The camp uses a coal iron, and this is not suitable for delicate items.

Money: Foreign exchange is not offered and credit cards are unfortunately not accepted.

Accepted payment on location: There is very little need for money here, however tips will need to be in cash and all major currencies are accepted.

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