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Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp
Lake Manze Adventure Camp

Lake Manze Adventure Camp

7°39’53.1"S 38°3’53.3"E

Lake Manze Adventure Camp: Our full report

Lake Manze Adventure Camp opened in 2007 on a prime location overlooking Lake Manze.

One of the more northerly of a series of lakes and rivers, this lies within a rich alluvial floodplain of the Rufiji River. The camp itself, lies at the heart of Tanzania's Nyerere National Park (formerly the Selous Game Reserve), in a grove of borassus, doum and wild date palms. Deliberately rustic in style, it provides guests with simple comforts and a strong sense of wilderness.

Since opening, Lake Manze Camp has cemented a good reputation for the no frills, good value, good quality safari experience it promised. What really makes it stand out is the setting and closeness to nature. Graceful impala and mischievous monkeys feed along the driveway, giraffe pass along the lake shore, elephants shake fruit from the palms and colourful birds flit through the greenery.

The open-sided lounge/dining area at Lake Manze 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 locally made wood and wicker furniture topped with colourful cushions, points out towards the lake and is a great place to sit and watch passing animals. Behind is a well-stocked bar, and the remaining wing is set 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, often visited by nocturnal genet cats. Dining here is communal and hosted by camp managers, giving the camp a great community atmosphere.

A small curio display sells Maasai beads and other souvenirs. These are bought by the staff from their local villages and all proceeds go directly to them.

Sited under shady palm trees, Lake Manze's 12 ensuite tents are raised up on flagstoned plinths which stand above the floodplain and have views of the vegetation and lake beyond. Five of them are located to the north and west and seven to the south and east. Three pairs of tents are set quite close together, which makes them suitable for families. For a family with young children the tents can be extended out to the front to create triples and quads.

Inside each spacious walk-in tent is a comfortable, standard size double bed (or twin single-size beds) with a lovely wooden or wrought iron 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 a zipped door at 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 basin is set into a large wooden washstand, 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. Shampoo, shower gel and bars of soap are provided.

Lake Manze is the only camp in Nyerere National Park (previously the Selous Game Reserve) which has chosen not to have any electricity in the rooms; 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 memorable game-viewing experiences from the comfort of your tent and main areas.

Like all the camps in Nyerere National Park, Lake Manze Adventure Camp's activities incorporate 4WD safari drives, boat safaris, fishing and also walks. The camp has ten vehicles, and each game drive is accompanied by a guide and driver. Walks are with a guide and an armed ranger and generally take place in the morning before the heat gets too much. Boat trips are best in the afternoon to catch sunset over the lake and switching to a solar powered battery motor when cruising allows you to glide close to animals and birds without startling them. Half day and full day game drives, the latter taking in Selous' grave (for whom the park was previously named) and the hot springs, are on offer. It is worth noting that the safari walks are at an additional cost of 55 US dollars per group, and fishing incurs an additional 10 US dollars park fee – both payable in camp.

Lake Manze Adventure Camp (often referred to as 'Lake Manze Tented Camp', 'Lake Manze Camp', or simply 'Lake Manze') is a sister-camp to Mdonya Old River Camp, in Ruaha National Park.

Our view

Lake Manze Camp is a great option for those wanting a rustic wilderness experience, that's a bit more like real camping, yet with all the basic comforts and good food. Upon each visit to the camp we’ve 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. Partly hosted, in that the managers often eat with guests, and with a great atmosphere, it's also among the more affordable of the camps in the reserve, and we think it delivers great value for money.

Jessica Plumb

Jessica Plumb

Country manager: Tanzania


Nyerere National Park, Tanzania
Ideal length of stay
Stay at least 3 nights, and preferably 4 to do the area and range of activities justice.
From Dar es Salaam, it's about a 45-minute flight into the Nyerere National Park, followed by a drive of around an hour to reach Lake Manze Camp, depending on what wildlife you see on route.
Accessible by

Food & drink

Usual board basis
Full Board & Activities
Food quality
Lake Manze Camp offers simple yet tasty food, very much in keeping with the camp style. Breakfast and lunch are usually eaten at individual tables, whilst dinner is at one communal table shared by guests and management.

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. Alternatively, a bush breakfast will be packed for you should you choose to depart early on a morning or full day game drive.

Lunch will then be a light, informal meal. On past visits we’ve enjoyed chicken pie, rice and salad and egg and tomato quiche, green beans in a satay sauce served with a salad. Most recently (2019) we sat down to vegetarian pizza, corn and raisin flavoured rice, green salad and freshly baked herb rolls followed by a small chocolate muffin with icing sauce.

Dinner is a three-course meal with lots of flavour and is usually eaten together, in an informal dinner-party style. On past visits we’ve enjoyed vegetable soup to start, beef stew and traditional corn ugali, served with ratatouille and green beans, finished off with chocolate mousse and pumpkin soup followed by tender, lemony chicken breasts, a spinach mix, salads and finished off with chocolate mousse again. On our most previous visit (2019) we were served with a chicken sausage roll accompanied by crispy potato sticks and sweet chili sauce, followed by beef and coconut curry, cheese and leek bake, roasted pumpkin and herby tomatoes with a chapati, and finished off with orange cake and cream. Sitting together with the managers and guides under the stars, and enchanted by visiting genets, made for very sociable and enjoyable experiences.

This is not a camp for ‘foodies’, but if you enjoy simple and tasty fare, and don’t mind instant coffee, then you will enjoy your meals here.
Dining style
Group Meals
Dining locations
Indoor and Outdoor Dining
Further dining info, including room service
No room service is available.
Drinks included
Drinks are not included at Lake Manze, but they are not expensive. Expect to pay US$1 for a soft drink and around US$2 for a beer.

Special interests

Family holidays
Lake Manze Camp makes for affordable Tanzania family safari holidays with sensible children, best aged 10+, in an informal atmosphere. With no electricity and a rustic design, it gives a strong sense of wilderness. Triple rooms and early dining can be arranged.
See ideas for Family holidays in Tanzania
Solo Travel
Lake Manze is a very informal, single-friendly camp. Solo travellers usually join other guests on safari activities, and everyone dines communally. Low single supplements come as a real bonus at this great value camp.
See ideas for Solo Travel 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 ideas for Wildlife safaris in Tanzania


Attitude towards children
Lake Manze welcomes children over the age of six.
Property’s age restrictions
Children must be over the age of six years.
Special activities & services
There are no special services for children at Lake Manze Camp, although the camp can make up triple rooms with an extra bed for children, and three pairs of tents are built together, especially for families. The camp will also provide early dinners for children.
Lake Manze Camp has no special equipment for children.
Generally recommended for children
Lake Manze Camp has a friendly and informal atmosphere that is great for children. Having said that, it is a very wild camp, with big animals passing through and close by regularly. Therefore, the camp is better suited for mature and sensible children who enjoy nature and are over the age of ten.
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 at Lake Manze.

Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Lake Manze Camp

Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Lake Manze Adventure Camp have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.


100% success


100% success


100% success

Spotted Hyena

100% success


100% success


100% success


97% success


94% success


90% success

Wild dog

52% success


33% success

Striped Hyena

7% success


0% success

Black Rhino

0% success


0% success


Power supply notes
Generator (on whilst guests are out on activities) and solar power (for hot water). There is no electricity in any of the tents, but there are adaptors available for you to charge batteries in the main area, usually during dinner. Solar panels charge the fans in the tents and solar geysers heat the shower and basin water.
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 for any urgent and brief communications.
TV & radio
There is no TV for guests, though the staff tent is always welcoming if a big match is on.
Water supply
Water supply notes
Filtered water is supplied for drinking and each guest is given their own branded drinking flask, made of aluminum, to use during their stay and take away as a keepsake.

Health & safety

Malarial protection recommended
Medical care
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 in case there is any wildlife in and around the camp. This is mandatory after dark, but is often done in the day too due to the big animals regularly passing through. Each of the tents has a whistle which can be used to attract the camp team’s attention in the case of an emergency.
Fire safety
Lake Manze Camp has a fire break around the camp in case of bush fires in the surrounding area. There are also fire extinguishers in every tent and on all of the safari vehicles.


  • 4WD Safari

    4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching


  • Boat trip

    Boat trip

  • Fishing


  • Guided walking safari

    Guided walking safari


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.
There are no money exchange facilities at Lake Manze Camp.
Accepted payment on location
Bills at Lake Manze Camp may be settled only in cash, with either US dollars or Tanzanian shillings. If desperate they can try and change British pounds or euros but the exchange rate will not be very good.

Room types at Lake Manze Adventure Camp

The permanent tents at Lake Manze...
...blend well into their surroundings...
...although simple...
...they're comfortable...
...and practical...
...all with ensuite facilities...
...and a great view.
1 of

Tented chalet

The tented rooms at Lake Manze Camp are all the same in build and style. They are all raised up slightly on earth mounds which stand above the floodplain and have good views across the lake. These mounds are covered in vegetation, and feel quite natural, and each one has been sited under its own cluster of shady borassus palm trees.

Each tent has its own veranda, which has been beautifully built out of large stone slabs. From here you can sit in a comfortable director's chair, making the most of your great views of the lake, and the animals that come to drink.

Inside each spacious walk-in tent is a double bed (or twin beds) with a wooden frame. There is also a large, lockable wooden chest for any valuables and a simple wrought-iron frame with canvas shelves for clothes storage.

Large insect-screen windows on all sides of the tent allow the breeze to pass through. There is bug spray in the tents, as well as a whistle to attract attention in an emergency.

Through the back of the tent is an open-air en-suite bathroom with canvas walls for privacy. There is a wash basin set into a large wooden surface, with running water and a mirror. Behind this, separated off by an inner canvas wall, is the flush toilet and hot shower. The shower and toilet are both on raised wooden slats frames. Soap, but not shampoo, is provided.

The bathroom is simple and practical, with the shower and loo having no roof, but it's all you really need in the middle of the bush.

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