Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
The facilities at Lake Manze are exactly as portrayed on the website - not as luxurious as some of the camps but kept spotlessly clean at all times and perfectly adequate for the time spent there. It is great to be able to see the animals from your bed as soon as you wake up.
What is exceptional is the service and atmosphere created by Shaun and Mellie. Nothing was too much trouble, we were asked each evening what we would like to do the following day and everything was tailored to our wishes. There are even very cold drinks and ice - a welcome treat after a hot drive.
Although we expected to share activities, every drive and boat trip was exclusive to us. Adam and Ally were a dream team of guide and driver. Adam was very knowledgeable and Ally could spot anything there was to see. It was lovely to be able to get to know them personally. We also had a lady Ranger, Anna, who looked out for us on our walk. Everyone was unfailingly pleasant and cheerful with a good sense of humour.
A real Safari Camp
This camp really lived up to its billing as one that concentrated on the safari experience without any unnecessary extras.
Shawn and Milli are excellent hosts, friendly and well organised. Game drives and boat trips on Lake Manze were always available. You just had to decide the evening before what you wanted to do. A short walk (largely based on botany and dung identification!) was also worth doing.
The location is very good for wildlife with elephants walking through the camp and regular sightings of genets from the dinner table. The guiding and driving were good. The tents were comfortable and food good and plentiful.
A wonderful place, extremely well organised with enthusiastic, friendly, knowledgeable staff - an absolute delight.
The game viewing was excellent both on land and water. The number of animals that wandered through the camp was fantastic.
The food was good, wine choice and price also good and laundry brilliant!
Had been there 5 years before and really enjoyed the boat safari and seeing dozens of bee-eaters nesting - this (bee-eater viewing) was not accessible now, yet it was still quoted in the room list of available activitiesRead more about the whole safari
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
We arrived on the 2nd November, just before the small rains were due to start. It was hot and humid initially but after a bit of rain the weather was pleasant. Mercifully no unpleasant insects. Flight delays meant that we were 24 hours late arriving, but Sean and Melly, who are warm and generous hosts, made up the extra day. There are elephants, baboons giraffe and hippo very close to the camp and often wandering through it.
The guiding is simply superb. Haroun, our guide is immensely knowledgeable and also keen to share his evident enthusiasm. We went on half and full day safaris and a walking safari which is highly recommended in learning about the bird and plant life of the area. The boat safari is also well worth while.
Even at the end of the dry season there is enough water around to make the area very varied and the bird life is abundant. We also saw a pair of lionesses pursuing a leopard (she escaped), hundreds of hippos in the mud, wallowing amongst the catfish, a giraffe creche, and astonishingly close views of lions.
The camp has no electricity which does create a special atmosphere. Weather permitting, meals are outside between two bonfires and the atmosphere was always convivial. Given the fact that the cooking conditions are quite basic, the meals are excellent. The tents are comfortable with good showers, and after dark we were always accompanied to our tent by a masai, which we were especially glad of when he shone his torch on a couple of hippo about 20 yards away.
We'd have no hesitation in recommending this camp.
A well-situated camp in Selous Game Reserve
Overall, we enjoyed our time at Lake Manze Adventure Camp.
The highlight for us were the safaris and our friendly guide and driver.
Our safaris and boat trip were most enjoyable and we were fortunate to have Joseph as our guide. He is knowledgeable and also interested in birds, as we had a particular interest in birds as well as animals. Our driver Daniel was also keen to learn about birds, which is commendable. Together, we managed to get interesting views of a wide variety of wildlife and birds.
On our boat trip, we enjoyed close up views of hippos and crocodiles, as well as a good variety of waterbirds. It was very pleasant being out on the water as sunset approached.
The view from our tent over Lake Manze was affected by the very low water level at the time, which meant that it was largely dry near the camp.
The facilities in our tent were generally functional but somewhat basic. We found the lighting inside the tent to be inadequate for our purposes, as it consisted of 2 candles, a kerosene lamp in the bathroom,and a solar torch which didn't work on our first night. It was fortunate that we had two small torches ourselves, as it was difficult to find clothes, etc. in your pack in the low light. We would definitely recommend brighter solar/LED lights in the tents.
We also found the floor mats to be slippery, which could cause an accident for older folks like ourselves.
Once we had got used to the setup, we enjoyed the experience of staying in our tent. We would have appreciated a fuller initial briefing, as we weren't sure which of the two taps in the shower was the hot water tap, as they weren't marked.
The communal dining was enjoyable. The food was served for you, and on more than one occasion, we found the serve of the main protein component, e.g., fish or chicken, put on your plate to be quite small, or even minimal.
We were not sure whether the waiter was acting under instructions (we were informed that at least some of the waiters were in training, which is fine) but the initial serves to us, and on one occasion. to a neighbour, were far from generous. The waiters would come around a second time and offer more food, but this was usually of potatoes, rice, etc.
Great wildlife experience at Lake Manze
Wonderful personal service. Samuel our guide met us at the airstrip and then took us on all our game drives before waving us off 3 days later. Samuel and driver Kamkumba are excellent spotters and extremely knowledgable, working as a very good team to show us some fantastic wildlife.
Shaun and Millie are fantastic hosts, ensuring a lovely relaxed atmosphere and personally meeting every vehicle as they return from drives. The tents while described as basic are in fact very comfortable. Of course they are rustic but very clean with spotless and comfortable beds. We slept extremely well....when not disturbed by amazing nocturnal visits by Lagos and his elephant buddies.
In tent number 9 we had a bush view and will probably request one of the tents on the other side of the camp which seemed to have more open lake views next time....and there will definitely be a next time! The lake trip is a must to get fantastically close views of hippos,crocs and a huge variety of water birds.
The reserve offers abundant game but is relatively quiet so there is no 'wacky races' competition to see wildlife.
Good camp. Not of Nomad calibre, but good.
With hindsight, I would stay at the Nomad camp in the Selous, just because of their impeccable standards. I image, however, that Lake Manze camp must be considerably less expensive than a Nomad camp. Much bigger, with 35 (?) spaces for guests. The food was good. The coordination between the bar staff and the restaurant waiters lacked, and beers didn't arrive, or arrived incorrectly..... or were really slow..... Sometimes seemed to be a bit of a comedy show--but they were all friendly and the environment was lovely.
Nighttime visitations by civil cats, elephants, etc.--which was wonderful. No electric lights in the tents. Only a kerosene lamp and a flashlight. My wife found that a challenge. It didn't bother me. Guiding was up to Nomad standard (despite this not being a Nomad camp). We went to 5 camps in Tanzania.
If I were to drop one, it would be the Selous. 60% of its elephant population has been slaughtered by poachers in the last ten years. Government of Tanzania: do something about this -- and I don't mean collude with the poachers!
We loved Lake Manze camp! As previously described it is "rustic" but better for it.
The staff were very welcoming. Shaun and Milli, the hosts,made us feel very much at home. The camp staff and guides were always very friendly and enthusiastic.
The tents are lit by candles and kerosene lamps at night, and the en-suite shower and toilet are lit by moonlight. Bed comfortable. Solar powered fan very useful. Various rustling noises outside the tent at night due to passing wildlife.
Meals are shared at large tables which are very sociable. Dinner was served at a long candle lit table on the sand outside the central tent, watched by a genet in a tree. Masai with torches kept an eye out for anything less friendly( and escorted us to and from the tents for safety).
Having breakfast with giraffe, elephants, impala and baboon wandering by was magical. Lagos-the camp elephant -came by daily to see what was happening
We had the same guide-Joseph-for our driving and walking safaris. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of the animals,birds and plants we saw. We also did a boat safari and got pretty close to hippos and crocodiles. The variety and colours of the birdlife is stunning
Shaun and Milli very kindly made a fuss of us for our wedding anniversary-which we hadn't expected at all-Asante Sana!
Warm Welcome at Lake Manze Camp
Manze fulfilled our desire for a rustic safari experience such as we had in the past. Having said that the it certainly catered for our every need
We received a very warm welcome from Sean and Milly who were excellent hosts throughout our stay. They sat with guests at all meals and were always around to see us off and greet us home from our travels.
We were assigned our own driver and guide who were very well trained and informative. Their eyesight and ability to find game was amazing.
The tents were very comfortable and the solar electric fan was a boon.
The food throughout was of a high standard and all the camp staff were friendly and helpful.
We loved the communal dining and meeting folk from all over the world.