Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
My favorite view at Lake Manze
Of the three camps I stayed at, Lake Manze had the best view right from the camp, with a stream of elephants sauntering by our dinner table the first night. This was the one place where I decided to take an afternoon off from game drives, and just sit and watch.
The hosts, Shawn and Milly, were warm and friendly and enthusiastic about life in the bush, and always there to see us off on a game drive, or greet us upon return. The food was excellent and they were very good about catering to the vegetarian while I was in camp.
I would have the same advice for Expert Africa here as for Mdonya - give a clearer idea about the tipping as the guide, the driver and the general staff each expect $10 per day. Also, in each camp, I was directed to a small store and encouraged to by local handicrafts. I would have not had a problem doing this, had I not been squeezed for cash. Thanks!
Expert Africa comments
Tipping is a tricky subject. Our travellers come from a variety of different countries, and so have a variety of different tipping cultures in their home locations; plus each safari camp has different advice and different tipping practices. So for us to give out universally good and specific advice on anyone's trip is a challenge.
We've started to address this need for advice with a new Tipping in Tanzania page. We want to revise this over time to improve it; if any of this site's readers have constructive suggestions or thoughts, as to how we can modify this further to improve it, please let us know.
So Much To See and Do
We stayed here for 4 nights following on from a 4 night stay at Mdonya Old River Camp. I have to say we loved both places. In many ways the camps are quite similar but the scenery and game viewing are very different.
Our tent here was very similar to that at Mdonya, comfortable without being luxury. The food was also straightforward and very good - we particularly enjoyed the bush breakfasts and lunches. In the evening it was fun to eat together with the other guests and Millie and Shaun, the managers, at one large table under the stars.
At Lake Manze you can do game drives, boat safaris and walking safaris. Each evening Shaun comes round to ask what you want to do the following day and then works out the logistics of making sure everyone is happy. During our stay we shared most of our activities with another couple who we got on very well with.
We really enjoyed our boat safaris with Abdullah. This guy clearly loves being on the water and was keen to make sure we saw everything. He was very good at pointing out the birds and giving us information about them. We also saw several monitor lizards digging up crocodile eggs and eating them, as well as loads of hippos, some terrapins and various other mammals who came to the water to drink..
Our game drives with Ally and Elie were also great fun. Ally was an experienced driver and Elie was a young but very knowledgeable guide. The were both enthusiastic about showing us all types of wildlife from small owlets and bats to lions and crocodiles eating their kills. They were also good company and fun to be with. By the time we left they were also our friends.
Shaun and Millie do a good job running the camp and are always around to make sure everything is going smoothly. They were also very responsive to any requests we made and were keen to make sure everyone had a good time.
All in all we had a great stay here,
2nd visit, enjoyed as much as 1st one.
Wonderfull tented camp with wildlife regularly walking through camp.
The management team of Shaun & Milly great hosta and fun to share the evening meal with Staff very freindly and guides extremely knowledgeable, not just about the animals but about the birds aswell. This time we went during the dry season and saw about the same amount of game as during the wet season although everywhere looked nicer during the rainy season.
Main highlights were finding a juvenile leopard then her mother and of course, seeing the pack of wild dogs, also the lioness with her 4 new born cubs and a freshly killed Wildebeeste.
All in all, a camp we would highly reccommend.
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.