Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Fantastic Game Viewing at Lake Manze Camp
The camp is located in a very good game viewing area. Plenty of animals wandered through the camp during our stay including elephant and giraffe. One evening on our way back to camp we passed four lions who were lying a few hundred yards away from the camp entrance!!!
The rooms were just as we expected from the brochure description - comfortable with everything we needed for our stay. They could get quite hot during the day and remained very warm at night, but we have experienced this in alot of other camps which we have stayed in so were expecting it.
Although the food was well cooked and tasty we did find it a bit repetitve and unimaginative. We are both vegetarian and found that for most dinners we were given the potatos and vegetables that the other guests were having with their meat or fish and nothing else. We have been to similar camps and have been served more complete vegetarian meals so we know that it is possible to be more favorably catered for. Also, we found that having aubergine all 4 evenings was very repetitive and disappointing particularly as we are not overly fond of aubergine!!!
The activities were extremely flexible with a choice of walking, boat trips, full day game drives, half day game drives and shorter game drives. The driver who took us out for all of our game drives - Ally - was very competent and was very good at tracking and finding animals. We were very lucky to see Wild Dogs on two separate occasions and also a leopard who started off in a tree before getting down the tree, walking right past our vehicle and then started stalking an impala!!! The guides who accompanied Ally on our game drives - Samuel and Ian - were both very informative and knew alot about various animals and birds but it did seem that they had memorised the text book and were telling us everything they could remember about a certain subject.
The only negative point to mention is the fact that we had to pay for water on the game drives. This should really be inclusive in the daily rate as it was at all of the other camps we have stayed at.
Overall we had a very enjoyable stay at Lake Manze, which was made particularly special by our great game viewing encounters. Thank you to all of the staff at Lake Manze, particularly Ally our driver.
Once again we were driven from Mikumi to Selous GR by Mr. Ezequiel , and it was a very enjoyable and different drive through minor routes. Lake Manze Tented Camp is very well situated and we were able to enjoy both aquatic and terrestrial activities. The stuff were as always very helpful and attentive.
Although they offer the chance of a very early morning drive, we were not able to do one on our three days there, mainly because other guests were not so kin in getting up early to see the wildlife! Probably they should reconsider how to offer early drives to guests.
Unfortunately we did not take the full day drive, because of our former experience at Mikumi, but by the reaction of other guests, and our posterior experiences at Selous and Ruaha, it is probably worthwhile to take it.
The boat drives (lake and channels) are indeed a "must to do", specially the afternoon drive.
Although the quality of food was very good, we think that they should offer more "africanized / traditional" biased menus, rather than Italian/ Continental.
Great location and food in Lake Manze camp
We spent two nights in Lake Manze camp. The location is fabulous, and elephants are in the camp all the time. We were happy to divide our time in Selous between Rufiji River camp and Lake Manze camp because we made two part of Selous: south east and north west.
The food was very good in this camp, this may be coming from the Italian touch in the management (same comment goes for his sister camp Mdonya in Ruaha). Like all other camps, the negative point about food was the lack of fruits.
Sara, a new manager in the camp, is very nice, always smiling, and helpful. We would like to thanks her. The guides we had were good.
One point we thought as negative in this camp (same comment on his sister camp Mdonya in Ruaha), is that the majority of the guests are Italians, and by that I mean non English speakers. It is obvious that we go to a safari for the animals, the landscape, and the whole experience. But this also includes meeting other guests at dinner to discuss what we saw, and simply talk. We were there in a low season, and there were many Italians, and it was not possible to communicate with others. We were told that in hight season the camp is full of Italians. We think it could be difficult for non italian speakers to be in the middle of all that the high season.
Expert Africa comments
Like all the camps in the Selous, Lake Manze Camp sees visitors from all over the world – some of which are Italian. When they read this feedback, Lake Manze were keen to point out that one night they may have some Italian guests and on others they may be mostly British.
According to the camp records, throughout a normal year 49% of the guests are British, whereas 17% are Italian.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
We thought the location was great,ideal for birds and animals, Victor was our guide and he was really nice and enthusiastic.
Richard the camp manager was always interested in what we had seen and was always there to greet you back from your activities. The service and food was good and would recomend this camp.
This is an absolutely exceptional place to go. Superb service, great game, magical location, excellent staff.
Cannot recommend highly enough.
Safari from Lake Manze camp
This was our first African safari so we don't have any personal comparisons to draw but we had a fantastic time enjoying the vast variety and abundance of wildlife on the game drives, boat safari's and walks on offer at Lake Manze. The benefit for us was that Lake Manze was both readily accessible from international flights to Dar Es Salaam and was also a short transfer to Zanzibar.
As well as the location, we heard from other travellers that the Selous is quieter and less commercial than some of Tanzania's Northern game parks and so it was not unusual to be able to spend as long as you wanted with the lions, crocodiles or birds in an afternoon and not be disturbed by many other cars or visitors.
The camp was welcoming, well run and we thought the drivers and guides were generally very informative, experienced and worked together very well to ensure that guests saw what was of most interest to them.
The tents were clean and comfortable and the lack of electricity or fences really gave you a feeling of being 'amongst nature'. It was quite common to see elephants in and around the camp and Giraffe and Hippos were never far away. We were both surprised and pleased to see so much and would definitely consider a safari again.
First ever safari at Lake Manze
This was our first ever safari and we couldn't have wished for a better experience. Liz and I had a very specific notion of what we were looking for, as well as what we wanted to avoid, and Lake Manze Tented Camp was absolutely perfect in both respects. We were thrilled with our decision to visit the Selous and to stay at Lake Manze.
The reserve was wonderfully quiet in terms of other safaris - we barely saw another vehicle all day - the walking and boat safaris were fantastic, the animal life and the scenery was superb and the camp itself met all our expectations. Richard and his team were wonderfully hospitable, without exception, and the camp offered just the right level of comfort, without ever feeling like we were too removed from the reserve itself and the animal life that surrounded us. The ability to tailor each days safari to our particular interests and whims was also a huge plus.
Thanks also to Claire at Expert Africa for helping us to not only find exactly what we were looking for, but also for arranging it all at the last minute for us.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
This was a great start to our honeymoon.
The tents were lovely, the lack of electric and community dining was nice. Staff were very friendly and seemed to enjoy their jobs. Guides were knowledgeable but sometimes had to be prompted for extra information.
The only negative thing we would say is that it would have been nice to have been told about the different activities which were available to us rather than having to find out from other guests.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
This could be a great little bohemian style eco lodge as the location, the staff and the guides are great. However, Richard the camp manager is a little bit sergeant major. We found him to be very unaccomoadting and condesending. He offered us no advice as to what was on offer from manze other than that we could go on a drive, a walk or a boat.
Being safari virgins it would have been nice to have been told the best time for a walk is the morning when it's quiet and cooler, a good time to go on the boat would be the evening so you can watch the sunset, and also offer the chance of fishing. None of this information was passed onto to us by Richard and was retrieved off other guests who had been offered bush breakfasts and lunches along with trips to the natural springs. I'm not saying we would have taken him up on the offer but it would have been nice to be offered the options. Because of this it wasn't the most relaxing of places and when you are paying that sort of money to stay there you want to be treated well.
The camp should also come with a serious mosquito warning and have spray and additional nets provided over the beds. Whilst I found it amazing showering under the stars and watching the wildlife go past, it's not everyone's cup of tea and you can leave yourself open to a good old stinging.
The camp is also a little bit too communal, whilst it's nice to get to know people, not so sure it's that great a suggestion for honeymooners. A few seperate tables could offer some flexibility, rather than being told where you had to sit by said sergeant major and then if you were lucky enough you got to dine next to him at the top of the table (thank god we were spared that experience). That said we did meet some interesting and nice people over dinner and had a good laugh.
I'm painting a pretty bad picture here and that does the camp an injustice. Although fairly basic the camp is in a great location with all sorts of animals wandering through and the lack of electricity and the use of storm lanterns and camp fires at night creates a speacial atmosphere and adds to its charm. Furthermore the game in this location was amazing and the best we saw on the safari.
I have graded the service as poor, not because of the bar staff and guides etc but because of the camp manager.
Expert Africa comments
When Expert Africa contacted Lake Manze Camp about these comments they were sorry to hear that the travellers had not received the kind of service they had expected. The camps usual policy is to give guests a clear welcome briefing on arrival, which includes a description of what activities are available and an explanation of when and how they can be done. Then every evening each guest is asked what he/she would like to do the following day.
The management has conceded that the camp was full during these travellers stay and perhaps this impacted on the service. Though from other recent feedback we know this isn’t a common occurrence and we don’t expect it will happen again.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
What an amazing trip! We'd never been on a safari before and didn't see ourselves as "safari people" so didn't know what to expect. Everything was just perfect - we wished we had 3-4 days at Lake Manze instead of the 2.5 that we'd scheduled. I've never been so relaxed in my life, and days started early and were jam packed with activities. From the minute we stepped onto the landing strip everything was just perfect - we were greeted by our guides, helped into the truck and onto our first game drive in minutes, seeing a ton of animals including a pride of 12 lions in our first hour! When we made it to camp, Richard and his staff were outside waiting for us. Our bags were taken to our tents and we were given cold drinks and asked what we wanted to do (if anything) for the rest of the day. They do a great job of keeping you on track and making sure you see the most you can see without making you feel obligated or overscheduled. Everything's flexible - if you want a long or short drive, a boat safari or walking safari (or a nap)-- almost anything can be arranged within 3 timeslots. Our guides Emmanuel and Ally were incredible, so sweet, knowledgable and professional. They picked us up at the landing strip and were our guides throughout the entire trip, even returning us to the landing strip on the morning we departed-- what a smart idea, they know what you've seen and what you're still on the lookout for, and what your appetite is for safari. Richard was incredible as well, what great stories he has, and what a way with guests from across the globe. Elephants roamed the camp like stray dogs, the bar was always open, the shower water was hot, plentiful and in open air, we ate dinner at one huge table under the stars and guarded by Masaii warriors-- how can you complain?? My only negative comment is about the coffee - fresh brewed with bottled water would have been preferred to Africafe made with filtered water - but we support the camp making a real effort at sustainability so we'll let it pass. :)Read more about the whole safari