Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
Fantastic could not have been better
should never be recommended unless cheap!
First the negatives:
12 tents 33 guests
Kids running everywhere
ordinary(at best) food carefully portioned out
ridiculous small extra charges(33 charges total of $48USD) errors in bill had to wait for corrections of less than $3
rigid schedule with seating assignments for dinner table
tents ok but minimal by comparison
elephants are just about all gone(poached out according to guides and managers)
saw a total of 6 elephants (including same 2 twice,so actually only 4) in 6 game drives
had to wait 45 minutes after flight landed for pick up by camp(confusion regarding arrival time?)
location of tent caught no breeze
boat safari was almost pathetic,small traverse area, seemed a way for camp to save fuel in vehicles
managers were visible and (very) involved but smoked a lot and seemed harassed while
Next the OK parts:
Fortunately we were able to meet 2 other guests on arrival who joined us to take charge of our schedule
somewhat :Same guide,early departures(camp tried to get everyone to wait until an hour after sunrise to leave)
on game drive,come back one hour before lunch which was not until 13;00
we left at 06:30 and returned on time to eat.Also declined "all day" drives which camp promoted for some reason
we were told as long as we had 4 people or more on identical schedule for all 3 days they would allow it
Staff was OK ,some good but lack of procedural training was evident
Finally the good:
Vehicle was maintained
guide was good/very good, responded to our requests,and was friendly
lots of giraffes in the area,a couple of good eagle sightings
a very good lion pride in feeding mode gave some good photo ops
Expert Africa comments
We’ve heard back from the camp owners on these comments and while they are very pleased these travellers were very happy with their guide and had some good sightings, they are surprised and very disappointed that so much of their experience was not up to the standards they were expecting, and that the vast majority of guests experience.
The camp has explained that these guests got off the plane at Mtemere airstrip, rather than Siwandu (the airstrip that the camp routinely uses), which explains the confusion they experienced on arrival. This may have been poor organisation by the airline, as they were indeed booked and ticketed to fly to Siwandu.
This is certainly a busy time of year, and the camp was full, with two families from the UK. The staff deliberately seated these travellers away from the children, but they sincerely apologise for any shortfall in the meals, which certainly should have been mentioned at the time.
We are pleased to hear that the camp’s owners have instructed managers not to smoke in view of the guests. Smoking is only allowed by the firepit or at the bar, but this policy is constantly under review as habits change.
Bar charges over several days can be fiddly to check, both for guests and staff, but where there is no all-inclusive drinks policy, that is unfortunately inevitable.
The loss of elephants to poaching in Selous has been widely documented, but they do visit the camp – though these guests did not see any at camp during their stay. Tents 1 to 7 have better views, but fewer elephants while tents 8 to 12 are shadier, with more elephants, but can also be less breezy. Guests are always welcome to ask for specific tents, or to request to be moved if possible.
This camp does not have permanent access to the Rufiji River, only to Lake Manze itself, and unfortunately the water was very low at this time of year.
Once again, we apologise that these guests felt this was not the camp for them. We think some of their negative experience was down to the busy time of year, and some could have been improved by speaking immediately to the mangers. With hindsight, though, we accept that we may have suggested the wrong camp to these travellers.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
The choice of three different activities at Lake Manzie - game drives, boat trips and walks - make the visit here well worthwhile. There was a lot of elephant activity around the camp and the tents which created some excitement!
We had an excellent guide and driver for all of the 5 days we were there. He was knowledgeable on just about everything including birds that we were particularly interested in. We took half day game drives (excellent) which included bush breakfast, a full day's drive (perhaps only marginally rewarding although the lunch stop at the lake was superb), two boat trips on the lake (excellent), and a walk (really a nature walk taken from the camp which was informative but not a true walking safari).
Game sightings generally were very good - lions, elephants, hippos, buffalo etc - and bird life, particularly on the lake, was also good.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
The view from our tent to the lake was fantastic--we loved the Maasai that appeared magically each time we stepped out of our tent--the dinner under the stars with lanterns and campfire was absolutely magicalRead more about the whole safari
Amazing Time At Lake Manze
Wow we loved being here, you are very close to the animals. We stayed for 4 nights, and enjoyed every minute.
The tents were large, and overlooked the lake. We loved sitting outside watching the local wildlife go by!
There were plenty of options, and flexibility with regards to what trips you wanted to do which was great.
We had some very unforgettable safaris including a fantastic boat safari on the first day where we saw lots of wildlife, including a huge herd of giraffes walking across the lake as the sun was setting. The all day safari was excellent with lunch out in the bush, and a visit to the Hot Springs, very refreshing! We managed to see 4 different pride of lions during our stay.
Our guide was was incredibly knowledgeable and the driver was great at knowing when to stop for a photo opportunity They both worked so hard to make sure we saw lots of different animals.
The communal evening meals out in the open and being able to chat with other guests about their adventures is a great idea. The quality of food was great, and they were able to cater for our daughter's peanut allergy no problem.
We awoke one morning to see elephants walking past the front of our tent, what an experience! On the last morning as we ate breakfast, a large group appeared all around the lounge area almost as if to say goodbye to us!!!
Another Great Safari at Lake Manze
I just love Lake Manze. The informality in the camp combined with the excellent food and dining under the stars make for a magical experience and everyone is so friendly and helpful.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable safari (as always). The boat trips provide an extra dimension and the birding was very good. Elephant and lion numbers in the area seem to be down but this may just be a seasonal variation.
It was great to see a healthy and active pack of wild dogs again.
I am happy to rate all aspects of my stay at Lake Manze as excellent - within the camp's stated aims (which I approve) to provide a more natural (and correspondingly less luxurious) experience. Rebecca and her team are doing a great job.
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
Other than the sighting of the wild dogs, which is always a treat, the wildlife was a bit of a disappointment, but this is in no way a reflection on the efforts of our guide, Mr. H or our driver Cacumber who both tried everything possible to find the wildlife.
Everything else was great.
great camp and great wildlife
weather hot and humid, typically low 26 C high 35 C , with one or two brief storms but mostly sunny. Camp delightful but furthest tents might be a bit of a trek if one was a bit disabled? Loo gets a bit damp if there is a downpour and wildlife invaded -- a frog fell onto my shoulder, several geckos appeared and fireflies - all inside the tent ! Shower worked well and bed very comfortable. Food very good . Some areas of the bush very rough and you get thrown about quite a bit.
Widlife excellent --breakfast visit from Lagos the elephant, lions mating, clouds of carmine beeeaters, masses of other birds, pack of wild dogs, numerous giraffes and elephants.
Good walking safari and boat trip as well as all-day game drives.
Guiding and driving very good.
3 nights in safari
We had a very good guide and driver here, who worked very hard and tried very hard to help us see what they felt we should. WE were happy with what they showed us anyway. Very friendly and willing to discuss things. The camp centre was fine. No choice in food, but was perfectly acceptable and beautifully presented. A solar powered fan made the second 2 nights more bearable, heat on the first night was a bit difficult to relax in.
One amazing incident where the elephants walked directly past our tent in the moonlight-beautiful
Breathtaking adventure at Lake Manze
Lake Manze is perfect in so many ways. Rebecca, the manager, is cheerful and always helpful. The guide that I had, Bakari, was top notch. The tents are comfortable and you really are right in the thick of it... elephants walked through camp daily and every night was an adventure as the sounds of various animals lulled me asleep.. or kept me awake!
I definitely heard some people complaining at dinner about the lack of "density" of wildlife. However, if density of wildlife also means density of jeeps and people, I would much rather have to work a little harder on a game drive to have my moments with lions, giraffes, wild dogs, jackals, hyenas, warthogs, zebras etc. etc. to just the jeep I'm in. Honestly, on most drives we never saw another jeep or maybe one or two others.
The Selous is stunningly beautiful with amazing vistas and at Lake Manze you can enjoy them by foot, in a boat or by jeep. The food is simple but abundant and delicious. This was my first safari and I couldn't have asked for a better experience.