Reviews of Lake Manze Adventure Camp
They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa.
We had a wonderful adventure while at the camp.
Our guide and driver were very knowledgable. The camp staff were helpful. We did see our fair share of game though we followed the guide's advice of "we shall see what we shall see." Some days were full of events and some not so much. We were able to take a day just resting at the camp. I would say that four days was the right length of time to visit.
We came a little before the big crowds, so there was plenty of staff to see to our needs. I liked staying in the tents, but did not enjoying sharing dinner with bugs. I don't suppose there is much that can be done, but I would have liked to have been better prepared.
Overall a great experience.
Great start to trip at Lake Manze Adv Camp
A good rustic camp in a fantastic part of the selous (our favourite of the two areas we stayed in) A great pick up game drive from the plane and a lovely afternoon cruise with Rashid started our safari well. We enjoyed watching some elephants very close to our tent, which was clean and spacious. The staff were friendly and attentive, and the food was very good. Guides (Victor and Ali) were knowledgeable and very keen for us to enjoy our trip and the camp went out of their way to make a camp transfer become a 6 hour game drive with our own vehicle.
Also pleased that when we passed them later in the week from another camp they acknowledged us and exchanged words (with nothing to gain from doing so and with new clients onboard their vehicle). Second favourite camp of the holiday
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
Its not fair that we visited this camp after Kwihala at Ruaha. Selous is a great reserve but our heart seems to have fallen for Ruaha and hence, our comments should be considered with this in mind.
The location of the camp by the lake, where our tent had a great view of, it is very nice. The first night we were visited by elephants that they really came very close to our tent. Lake Manze is a simple camp that offers a variety of short activities, walking, boat and drive safaris. We did enjoy the rides with the boat in the lake, its rather far to venture to the Rufiji river, giving us the opportunity to enjoy bird-life, hippos, crocs and various insects. The staff and the guides are doing their best, we are thankful to Viktor and Abou for enjoyable breakfasts in the bush and by the river and Rashid for the boat rides.
There seems to be less game than Ruaha and harder to see it through the woods. Certainly the leopard watching under a bush that got annoyed circled by 7 vehicles and fled in no time at the top of a tree, 20m +, and then harassed by a male baboon was a memorable moment. Being in the 3rd jeep coming into the scene I definitely feel guilty than those in the 7th - game-watching has to become more sustainable and sensible for all!
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
The staff at Manze were universally helpful. The guides were extremely knowledgeable although even the general staff seemed to have a great deal of knowledge regarding the animals. Food was good considering the limited facilities available. The camp was well sited and the trips on the lake were particularly enjoyed. I was lucky enough to have a guide who had a particular interest in the bird life and he not only identified the birds but usually knew the Latin names as well.
The accommodation was excellent and the staff did well in their day to day efforts to clean and generally service the tent..
Not having electricity available was something of a novelty to those from more developed areas but ii was not a problem and facilities for recharging batteries were easily available
Lake Manze Adventure Camp review
Lake Manze camp is ideallly positioned for water activities and the boat trips at Lake Manze were a highlight, the channel trip with Elton in particular being very memorable. The made a welcome change to the standard game drives. On the drives the guiding quality varied from good to okay - depending on requirements you have may have different guides per drive.
The camp can seem a bit busy not just a result of its size but also because it seems to be popular for late bookings from Dar of one and two nights. Due to the flexibilty of activities it also means you aren't always with the same guide or guests. Together with the 'guest turnover' this can make the camp can seem less intimate than smaller camps.
a totally satisfying stay at Lake Manze camp
There were a number of aspects that made this such a fine time:-
- its overall situation in the Lake Manze environment as a wildlife habitat.
- the fine setting of the camp by the water like that.
- occupying tent no. 1 at the end of the line that became part of the intimate experience of game we had in camp, day and night.
- the staffs gentleness and good humour that made spontaneous interaction and conversation an easy and unforgettable part of the experience, and, in the case of the guides and drivers, this includes their knowlegeableness and care for the animals. I would thank each and every person we had contact with in this respect, not just in general but in some particular way too. (this point was probably the defining point of the safari, the cream topping an already fine experience, as far as I was concerned.)
My only discomfort was the evening banquet table.
I would have felt happier in the dining area.
Still dining with others, the meal would have been quieter for me, therefore more in keeping with the overall experience.
I would have more easily escaped afterwards to sit in the tent porch and listen to the night sounds of Africa before turning in.
This is a very personal comment, not a criticism, because I think that socialising at the banquet table was a helpful way of signing out after the other-world experiences of the day for many people.
My grading of the experience below is totally subjective, simply meaning that in each case I was totally content with things as they were in those circumstances, not wishing anything to have been otherwise.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
Best guide and game viewing of the 3 camps.
Excellent vehicles and boats, but other camps do have a swimming pool!
Safari as it should be
Lake Manze is a really well run camp, it has the perfect balance between comfort and rustic charm. We had a fabulous time and all the other guests looked to be having as much as a ball as we were. We didn't have the best tents at Manze in terms of a view (10, 11 and 12) but tents 1-6 have a view of the Lake and so it might be worth requesting one of these to see if they are available (I would expect no guarantees though). Hosting is relaxed and friendly, food is fantastic and serving it outside under the stars every night is very nice.
Lighting in the tents is minimal (a lamp and some candles, plus a paraffin lamp in the bathroom). You soon get used to it though and I think it adds to the charm as well as reducing the impact on the environment. Its hot, hot, hot in Selous in Sept so the solar powered fans in the tents were a welcome addition! We found a small torch with a wriststrap came in handy to hang above the bathroom mirror on near the shower, they also come in handy when rooting through a bag in the dark.
The activities at Manze are the best feature with a good mix of options. I personally wasn't too impressed with the walk, but that maybe because I have been on a two day walking Safari before. If Manze is your first Safari then the walk might be more rewarding. The boat trips were excellent and better than anything I experienced in the Okavango, we did three and all were rewarding with close encounters with Elephants, watching Giraffe crossings, close to hippos (boat was bumped by one) and lots and lots of crocs.
The drives are excellent and starting early with a packed breakfast to have in the bush gives you a 6 hour drive in the morning which is a very decent amount of time indeed. Its nice to couple this with a Boat safari in the afternoon. I liked that you could mix and match the activities, go for an early morning boat trip, followed by breakfast back and camp and then out on a 3 hour drive. We did find the game quite skittish in Selous and some more than others, Zebra, Wilderbeast and Impala tended to keep a distance - although the Impala eventually seemed to relax. Giraffe are everywhere though and I was astounded by how many there are. One evening stretching our legs by the river we counted over 50 on the opposite river bank.
We had a top notch Leopard sighting and excellent Lion sightings, no dogs, but you win some you lose some. Selous as a park is very beautiful and I was surprised by the breadth of different terrain. I thought it had a wilder more untamed feel to it than the Northern circuit which is difficult to articulate, it just felt a more challenging life out there.
A final word for the guides and staff, we had a great guide and driver (Samuel and Emanuel) and our boat guid (Omari) was exceptional at getting us close to game on the banks. Its a big plus for me that Manze run a two person guide and driver system, some camps just have one person do both jobs and I much prefer having one person keeping an eye on the road and another on the game. All the staff were without exception delightful and it was nice to share a few days with people who are clearly committed to the camp and friendly and relaxed around guests.
I can't imagine any reason not to stay at Manze, its a proper Safari as it should be.
Lake Manze Tented Camp review
We were warned hotel facilities would be "a drop" from Impala. Boat Safari was brilliant. Vehicle safaris had good sightings and access but 6 people per vehicle is at least 2 too many!
People need to be warned that they need to sort out their unpacking/organisation as soon as they arrive, after you come back from safari it is dark and, in our case, the hurricane lamp inside the tent had not been lit (it should have been lit) and the batteries in the torch were low, this made our first night difficult. Unpacking and showering by 2 candles was not easy. The staff need to be sure to light the lamps and/or check they are lit before they leave you. Laundry was not included, nor drinks.
The communal dining was good but needed more illumination.
great start that got better and at Lake Manze
We saw wild dog and lion on our way to camp from airstrip. This was the start of great game viewing during our 4 day stay.
The camp had very friendly staff, a great location for our tent and good food.
The guides both on land and water were very good and made sure our activities were great fun.