1 night at Lake Manze camp. The most colonial of our places. Simple but nice tents, a lovely elephant joining us for breakfast and a fantastic communal dinner under the stars.
Lake Manze was a really great rustic camp where due to the more basic style you really felt part of it all and very close to the nature around you. The tents were basic but had all you needed and the outdoor shower and toilet was an experience! The camp is situated in beautiful surroundings and it was a joy to witness so closely the elephants who wandered through camp on a regular basis. Food was not fine dining, but extremely tasty and enjoyable. We particularly enjoyed the packed breakfast for morning safaris and the lunches. All staff at the camp were courteous and helpful and always tried to accommodate guest requests. Rangers and drivers were extremely knowledgeable which allowed excellent game viewing. All in all we found Lake Manze a very special camp where the lack of pure luxury (and electricity) found at some lodges, actually added to the experience – we would definitely recommend it and would love to return! This is a place not to be missed.
We really enjoyed Lake Manze, saw loads of animals and the tents were great. Showering under the stars with elephants walking past is definitely something we'll remember!
Lake Manze; charming, good food, nice people - and interesting with elephants and hippo in the camp. Waking up to the birds in the morning was fantastic. A baboon spider in one of our back-packs was less charming... Definetely added to the authenticity... The camp staff helped us get it out, and we kept our bags closed...
The safari drives and boat trips were great; good guides and lot's to see.
Lake Manze camp- we enjoyed our time here. It was very well organised and the guides were really knowledgeable. We saw everything we could have wished for including a whole family of lions and hunting dogs. We particularly liked the boat and walking safaris which made a nice change from the drives. Food was simple but well cooked and filling.
Lake Manze tented camp, Selous national park. Met by camp representatives and the 1 hour journey was made into a very enjoyable 3 our game drive. We saw our first impala, giraffes, zebra, elephants and lions including 2 month old cubs. It was very exciting.
Got to the camp for a delicious lunch. Staff were extremely friendly and made us feel totally at ease. We were warned about the elephants and other animals wandering through the site - and they did! it was great. That afternoon we did a thoroughly enjoyable river safari with Elton as our guide. He knew which Hippo families were aggresive and steered well clear and helped us with the names of all the stunning birds. His timing was impeccable: positioning the boat in the best possible places for sunset. We had fabulous views of elephants and giraffes coming down for their eveing drinks. The following day we did a full game drive, seeing 2 pairs of mating lions and many other fantastic sightings including 4 African Hunting Dogs. We went to the hot springs and had a dip and the bush lunch was excellent. That evening we had a private dining experience on the veranda - it was a relief to know that the masai tribesman was looking out for large animals and we were not too bothered by the smaller ones! On the third day we did an early morning walking safari, a late morning lake safari and an afternoon game drive. It was brilliant to be able to do different activities. Highlight of the morning - seeing a fish eagle and an osprey having a fight over fishing perch positions! Elton was impressed too!
Going on safari has been a dream of mine for some time, and it was with great excitement that my friend Laura and I set off for Tanzania in September 2011 for a safari trip, with three days on the romantic-sounding island of Zanzibar afterwards to recover.
We had chosen two adventure camps, both in the south of Tanzania, and the first was at Lake Manze in the Selous area. We got there in a small aeroplane from Dar-es-Salaam and it was exciting to look at the countryside from the air, knowing that we would be enjoying being in the bush very shortly.
We arrived at 9.30 am and set out straight away on a game drive on our way to the camp. We immediately saw impala, giraffe and elephants. We marvelled at the many birds and animals which seemed so plentiful. The beautiful spinosa terminalia trees decorated the bush with bright green foliage spreading out in a flattish form like so many umbrellas.
Arriving at the camp we were greeted by Sally and the other staff, and taken to our tent, which although basic and without electricity, had the luxury of a flush toilet and shower (with water heated by solar power) in open air underneath the sky - wonderful!
Lake Manze camp is near Lake Zerrakerra, so we saw a lot of hippos on our boat trips on the lake and nearby channel. At night they came out of the water and we could hear them chomping away on the grass very close to our tent, which was very exciting.
Having breakfast the next morning in the open sided covered area, we were thrilled to see an elephant amble by just a few yards away. There were no fences round the camp and when we walked between our tent and the main covered area we were always escorted by a Maasai guard, who made sure we came to no harm, especially when it was dark - lots of animals about!
We saw so many animals and birds that I have made a list of these at the end of this little account.
One morning early in our visit we went on a nature walk. This was really interesting - we learnt a lot about animal tracks, and especially the dung that was lying about, which could tell the experienced guides what had been about, and how long ago. Various trees were pointed out to us for example the ‘toothbrush tree’ which had flowers which looked just like red toothbrushes, and apparently the fresh light branches could be chewed to use as a toothbrush. The fruit of a desert date tree (an acacia) could be used to cure intestinal worms. The long pod cassia trees had beautiful yellow blossoms, and pods that were about 20 cm long. The greater kudu eat the leaves and flowers, and the roots and bark were boiled and used to cure malaria. Weaver bird nests abounded - built on the downwind side for shelter; different weaver birds using different kinds of architecture, so again the experienced guides could say which variety was nesting in which tree.
We learnt that the ‘big five’ of game animals have their counterpart in the ’small five’: elephant shrew, lion ant, leopard tortoise, red billed buffalo weaver and rhino beetle.
Our trips on the water were very special - we saw so many crocodiles and hippo that it was tempting to become blase, but it was wonderful to see all the animals in their natural habitat, just going about their ordinary business.
On our first trip on the lake we quickly saw a malachite kingfisher, a beautiful bird with bright blue plumage and a red beak. Soon afterwards we were joined by three pied kingfishers which followed our boat for several minutes. As a brilliant finish, we also saw a giant kingfisher sitting on a branch in a tree with a monitor lizard close by.
Another day we were driving past a large baobab tree with a hole in the trunk - the guide excitedly pointed out a porcupine in the hole. Laura and I looked and looked but could see nothing. In the end we got out of the truck and approached to just a few feet away, and in the end conceded that we could see a few white stripes moving in the darkness of the hole. To say we saw a porcupine is perhaps stretching the facts a bit!
One of the highlights of the trip for me was when we were parked up near the lake for one of our ‘bush breakfasts’ when two hippos were squaring up for a fight. Their massive jaws were wide open and they were each trying to overcome the other. We were too far away to take a photo on our somewhat limited equipment, but it was super just to watch through the binoculars. It went on for some 20 minutes, which our guide assured us meant a serious fight.
We wanted to make the most of our trip, so we were up every morning before 6 am - in the dark - and usually went out for a long morning drive, and then an afternoon drive, but the best days were when we went for a full day, involving bush breakfasts, and bush lunches, when wonderful hot food was produced like magic by our guide and driver. The ability to drive far away from anywhere, and just soak up the isolation, the heat, and the silence, especially in the heat of the day, was thrilling.
Everyone at Lake Manze camp was brilliant. We even ended up having a jeep, driver and guide to ourselves most days.
Manze was great (Richard was very entertaining) and it was interesting having elephants wandering between the tents all the time.
lake Manze is quite simple , I still think that a light in the tent would be useful , because we arrived back at the camp after the sunset and we departed in the morning when it was still dark ... so no big options to organize the stuffs .And the feeling of wildness would'nt change a lot, really ! Meals not excellents but it was not so important . The Game drive is another story : all the small lacks of the camp disappeared when starts the action ; absolutely excellent !! great safaris , excellent guides ( a driver AND a guide in every car) , and cleverly connected by radio with the other cars . We really loved it ; 3 beautiful days
Lake Manze was amazing! Sean and Millie, the managers, our guide Samwel, our driver, Abuu, and the entire staff were just phenomenal. The camp, as you know, is very clean and well appointed and all of the safari, driving, walking, boat, full day, half day, breakfast in the bush, were breathtaking. Food was awesome. The volume of animals and birds and amphibians was overwhelming. Can’t say enough about this WONDERFUL place. The perfect place for safari from our point of view.