Lake Manze Tented Camp is a simple but charming venue nestled discretely underneath a forest of shaggy palm trees along the banks of Lake Manze, which is located in the northern sector of the Selous Game Reserve. Opened in July 2007, Lake Manze Tented Camp exudes friendliness and a laid back attitude, and focuses on immersing guests into nature rather than frills.
Accommodations consist of 12 sleeping tents that are catered by a dining area, bar and lounge are rustic but comfortable. There is no electricity here, but basic needs such as hot showers and a battery charger in the main lounge area are covered by solar power.
Activities at Lake Manze Camp are shared with other guests and are conducted twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Activities for guests to choose from include game drives, boat trips and walking safaris. Game drives are conducted in an open-sided vehicle and the morning drive usually begins around 8am.
Boat safaris are conducted in sturdy motor-boats covered by a shade canopy, and they also begin around 8am. Guided walking safaris are also conducted in the morning with a guide and armed ranger. Morning activities typically last till lunch at 1pm. There's then time to relax at Camp before the afternoon round of game drive and boat safaris begin, which start at 4pm and last till sunset.
Lake Manze itself supports a myriad of birdlife, as well as an abundant population of crocodiles, hippos, elephants and other animals that rely on the ample water supply to survive. An elephant path runs right in front of the Camp, and to the delight of guests is frequented trafficked by these massive creatures.
Lake Manze Tented Camp is situated on the floodplains of Lake Manze in the Selous Game Reserve of southern Tanzania. Selous Game Reserve is located approximately 125 miles west of Dar es Salaam. Unlike the great parks of the north like the Serengeti which really shine in the green season, it is best to avoid the rainier months of March, April and May here in Selous.
Lake Manze Tented Camp boasts a total of 12 screened canvas tents situated along the shoreline of Lake Manze. There is no electricity inside the sleeping tents, but paraffin candle lamps and flashlights are available. The rooms have large comfortable beds, an en suite bathroom with an outdoor privacy shower, and ample space for stowing luggage and hanging cloths.
A delightful sand floor accented with grass mats adds a tropical flair in the common areas, covering the floor of the bar, dining area and lounge in the main central area. These areas are open air and shaded by an open-sided thatch banda. The roof keeps the area well shaded, and the high elevation of the ceiling keeps the area relatively cool during even the warmest part of the afternoon.
The lounge area is furnished with khaki-toned wicker furniture, and the neutral colors are accented with colorful African décor. The lounge overlooks a nice view of Lake Manze, and it is not unusual to see elephants strolling by on the path outside. Adjacent to the lounge is a well stocked bar and some director style chairs inviting you to kick back and leave your troubles behind. There is also a small curio shelf situated next to the bar where handmade Maasai crafts are offered for purchase.
Dining facilities are simple, and most evening a large banquet table is set up under the stars where all guests dine together by the flickering light of hurricane lamps.
Guests are not allowed to stroll around the property after dark unaccompanied by a staff-member. A Maasai escort is arranged to take guests to and from dinner in the evenings.
Lake Manze Tented Camp is serviced by a 45 minute flight from Dar es Salaam to the Siwandu airstrip, which is a 1 hour drive from the Camp itself. Pick-up and transfers are facilitated by the staff.
Food and Drink
Expect excellent food at Lake Manze Tented Camp. Some local dishes will appear on the menu, but there is an emphasis on Mediterranean cuisine since the lodge is Italian owned. All dishes are made onsite including fresh baked goods.
Breakfast consists of eggs, sausage and/or bacon cooked to order, as well as a variety of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurt and freshly baked bread. Tea, coffee and juice are also available. Breakfast is flexible but typically served between 7-10am.
Lunch time is flexible but typically served around 1pm, and usually includes a light fare of pasta, salad and fruit. Picnic lunches can also be arranged “in the bush”.
Dinner is served at approximately 8pm, and is a delightful event under the stars around a large banquet table where all the guests join together for the meal. In the case of inclement weather dining tables can be set underneath the thatched banda. The dinner itself consists of 3 plentiful courses served family style: A soup or salad starter course, a main meal consisting of meat (beef, pork or chicken) paired with vegetables and pasta or rice, and a decadent dessert to finish the meal.
Special Features and Notes
- Casual and simple “no frills” style
- Sleeping accommodations consist of 12 safari style tents
- Guided boat safaris on a shared basis
- Guided game drives in open-sided 4x4 vehicles on a shared basis
- Guided walking safaris in the morning
- No electricity (flashlights and candles are available inside sleeping tents, hurricane lanterns are provided inside common areas and along pathway)
- Solar powered hot/cold shower and flush toilet
- Maasai security staff and escorts
- Breakfast served from 7-10am
- Lunch served at 1pm
- Sundowners served at 7.30pm (extra cost)
- Dinner served at 8.00pm “family style” (everyone sits at a banquet table)
- Laundry service available (extra fee)
- Facilities are not handicapped accessible
- Internet services available (one staff laptop informally available for brief use)
- No children under 6 years of age allowed
- Main lounge and dining area with sand floor
- Fully stocked bar (extra cost)
- Nearby Siwandu airstrip (1 hour drive from Camp)
- Small curio shop
- Cell phone service is available but reserved for emergencies only
- There is first aid equipment on site
- Camp is closed in April and May.