Lake Manze Camp is owned and operated by Essential Destinations, a company that prides itself on providing a range of eco-friendly properties across Tanzania. Lake Manze is sister camp to YZ favourite Mdonya Old River in Ruaha National Park – and both are exceptionally good value! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, including all meals and bottled water.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The camp is usually accessed via an hour’s road transfer from the local airstrip. Set in the central region of the Selous, it overlooks Lake Manze from within a grove of wild date and doum palms. This is one of the best locations in the reserve!
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES:
Guest accommodation consists of 12 walk-in tents. Each is Meru style – an outer layer of canvas extends well over the inner layer to create a shady veranda. Set with a couple of campaign chairs and a fold-up table, as well as a deckchair or two, this is a great spot to relax and watch the wildlife wander by! The tents are elevated above ground level on a paved plinth, to maximise views across Lake Manze. Inside, you’ll find a double bed or twin beds, a shelf behind the bed/s for lanterns, a standing fan, a lockable chest, and an open storage unit. The shelf forms part of a tall board, separating the bedroom from the washroom. The latter space contains flush toilet, washbasin with mirror over, and step-up shower with hot and cold running water. There’s no electricity in any of the tents – they’re lit with storm lanterns, which lends a very adventurous feel! A third and even a fourth bed can be added, and three tents are positioned quite closely together, which is perfect for a group or family.
Lake Manze Camp’s communal lodge is made out of timber and thatch, blending beautifully with the surrounding bushscape. The structure’s roof is high pitched, allowing cool breezes to waft through all areas. In the lounge, there are plenty of wood-framed pink-cushioned sofas and armchairs around coffee tables – this is a pleasant location for watching the local wildlife! The bar is conveniently situated between the lounge and the dining area. In the latter space, tables of various sizes are available, all flanked by classic campaign chairs. Usually the camp provides a buffet breakfast, light lunch, and hearty three-course dinner. Everyone eats together, making meals a really social occasion! Often al fresco dining is enjoyed, at a range of places around camp including the campfire. Finally, there’s a small shop, which stocks an assortment of souvenirs and essential items.
The camp offers an exciting mix of activities. Expertly guided game drives are available during the morning and the afternoon, or for a full day. There’s no specific schedule, so departure times are up to you. Usually you’ll explore the area around Lake Manze, but a full-day drive takes in the Beho Beho highlands area with a stop at the Maji Moto hot springs! An impressive array of wildlife inhabits the sprawling plains, woodlands, and river sources of the Selous. Highlights include all Big Five – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant, and buffalo – in addition to numerous smaller mammals such as cheetah, hyena, jackal, wild dog, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, and high numbers of antelopes! There are lots of birds too – over four hundred types of feathery friend at last count. Lake Manze’s walking safaris present excellent opportunities to fit in some birdwatching, as well as close observation of the reserve’s plant life and insect life. Boating safaris take place on the lake or along a neighbouring channel. Each lasts about two hours, during the morning or the afternoon, and you can enjoy sightings of hippopotamus, crocodile, and many species of waterbird. Fishing is available too!