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Lake Manze Tented Camp, Selous Game Reserve
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P O box 3052 | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Excellent”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2013

Stayed here for 3 nights in November. Couldn't fault it. Staff were excellent, the game drives & boat trips were great too, with very knowledgeable guides. Added excitement of giraffes & elephants wandering through the camp in the middle of the day.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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201 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Berlin, Germany
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2013

I had a great 5 night stay here and left with quite a sad feeling. It was my first stay in such a camp. Usually I go with friends on our own but for various reasons it did not work out this time. So I booked this camp together with another one in Ruaha. I was a little afraid if it will suite me as a
single traveller. It did!!!! This camp is beautifully run in every aspect, it's in the right area od Selous and I can recommend it for everyone who is not looking for safari camps with air condition, swimming pool and butler service. You might experience incredible wildlife sightings, we had nearly all you can dream of incl. 2 sightings of 2 different wild dog packs - this is so unbelievable rare - and you might meet very nice people. Remember, it depends on you as well :-)

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bristol, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

Booked this as part of a package with Mafia Island where I dived and swam with whale sharks. What I loved about Lake Manze Camp was the apparent low impact on the environment and the feeling that the animals regarded us as part of the ecology. My tent was surrounded on the first day by a herd of elephant as I sat on the patio breathing gently for an hour. Another large male elephant regularly sleeps in the camp and bedded down beside one of the tents and kept the women inside awake with his snuffling for a couple of hours. The managers Tricia and Phil run a highly organised but wonderfully flexible set up and this is ideal for people who like me arrive for 3 nights and want to do everything. The local guides and drivers were fantastic - enthusiastic, knowledgeable and helpful. Food was good and the domestic staff and Masai guards were helpful and gracious. The boat and walking safaris added to the normal drive safaris by getting us close to creatures like Cape Buffalo which on land are difficult to approach safely. I went the first week in November and there were loads of animals staying close to the Lake for their water supply. Saw everything except leopard, cheetah and wild dog I think.

Room Tip: If elephants are in camp and human movement is restricted you might get to lunch quicker from the te...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento CA, USA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

I loved being at Lake Manze Tented Camp in the Selous Game Reserve. I spent 5 nights there after a 6 night camping safari in the north of Tanzania with Duma Explorer, at Tarangire, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro. Lake Manze was beautiful and restful and rustic (sand floors in the common area -- great for reading the tracks of all the little critters). The wonderful tents, with their flush toilets and hot showers, were luxurious compared to the squat toilets at Simba Camp in Ngorongoro. The food was diverse and tasty, with reasonably-priced drinks ($3 beer and $2.50 glass of wine) and good desserts. The other guests were great: the common dinner under the stars (which were optional – you could arrange whatever you wanted) were wonderful at getting people together. I met a lot of fellow animal enthusiasts and got to speak a number of languages. The game drives, the boating safaris, and the walking safari were all very good, with good guides and drivers, and provided diversity that was lacking in the north, where the National Parks confine you to the vehicle. The animal life was not as abundant as Tarangire and the Serengeti at the end of the dry season, and some of the animals were less habituated to vehicles than in the north, but the lions and the wild dogs totally ignored us. The camp was visited daily by elephants. Baboons and impala were around camp, too, and the ever-present bird life was a joy. Phil and Tricia, the managers, were delightful and efficient. For me, traveling alone, the north was all about the animals and landscapes, while Lake Manze was a much more rounded, multidimensional experience with the beautiful location, animals, staff, and other guests. Thank you, all at Lake Manze..

Room Tip: Tent 1 on the end seemed to have more hippo and elephant action, so either ask for this or avoid it...
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Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
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Aylesbury, United Kingdom
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2013

Camp was fabulous, the guide Peter was superb, he could not be faulted and all the staff at the camp couldn't have been more friendly or helpful. Our tented room with en suite under the stars was glorious and we couldn't have loved it more. Being able to game drive in boats was also different and a welcome rest on the behind, plus for bird lovers paradise.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Leeuwarden
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2013

The camp far outweighed our expectations. Our tent (number 7) was gorgeous, very secluded and comfortable and how exciting to see Impala, monkeys, and elephants strolling past and hear the hippos in the night.
Waiting staff were very friendly and attentive and the food was lovely (I needed vegetarian food and this was never seen as a problem). The hosts, Trisha and Phil were also friendly and we really liked the way they came around every evening to see how our day had been and discuss the options for the next day.
Our guide (Emmanuel) was excellent - so friendly, approachable and knowledgeable and the experience of seeing all of those animals around us is unforgettable. You have the choice of walking, boat and driving safaris and everything is very organised.
We wished we could have stayed longer and I would recommend this camp to anyone.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakewood, Colorado
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
53 hotel reviews
Reviews in 67 cities Reviews in 67 cities
153 helpful votes 153 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 9, 2013

Three days in this luxury tented camp were enough to almost convince me to take my Rocky Mountain camping up a notch. Imagine showering in warm, solar powered heat while you gaze at billions of stars (remember them?) and pick out the big dipper.Possibly hear a lion's roar in the distance. You're perfectly safe inside on a nice firm bed where candles are lit on the headstand. No electricity- that would ruin it- but lamps, candles and a multifunctional torch take care of everything just fine. You have a modern toilet, so don't imagine the worst. In fact, if you're the right kind of traveler vs tourist, this is the place for you.

A well equipped (three weapons, and yes they've killed lions with them) Maasai accompanies you to the breakfasts and dinners in times of lesser light, making you feel like royalty, and ensuring your safety. When the enormous but remarkably mild bull elephant comes up quiet as a mouse to strip the local bushes of its early spring green, they stand between you and his great bulk, but out of the way of your camera shots.

The wait staff are eager to please, this is partly because they work for tips and partly because this is who they are, which is generous of spirit and smiles. The food is not five star- it is well done, it is bought locally, not shipped in. And many other sustainable points are notable including things like recycled toilet paper and other goods, an emphasis on intelligent water use, and ensuring that what is sold for souvenirs is also made locally. I found that my requests for tons of fruit was cheerfully met and brought to my tent because I had to work at night. All kindnesses that I very much appreciated, and by that I mean not only verbally but financially.

Another valuable aspect of this facility are the guides. It's so easy to claim that a guide was great or fantastic or whatever. What makes a guide great is that on an all day safari, he knows precisely where the lions sleep. Where the hyenas take their midday siesta. Where the favorite quiet hidey holes are for the animals so that the time between 11-3 or 4 pm isn't a long string of looking at impalas gathered under spreading branches at a distance. A good guide has taken the time to educate himself on the flora and the fauna and can tell good stories about why the hippo yawns. Many of them pick up bits of languages from all over the world and can do a fair bit of communicating in various languages, but the lingua franca is English. A good guide can see the ears of a lion or its tail from quite a distance, and knows precisely how close his boat can get to a pod of hippos. As mentioned by another reviewer, one big plus is that the
the guides are very adept at finding the best angles for your camera shot, the light, and they are continually going off road to accomplish this for you. Since the population of travelers isn't so huge down here you won't find yourself in a circle of forty Land Rovers looking at a pride of lions. Maybe two or three. What a very nice change of pace,

This outfit has terrific guides, using this kind of measurement. And another. If they infer that you are curious about termite mounds, ten minutes or so later you are facing one that's at least ten feet over your head, and getting the entire background and history on how they are built. They tend to be very sensitive to the preferences of their charges and will do their best to deliver what you're interested in, if it's possible. Nature does the rest, which means that you may not see those wild dogs discussed in the brochure.I never did. But I wasn't disappointed in any way. The vast range of wildlife and the remarkable variations in the land made it so entertaining that you don't hold forth for one thing or another.

A few lessons learned, this by way of short story. Girl has camera that burns batteries fast. Girl buys six extras so as not to miss the big dramatic moment. The day of the morning boat ride, girl gets in Rover at 6:30 am, armed with three extra batteries. Not thirty seconds out of camp the BIG DRAMATIC SHOT happens: Massive male hippo charges the car. Does the girl get the shot? Hell no. Camera was off, conserving battery life. By the time the camera is on, girl gets terrific shot of hippo butt cheeks. So.....lemme see here, why again did Girl buy extra batteries? Moral of story, keep your camera on. To wit: on the way to the airport, I turned the camera on right away. Not 600 yards out we had some fabulous shots. This time I got them while everyone else was fumbling with their cameras. 'Nuff said. Buy the extra batteries and keep the damn camera ON. There are animals and birds and cool things absolutely everywhere all the time.

Can you charge up at this camp? Yes. Central place, the only place, international access. It's right next to the bar, everyone uses it. Should you bring a hair dryer? Nah. Don't ask that question. Hairdryers are absolutely positively useless. You're going to have hat hair (you did bring a big hat, right?) and you're in Africa. In the bush. Like putting on lipstick out there, or perfume. Chapstick with sunscreen, sure. Besides, you are so limited on the weight you can put on those small planes, why on earth waste space and weight on stuff you cannot, will not use?

About hair: another lesson learned: If you have long hair, men or women, the best way to handle it is to braid it up and forget it. However, given the dust, sweat and dirt out there on the savannah, there comes a time, and mine was during a conversation with Tricia, the manager.
A mud dauber wasp took serious interest in my dome and would simply not leave me alone. Not scary, it was just looking for a place to build. Ahem. A nest. My hair. Point taken. I shot for the shower, laughing.

All I'm trying to gently suggest here is that makeup, hairdryers, perfume and other city goodies don't belong on safaris. Not only do they take up room, they can sometimes draw insects (not good) and hey, this is an opportunity to really strip all the city away and experience nature raw- and yourself in the middle of it. How often do you get that gift?

Another lesson: Trust the guides. These guides - borne of long experience- know how close to get to hippos, lions, or any other dangerous animals including the extremely unpredictable water buffalo. I heard of guests who were terrified of getting too close, which costs other guests their best shots. Then you hear of yet other guests who insist on trying to get too close. Well hey. I figure these guides live with these animals. They know what they can can do. They have great respect for them. And their priorities for us are, in order: safety, safety, safety, safety, and then a joyous and magnificent experience. Trust these folks, they really do know their stuff down here. One guide shared with me his biggest frustration: people who demand to see a lion. Or elephant, or a rhino. Whatever. These guys are good, and they do their best, but they can't whip up a large mammal on command, or one which has been hunted or poached out of existence. One gentleman on my Rover did just that- demand to see a rhino. There aren't any down here. He was very angry. Not the guide's fault.

Other thoughts: Buy quick drying Patagonia or Ex-Officio tops. I ended up living in one pair of undies, two shirts, one tank, two pairs of socks and two pairs of pants for 3 days. Basin washing took care of everything. I had a fan in my tent and that dried the socks after I'd rolled them in the towel. Very economical for weight and space. I'd brought more, just didn't use them. I used one of those cooling bandanas that expand with water- it gets heavy, thumbs down, but it does help with the heat. What did work was getting the Ex Officio tank top soaking wet and wearing it as is. Keeps you cool as it dries, perfect.

Best bug spray I ever found that worked with the tsetse files was Coleman's 100% Deet. Expensive, but it WORKED. I didn't get bitten by mosquitoes or tsetse flies once in three days. Cost about $15 and worth every single penny.

When you're on the channel for the boat trip, try not to argue when someone on the boat says that they see a croc up ahead and you think it's a log. They've probably got better eyes. It's a croc. You're going to feel foolish when your "log" eases itself into the water. Especially if it's right under the boat and you can feel those reptilian spikes scraping along the bottom under your feet. Yep. Log.

Buy your souvenirs here. It directly benefits the local community. This is a very eco-sensitive company- they watch their footprint. Admirable. Learn more from managers Phil and Tricia, and if you speak a different language, chances are Tricia can speak it, too. She's terrific.

Room Tip: Do your research on appropriate tipping and bring enough TZH to cover that expense. November is a...
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake Manze Tented Camp, Selous Game Reserve

Address: P O box 3052 | Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Lindi Region > Selous Game Reserve
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #12 of 22 Specialty Lodging in Selous Game Reserve
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Lake Manze - Experience adventure! Keep it natural! Feel the thrills of having an elephant eating Doum palm seeds right outside your tent. Hear the sound of its rumbling stomach and see how tender a mother is to her calf. We have so much to learn from our animal friends, teachings that can help us create a better world. We keep everything as it was before we arrived and this is why animals use the camp as much as our guests. Experience this magical, romantic camp on the shore of the Lake Manze with stunning lake views from your own verandah. Experience the sunrise on a walking safari. Enjoy a delicious picnic bush breakfast or lunch during your game drive as you spot lions and wild dogs. Take a fishing trip on the lake. Get close and personal with hippos and crocodiles and thousands of exotic birds on a sunset boat safari. Delight in a sumptuous candlelight dinner on the lakeshore to the symphony of the surrounding. You'll never want to leave! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lake Manze Tented Camp, Selous Game Reserve Hotel Selous Game Reserve
Lake Manze Tented Camp, Selous Game Reserve Tanzania

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