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“A very different lodge”

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andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Wales
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A very different lodge”
Reviewed October 19, 2013

We stayed for 2 nights at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge and it was amazing. From the time we were met at the airport by our guide Malley to the time we left we we saw so many animals and birds it was a wonderful experience. The tree houses were amazing and so well supplied, the water comes from a bore hole so your bath water tends to be slightly coloured but that did not put us off at all. Listening to the bush babies calling in the trees and hearing the elephant in the bush outside our lodge was an azing experience. We saw hundreds of flamingos on the lake as well as pelicans and storks. The food was delicious and the highlight for us was having our dinner by the pool surrounded by candles truely amazing.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank leopardloverWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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192 reviews from our community

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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed October 9, 2013

I have to start by admonishing &Beyond for the lacklustre description they give this in their own brochure. They advertise it as a place to "take a rest from the animals"; what nonsense! On arrival there was a huge and handsome bull elephant next to the main lodge. Three more elephants were hanging around the pool and the trees were filled with monkeys. Our safari around Lake Manyara National Park included many troops of baboons and a close encounter with a tree climbing lion. Okay, you don't see the huge groups you see on the plains of the Serengeti but there is still plenty to see.

As a consequence of &Beyond's under selling we had only booked one night; we wished we had booked more. The rooms are wonderful. Nestled deep in the bush there are monkeys and bush babies within arms reach (though I don't recommend actually reaching...) and the night was filled with the roar of lions. To top it all, in the morning I was joined on the veranda by my own monkey butler (or he may have just been after the cookies...).

To top it all the food was fantastic; far and away the best we had in any of the lodges we stayed at. The service was fantastic and my wife informs me that the the Bloody Marys are well worth trying!

I can't recommend this destination highly enough.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank mprofane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
102 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
Reviewed September 27, 2013

I must refer your to tvnewseditor's review of 9/20, as she has captured the essence of this very special Lodge, also, with a perfect example of &Beyond's exceptional service.

I'd like to add from our experience at the Treehouse: Our guide, Abdallah, is the finest guide we've had in Africa. Absolutely loves what he is doing. Thoroughly knowledgable on all things Africa. Also, he is an excellent photographer, with an artistic sense; like taking us to the lakeshore for sunrise with incredible light while watching zebra, buffalo, wildebeest, wart hog, baboon and flamingo all mingling in the open. Manyara is unique for the variety of its habitats from thick forest to marshes to savannah. Cats are hard to find due to the denseness of the forest, but Abdallah's instincts led us to a pride of five lions lounging under a tree late in the afternoon. We got to within 25 yards without disturbing them.

On another evening drive we went to the neighboring village of Mayoka. There are 3000 people from 3 different tribes living there and farming. They live in brick or mud huts with running water but no electricity. There were children everywhere, laughing, smiling and waving at us. Everyone was very friendly & happy we were there. We saw their school, met some of their teachers, looked at a store & restaurant. Despite their circumstances, they are very happy people. There was no begging or sense of discomfort. Before returning to the Camp, we drove down to the shoreline to observe some fisherman, and there was the Treehouse staff cooking skewers of meat & serving snacks and drinks just for us. We sat there chatting and enjoying the surroundings into the darkness.

This is our second experience in Africa with &Beyond, and we are very pleased with the quality of the Camps, travel arrangements, and service. Going to safari in Africa requires a lot of coordination and sound planning that only a local, highly professional company like &Beyond can provide. It is expensive, but in every instance it is well worth the price.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank Crikel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
Level Contributor
68 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
Reviewed September 19, 2013

I cannot say enough great things about this property. We also visited andBeyond Serengeti Under Canvas and andBeyond Ngorongoro Crater Lodge so look for our companion reviews of those properties. We stayed at the Tree Lodge for 2 nights, which was probably the perfect amount. Any more would have seemed like we didn’t have enough to see.

When we arrived at the Lake Manyara airstrip, we were greeted by our guide/driver Titus. He served us a tea/cookie snack while he filed the paperwork for our entry to the park. Our drive from the airstrip to the Tree Lodge took about 4 hours because it combined with a game drive.
Safari: You will dive right into the wildlife viewing almost from the moment that you get into the safari vehicle. And a word about the safari car: at Lake Manyara, the safari cars are open air LandCruisers with a canvas roof – there were no doors or sides and you could stand up in the vehicle if you wanted to, although you generally didn’t need to because you had a side view totally unobstructed by any vehicle frame or windows. This was a welcome surprise because all the other safari cars seemed to be converted trucks with large windows. I felt like we had a huge advantage in terms of visibility out of our vehicle versus the people who had big windows but a canopy roof attached to the body of their car. Among the many animals we saw were water buffalo, hippos, giraffes, lions, flamingos, baboons, and monkeys. That’s only a small portion of everything that we saw! I’ve heard it’s possible to see four of the Big Five – apparently all but the rhino are present at Lake Manyara, but we saw only 3 of 5 (we lacked rhino and leopard). Titus was absolutely fantastic at identifying everything from large animals to small birds to plant life along our route. He is fantastic and if you are able to request him, I strongly recommend you do so. The day generally consisted of a morning game drive, a lunch break back at the tree lodge, and an afternoon game drive. There was also an option to pay an additional fee and go on a night game drive – which we did. It was interesting to see the animal behavior at night, although our photographs of this drive are pretty bad since we had neither night vision on our camera, nor a powerful flash.

We stayed in #8 which was one of the stilted cabins. Our room was amazingly beautiful – better than we would find in many hotels abroad. We had electricity until midnight every night. There was regular plumbing and an outdoor shower – which caused my husband to worry that monkeys would attack him as he bathed (it never happened). There was Wifi in the dining area of the Lodge but not in the rooms. The Wifi was spotty at best. Sometimes we had no trouble connecting to and uploading photos to Facebook, other times we could barely get connected at all, much less upload anything.

Our butler, Liberatay, took care of our every need and was extremely polite and efficient. I wouldn’t say he was overly friendly, but he was excellent at his job and we felt extremely taken care of. He surprised us with lunch one day poolside, which was a nice change from the dining area, although it wasn’t particularly scenic. The dining area itself is very beautiful and the fire pit is a great setting for dinners. The lodge area is great for pre-dinner cocktails and socializing – and internet connectivity if you’re lucky.

I struggle to find anything negative to say about the Tree Lodge, but I have two things that I noticed and was a bit disappointed by. First of all, all of the andBeyond staff have “western-style” names. I recognize that they probably do this for ease of pronunciation, but it is a bit disappointing that they don’t encourage their staff to use their given names. Secondly, the food at andBeyond is fantastically delicious. However, my husband and I were disappointed that the food tended toward the Western-style. Many of the ingredients were locally sourced and everything was freshly prepared, but very little of what we were served seemed unusual to us. Although we can understand some guests’ hesitation to eat foods they’re not familiar with, it seems such a waste to come all the way to Tanzania and not be able to experience any of the local style of cooking. We thought that at the very least, each meal should contain an option for something to eat which reflected the local style of cooking. Instead, we were served incredibly delicious, but entirely unsurprising dishes such as pork ribs, tomato soup, and grilled chicken. This is really a missed opportunity for andBeyond to share with guests some of the wonderful food that Tanzania has to offer. Nonetheless, we enjoyed all the food immensely, especially the made-to-order breakfasts.

Finally, I want to give major props to andBeyond Arusha. When we arrived in Kilimanjaro from Amsterdam, we learned that our bags had not made it onto our flight. Our andBeyond host took control and found out what we needed to do to report our bags and then we didn’t have to do anything else to get our bags. Now, the downside is that it took us 2 full days after arrival for our bags to make it to us at the Tree Lodge, but we didn’t ever have to do anything to make it happen – andBeyond took care of everything, down to bringing us our bags in the middle of a grassland area adjacent to Lake Manyara. And of course we looked really cool wearing the same set of clothes for 3 days straight in the interim.

Bottom line, andBeyond may be pricey, but they are worth every penny when you consider everything they provide.

Room Tip: Some of the rooms are at ground level, others are up in stilts in the trees. We stayed in #8, which...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank tvnewseditor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
london
Level Contributor
174 reviews
88 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed September 8, 2013

After the Serengeti we thought this 2 night stay would disappoint, but quite the opposite. A very different slower paced safari to see large numbers of elephants and baboons close up. The tree climbing lions were outstanding and the tree lodges were luxurious, free from any bugs and magical with the monkeys and bush babies all around. But, most of all, the staff and service here is beyond compare. Patrice treated us like movie stars with impromptu special meals and drinks in sensational locations. Do go cycling and playing football with the friendly local villagers. Marvellous. Outstanding

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank LondonWiggies
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
118 reviews
43 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 449 helpful votes
Reviewed August 10, 2013

Unfortunately we only stayed 1 night at the tree lodge - two would have been better to appreciate the facilities and to be less rushed in the game drives. The staff was wonderful, the room absolutely beautiful, the food very good, and the general atmosphere authentic and fascinating. The only disadvantage (for us, at least) is that the rooms are indeed up in the trees, so that you don't really have a view of anything. But the design of the rooms is harmonious and confortable, which is not the case of AndBeyond's Ngorongoro Crater Lodge (see my review of that).

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
7 Thank SteveSavatte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
101 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed August 9, 2013

My husband and I stayed here in July 2013. We were coming from the Maasai Mara in Kenya, so it took us all day to fly here (from the Mara to Nairobi to Kilimanjaro to Lake Manyara and then a quite long drive to get to the Tree Lodge, just FYI).

On the drive to the Lodge we got to see a lion on a tree, which our guide told us has been harder and harder to see nowadays. We also saw flamingos which we hadn't seen and other new birds and animals that are "common" (elephants, giraffes, etc).

We arrived at the Lodge late so we were not able to enjoy the room or the amenities. We only stayed one night and we wished we would've stayed one more day just to enjoy the room (not so much the area or animals- we think the Mara and Serengeti were best for this). The room is beautiful and very raw, giving it a very natural feel. We have to say that you have to be warned that the shower is an outdoor shower, which is great, but when we got to the lodge, it was very late and we had to shower as if we were in the woods. This of course could be avoided because there is a tub inside that was full when we arrived, ready for us to use.

Dinner is served family style. We are not big fans of this, but we got to meet very interesting people and are so glad we were able to exchange travel stories. The food is delicious, if you are vegetarians just let the chef and whoever "checks you in" know. It is not a problem.

Room Tip: Rooms are beautiful, stay here more than one night to enjoy the beautiful room.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Adriana M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge

Property: andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge
Address: Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Lake Manyara National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #7 of 41 Specialty Lodging in Lake Manyara National Park
Hotel Class:5 star — andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only one in Lake Manyara National Park, andBeyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is renowned for its romantic stilted treehouse suites that are shaded by a mahogany forest. After an exhilarating game drive, guests stop for sundowners on the lakeshore below the Great Rift Valley wall. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lake Manyara Tree Hotel Lake Manyara National Park

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