5 reasons you should visit Lake Manze in Selous, Tanzania

A short 25 minute flight from Dar es Salaam combined with about an hour car ride, Lake Manze is inside the 50,000 km2 Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, one of the world’s largest faunal reserves. In 1896, German Governor Hermann von Wissmann marked Selous a protected area, but it was turned into a game reserve not even a decade later. Selous has its name from Frederick Selous, a British explorer, hunter and conservationist, whose grave can still be visited inside the reserve. In 1982, Selous became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

For the best game sightings, you should visit Lake Manze during dry season from September through January.

I stayed at Lake Manze Camp and can totally recommend it (-> this is NOT sponsored!)

Sunset at Lake Manze Selous Tanzania


1. Wildlife

Unfortunately, Selous’ largest number of elephants in the world dropped from 109,000 to 13,000, but conservation efforts are made by some rangers and camp owners. Still, if you’re staying around Lake Manze, you’re guaranteed to see a lot of these beautiful creatures, playing and bathing in the lake, especially during morning hours. Buffalos, leopards, lions, giraffes, impalas, baboons, wildebeests, hippos, crocodiles, an incredibly huge variety of birds and butterflies, and many other animals also claim this area their home.


Giraffe at Lake Manze Selous Tanzania


2. Year-round adventures

As already mentioned, once dry season approaches, animals flock to what will be left of Lake Manze to find water, but you will see many of them dying from hunger or thirst. Staying in a tented camp will mean that you may have to be escorted in a jeep from lunch to your sleeping tent. How’s that for an adrenaline rush? After rainy season, the area is lush, green, and it becomes a bit harder to find the big cats, but in return, you see elephants playing in the lake, plenty of hippos cooling off in the water and crocodiles soaking up the sun on the banks.

Lake Manze Selous Tanzania


3. Boat trips, walking safaris or game drives

Whether you drive all the way up into the mountains via jeep or take a small boat around Lake Manze, routes are plenty and landscapes boast diversity in flora and rocks. Butterfly alley with what felt like millions of brimstone butterflies circling us, surely was a paradisiacal experience!


4. Lake Manze is quite untapped

Unlike Serengeti or Ngorogoro, the Selous Game Reserve is quite untapped – so much so that you may only encounter one other jeep on a whole day safari. Many roads are only muddy paths, and few are gravel, and your guides are able to go off the roads as well.

Lake Manze Selous Tanzania


5. Sunsets

Just look at this picture and tell me this is not a surreal sunset!

Lake Manze Selous Tanzania Sunset at Lake Manze Selous Tanzania




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