Lake Manyara, Tanzania
Standing high on the edge of a towering terracotta escarpment with panoramic views over the glittering alkaline waters of Lake Manyara, Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers a unique blend of tranquillity, wildlife discovery, and ornithological richness. The unprecedented range of high-adventure sports, meanwhile, include mountain biking, canoeing and forest walks, while cultural choices include tours of the neighbouring villages and dance displays by the local Iraqw and sukuma people.
Grouped around a central ‘vanishing horizon' pool, this highly unusual lodge features a simple timbered reception area, built in traditional African style, which is accessed via a bridge over a small stream. Beyond reception, lies the central dining room, bar and veranda, below which lies the pool. Perched on the very edge of the cliffs, with stunning views over the lake is the pool bar and observation point. Dotted around the grounds, all with views over the lake, are a series of circular two-storey ‘rondavels', which house the rooms. Designed to reflect the brilliance of Lake Manyara's unique birdlife, the architectural motif melds swooping avian curves with the gentle concentric patterns of traditional Maasai ‘Bomas' , while the vibrantly coloured wall frescoes depict the colourful intricacy of bird migratory patterns.
• A selection of ensuite rooms and suites
• Central dining room and bar
• Outside dining terrace
• Poolside bar
• Game drives daily
• Swimming pool and pool deck
• Bush dinner site within the grounds
• Tented conference room
• Wedding planning and honeymoon venue
• Gift shop, business centre, WiFi
• Satellite TV room
• Extensive selection of sports and activities
• Cultural dance and music
The Lodge is in Mto wa Mbu, Northern Tanzania, 130 kilometres from Arusha.
By road: transfers by road from Arusha take approximately one and a half hours.
By air: the airstrip is adjacent to the lodge and a ‘meet and greet' and transfer service is offered.
Rooms and suites
The rooms are housed in circular, double-storey, white-washed ‘rondavels' (traditional circular buildings with conical thatched roofs), which are strung out along the edge of the cliff so as to allow for maximum views. Each spacious circular room has its own small veranda while the interior décor reflects the blue of the lake and the pink of its flamingos. Behind each bed hangs a spectacular hand-woven rug, while the furnishings and fittings reflect traditional Maasai beadwork.
Room facilities include:
Telephone and WiFi
Laundry, valet and shoeshine services
Mineral water and toiletries
Bathrobe and slippers
Snacks and drinks room service
Safe and hairdryers (from reception)
24-hour medical service
Children's meals, beds, babysitting
The Manyara Suite
Overlooking the vanishing horizon pool, with views to eternity, the Manyara Suite is presented in sky blue and dusky pink, which echo the colours of the lake below. Secluded, exclusive, spacious and elegantly presented, it offers a degree of luxury and sophistication rarely found on safari.
The spacious bedroom is luxuriously appointed with a king-sized double bed with walk-in mosquito net, sumptuous furnishings, dressing area and marble ensuite bathroom. The elegantly appointed sitting room: enjoys panoramic views and is tastefully and relaxingly furnished while offering: a fully stocked mini-bar, digital multi-channel TV and direct dial telephone. The room also features a generous balcony overlooking the vanishing horizon pool. 24-hour room service is available and fruit and wine will be laid out to welcome our guests. The suite is set slightly apart from the rest of the rooms and enjoys its own private access.
Dining at Lake Manyara Safari Lodge
The spacious dining room features an interior bar area, a central buffet and both inside and outside seating. Presented in typical Maasai style, it features the use of swirling primary colours on textured white walls, which are embellished with traditional Masai beadwork, gourds and leatherwork.
The Lodge also features an outside dining area, which is reached by a lantern-lit pathway along the cliff's edge. Here, in a grassy clearing overlooking the lake, atmospheric evening cocktails and outdoor BBQs are held and the area can also be hired for private parties. This is also the venue for displays of cultural dance and music, which are usually held after supper.
The village lunch
The lodge is a member of the innovative Mbu Cultural Tourism Programme, which is run by the local community. As part of this programme, guests can enjoy a fascinating stroll around the local village in the company of a trained guide.
The stroll will terminate in a pretty clearing amongst the banana plantations where a superb lunch is served in typical rural setting. The buffet lunch, which features both local and international choices, is entirely catered by the Serena lodge and served by Serena staff, while supporting kitchen and bathroom facilities are also provided by Serena.
A charming and utterly unique experience, the village lunch offers a charming and colourful insight into the daily life of the local community.
Conferences, meetings and events
The lodge has its own dedicated under-canvas conference or event space, which stands in the grounds. Exceptionally spacious, the venue features a raised wooden floor and canvas walls and ceilings. Fully air-conditioned, this supremely different conference venue offers all the features of a normal conference room, with the added attraction of a stylish safari look and feel.
The facilities include:
• A tented space with external terrace and lawns where delegate reception procedures can be hosted
• Modern, modular events furniture, which can be tailored to your specifications
• PA system, LCD overhead projector, podium, flip charts and marker pens
• Delegate pads, pens/pencils, individual mineral water supply
• Business support (secretarial services, photo-copying, WiFi and a full range of global communications)
• ‘Meet and greet' services
Weddings & honeymoons
Gorgeously situated on a cliff top overlooking Lake Manyara, the Serena lodge offers a unique photographic backdrop and numerous panoramic sites in which the actual ceremony can be enacted. We also have a wedding planning team, who will be pleased to advise you on the many choices open to you. These include:
• Traditional Iraqw or Sukuma wedding with local chief, dancers and choir
• Bush, garden, poolside or cliff top wedding ceremony
• Use of our tented event space, which features air conditioning and an exterior garden where pre-event cocktails can be served
• Individually tailored ‘bush brunch' or ‘savannah barbecue'
• Individually themed champagne reception - at the lodge or in the bush
• Tailor-made wedding cake
• BBQ reception around the pool
• Private candle-lit honeymoon dinner for two
• Luxurious honeymoon suite supplied with wine and tropical fruit
• Cultural dance performance for you and your guests
• Photography and videoing of your special day
• Special accommodation packages for the entire wedding party.
Family time at Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge
We appreciate the importance of quality family time. We are also committed to ensuring that you can relax, secure in the knowledge that your children are having as great a holiday as you are. With this in mind we offer a wide range of family-friendly accommodation options; children's dining; baby-sitting, and plenty of adventure, sports and educational entertainment for children of all ages.
We can arrange for adjoining rooms for the accommodation of families. We can also offer triple rooms or additional beds. Cots and baby-sitting services can be provided (prior notice appreciated).
All our meals are generous buffet-styled presentations, with something to suit absolutely everyone. High-chairs can be provided, as can baby-friendly food. We are also delighted to offer slightly earlier children's meals (as early as 12 noon and 6.30 pm) - tailored to suit your children.
The lodge offers its own swimming pool (supervised by a qualified life-guard but not suited to small children other than under parental supervision).
We also offer a wide selection of board-games and books on Africa and the wilderness. Our professional nature guides also offer nightly talks and video presentations on wildlife.
What to do and see
Spectacularly located overlooking Lake Manyara National Park, the Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge offers one of the most diverse selections of activities of any of the Serena group. Choices include:
• A daily selection of morning and afternoon game drives around the Lake
• Canoeing safaris on the tranquil and beautiful waters of the Lake (lake water levels permitting)
• Boating trips around the Lake and its ecosystem
• High-action mountain biking around Lake Manyara National Park and adjacent landscapes
• Guided walks in the ravines that surround the lodge
• Morning bird walks, wildlife talks, audio-visual presentations and talks on the heritage and traditions of the local tribes
• Visits to the villages of the Mbu Cultural Tourism Programme offering village walks (with lunch), bicycle tours and boating trips
• Bush dinners
• Maisha health, beauty and wellness facilities
• Day trips to nearby Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park.
Lake Manyara Serena Safari Lodge - Amboseli
Tanzania Safari Lodges, Tented Camps, Hotels & Resorts