CB Places: Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, Tanzania

Described by Ernest Hemingway as, “the loveliest I had seen in Africa”, Lake Manyara stretches along the base of the Great Rift Valley in northern Tanzania, dominating the Lake Manyara National Park. Famous for its lions, flamingos and dramatic scenery, the park is also home to the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, a luxury safari destination and a distinctly romantic retreat.

Opened in 2002, the lodge is located in the far south of the park, among a forest of mahogany, wild mango and fig trees. One of only two lodges situated inside the park itself, its secluded location ensures visitors an almost exclusive game drive experience, as well as the chance to enjoy a luxury take on tree-top living.

Designed very much with the environment in mind, the timber and makuti-built tree houses are tucked away into individually cleared corners of the bush. The stylishly understated interiors, which are furnished in earthy tones and muted colors, feature large floor to ceiling windows that invite the forest’s lush greenery inside. Each property is also surrounded by a spacious wooden deck, which houses an outdoor shower with bamboo pole screens.

This sense of openness extends to dining at the lodge with an open-plan dining area. The daily set menu is streamlined yet excellent, and the head chef is always happy to adapt to individual tastes and preferences. At night, one of the most spectacular experiences includes eating al fresco by the fireside, surrounded by storm lanterns.

The secluded location of the Lake Manyara Tree Lodge ensures guests on its game drives are unlikely to be disturbed by visitors from other lodges, and it is one of the few destinations in Tanzania where you can also take part in an ambient night drive.

Apart from experiencing the local wildlife, the lodge’s staff can organize trips to a nearby Maasai village so one can gain access to the unique culture of this exuberant African tribe. Back at the lodge, rest and relaxation is guaranteed thanks to a secluded pool hidden away in the bush, as well as an onsite spa.

Find out more about the Lake Manaya Tree Lodge on their website.