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LAKE MANZE CAMP

NEWS & STORIES pre June 2014

 

Lake Manze Camp Game Diary

 

Lake Manze Camp November 2014 Newsletter


 

Lake Manze Camp August 2014 Newsletter


 

Lake Manze Tented Camp - Newsletter August 2014

News from the Environment

With the start of August we have felt a change in the weather. The days have been getting noticeably hotter and the nights warmer. Most of the trees have lost their leaves and the Long Pod Cassia Cassia abbreviata has burst into flower adding a dash of colour around the camp. Not only does the Cassia tree have pretty yellow flowers the roots are traditionally used for treating malaria and pneumonia and it is said that the smells of crushed levels drive snakes from their holes. Quite a useful tree to have in camp!

cassia

The water levels have continued to drop at a fast rate and our boat operators inform us that in the 8 years the camp has been running they have never seen the water levels this low in August. It is thought that the rapidly dropping water levels is due to the heavy rainfall that we received earlier this year which resulted in the channels naturally becoming deeper by the sheer amount of water draining from the lakes out to the Rufiji River. The deeper channels are now draining more water from the Lake Manze than usual. The boat trips are still a great way to get out and see things. Hippos and crocodiles aplenty are seen in the deeper pools. The baby storks are getting bigger and leaving the tree top nests and are seen along the banks.

Storks in Selous

The low level of the water does have an upside. It makes for very good fishing. We had two records set this last week of August for the most fish caught on one trip this season which was a grand total of 13 fish and the biggest catfish caught which weighed 28.5 pounds (13 kg) caught by Chloe and Reuben.

Selous fishing

Though it is not just us who are enjoying the good fishing big flocks of storks, pelicans and other birds are seen gathering round low streams catching fish in the shallow water. 


In some areas of the reserve they have started doing controlled burning and we can from time to time see the fires burning in the distance. 

News from Sightings

August has been a very good month for seeing lions stalking, killing and eating their prey. It is almost every day that we hear reports back from our guests that they have seen lions on a very fresh kill and some guests even saw the lions take down a zebra on one occasion and a wildebeest on a different occasion. Some of the lions decided to change their menu and took down a young hippo. This was an unusual sighting as it is difficult for the lion’s teeth to penetrate the hippo’s tough skin and the hippo’s strong neck makes it difficult for the lions to strangle the hippo to death. 

Lions with hippo.

Our guide Samwel provided us with this picture of the lions with the hippo kill, sadly this will be his last contribution to our newsletter as he is going on to further his education, we wish him all the best.
Wild dogs have not been seen as frequently in the area this month as they were in July however we have still had some great sightings of them and they even ran through camp early one morning sending the resident impala into panic mode. Two of our guests this month were treated to an unusual and magnificent sighting of two big male Kudus fighting. The quest for finding the elusive leopard has continued to challenge our drivers and guides. Though one day they managed to get the jackpot of not only seeing three leopards in one day but seeing all three leopards in one big baobab tree! It was a mother leopard and her two cubs. Thank you to Paul and Sarah for sharing some of your photos of this beautiful sighting with us.

Selous leopards

Selous Leopards

The most unusual and rare sighting this month has got to be a “White Buffalo”. This buffalo was seen amongst a herd of around 300 buffalo, it stood out against the rest and from a distance we initially thought that it must have been rolling in some light coloured dust but from a closer look we could see that it was in fact the colour of the animal’s skin. We had heard stories of alleged “White Buffalos” being seen high up in the Udzungwa Mountains but not of any being seen here in the Selous. 

White buffalo

Your Tracks on our Path

tracks

 
"As a family, we have loved our experience here at Lake Manze. The array of wild animals has been spectacular, our guide / driver Bakari has extensive knowledge which has been fantastic too. Thank you for the hospitality." Rachel, Illi, Alisi, Eva and Jonah, 3.8.14


"To all at Lake Manze, We can here for the first part of our honeymoon trip, never having done a safari or been to Africa before. We have been utterly amazed by the beautiful setting, friendly staff and the wonderful wildlife we have seen. We never expected to see a herd of 30 Elephants drinking at the river, stunning Kingfishers on the lake or even the oddly sweet Hyena cubs. It has truly been the trip of a lifetime made all the more special by our last night’s candle lit dinner overlooking the lake in our tent, visited by the resident Elephant! With many many thanks for a trip we will never forget."
Chris and Rowena 4.8.14


"Wow! A huge thank you to everybody at Lake Manze camp. An incredible safari experience, with wonderful guides and brave drivers. We saw everything from tiny birds to the big cats (including the elusive Leopard) and have loved every minute. We leave sadly but contently and with very full stomachs! You have all made this an amazing honeymoon that we will never forget."
Sarah and Paul 9.8.14


"Thank you for 3 of the most memorable days of our lives. Our first safari and we really could not have enjoyed ourselves more. Special thanks to Alfred, Herbert and Elton for Guiding and driving us. They played a huge part in making it all so special."
Rick, Clare, Alice and Tom 10.8.14


"AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We don’t want to leave, fantastic place, lovely staff, and many memorable experiences!! Thank you for making the start of our honeymoon so unforgettable. Everyone has gone out of their way to do this for us. We won’t forget any of you and we are going to start saving so we can come back! See you in 10 years."
Kate and Ted (Jonas)


"A wonderful quiet spot to sit and recharge, a choice of activities if we wanted which you were awesome at coordinating. Loved having the animals so close! Awesome service."
Janet Mann, Jim, Karen, Andrea and Erica Scott.


"This was the best experience of our lives, we came expecting a lot and it far exceeded our expectations. The staff are very warm and friendly and the food was great. The all-day safari was amazing, we saw a fresh Lion kill and all the animals we had hoped to see. We would definitely love to come back."
Jan, Tim and Ollie 24.8.14

"This was our first safari and what a wonderful time we have had. We have enjoyed every moment from the sun rise to the sunset. The staff are all so friendly and can’t do enough to help. We are all so sad to leave. Thank you so very much for making this the most wonderful and memorable holiday."
Jane, Chloe and Reuben Fishlock (Dorset, England) 27.08.14 

 

 

Our Wild Friends - Elephants

The ripe Doum Palm nuts in all the Palm trees around camp has made the camp a popular place for the baboons and elephants to hang out as the feast on these delicacies.

Our resident breeding herd of 16 elephants and their calves have been in camp very regularly much to our delight and we have been fortunate in getting some special sightings of the interactions within the herd such as this interaction between two of the calves as is seen in this video clip.
The older one was protecting the younger one (Dundee) by getting him to go round to the far side so that the bigger calf was protecting him from us.

Watch the video clip of baby elephants from Steve.

Another occasion that same calf was walking past the lounge area during lunch with his mum and big sister and he decided that it was time for a nap and lay down and went to sleep with his head on the path.
The mother elephant wondered off leaving the older sister to stay and babysit the sleeping calf. She was clearly not impressed by the calf’s choice of place to nap and nervously kept watch over him.
After about 20 minutes she decided she had stayed for long enough and gave him a little kick to wake him up and off they went to join the rest of the herd.

Elephants at Manze

Just as I finished writing last month’s newsletter on how we hadn’t seen much of Lyagos in July he turned up on the 1st of August and he did his usual round of saying hello to everyone by walking past the lounge and office, squeezing through the gap in the fence and stopping by the kitchen and then going past the manager houses on his way out.
We have seen him several times since then, one morning he even put on an impressive show as he claimed the camp his territory by chasing off another big bull who was wondering through camp.

Watch the video clip of Laygos shaking a tree while Jabba watches admired.

 elephant at Lake Manze

The baboons have been spending most days in the trees and on the ground around the lounge picking and eating the ripe palm nuts.
Having them around provides regular meal time entertainment though also presents a challenge of getting in and out of the lounge without having a falling nut land on you.

 

 

 


from Rebecca, Steve, Samuele and all Lake Manze Camp Staff...
 we wish you a great safari in Tanzania! 

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Lake Manze Camp July 2014 Newsletter


 

Lake Manze Tented Camp - July 2014 Newsletter

News from the Environment Hippos in Lake Manze  July has been a month where we have been able to feel that the dry season has set in and everyone has been enjoying the pleasant winter temperatures and the cool breezes that have blown across the channels in to camp.  The water levels in the lakes have dropped rapidly drying up the smaller channels and creating sandbanks perfect for crocodiles to take in the heat from the sun. The hippos are seen creating pods in the deeper pools. Yellow billed and Open-billed Storks continue to raise their chicks in the palm trees along the channels as well as congregating in huge numbers to fish in the shallow streams.  Green grass is now only seen along the shores of the lakes with the majority of the landscape turning in to the classic African golden hue as the vegetation dries out and is trampled down and eaten by the increasing density of animals around the lakes.  Storks, Selous  Lake Manze sunset News from Sightings July has been a great month in the Selous in terms of wildlife sightings. More and more large herds of buffalo, wildebeest and elephants are gathering closer to the lakes as the environment starts to dry out. Animals such as Hartebeest and Eland that have been scarce throughout the wet season are making appearances in the area again.   The prides of lions in the area have been providing our guests and guides with lots of entertainment. One pride decided that they wanted to look at things from a different perspective and gave tree climbing a go, some being more skilful than others. Lions in trees, Selous On a different occasion the lions were seen successfully hunting a wildebeest only to have it stolen away a short while later by a big clan of over 25 hyenas. The hyenas outnumbered the lions and used that to their advantage to taunt and tease the lions until they unwillingly abandoned their kill.  Selous landscape The lions faced a similar fate only a week later only this time it was a crocodile that swam away with the kill. A few of the lionesses tried to get it back from the crocodile though gave up once the water reached half way up their legs and more crocodiles emerged.  
Another exciting sighting involving a crocodile was seen a few days later, a big crocodile was seen taking down a wildebeest. The action was caught on Stefania and Fulvio camera as well as a on a short video taken by our guide Samwel.  Wildebeeste and crocodile Hyenas have been seen a lot this month and particularly one female and her pups have received a lot of attention as they have settled in a den not too far from camp.  Hyena pup
Your Tracks on our Path
tracks

 

 

"Hi team, Thank you for an incredible time! We’ve loved our stay, thanks for all the frogs, zebra, giraffe, lions, birds, elephants….. & dinner on our balcony :)", Heather & Richard, 05.07.14

  

 "Dear Team Manze, Thank you for an incredible stay! It has been superb and we could not have asked for more. We especially feel grateful for the excellent service and high quality guides provided on game drives. We will definitely recommend this lodge to our friends! All the best," Darren and Lawrence, 18.07.1

 

 "Thanks so much – we really enjoyed our 3 days in your lakeside camp. Thanks especially for our third day breakfast entertainment with the elephants coming through complete with babies! Very comfortable tents and a lovely relaxing time. Thanks Samuele for the astronomy lesson – we enjoyed seeing the Scorpio constelation. Keep up the good work!" Valerie and Alan, 05.07.14



"Dear Manze Team, WOW! What can we say…. Our stay has been absolutely wonderful for all 4 of us. The things we have seen will stay long in our memories. We particularly like the community feel of the camp and the kindness with which we have been looked after. Special thanks to Samuel and Herbert for 2 days of outstanding game driving. ***** for sure!" The Darlingtons, 18.07.14



"Many thanks for making us feel so welcome, a truly unforgettable experience. A special mention to Hilary, Emmanuel, Victor and Zohoro – so knowledgeable, great guiding. The food was so tasty and we loved dining al fresco in the bush and by the lake."Darren, Isabelle, Andrew, & Elizabeth, 28.07.14

 

"This was our second visit to Lake Manze – we loved it so much we had to come back! The staff have been excellent and we have enjoyed every minute of our visit, particularily seeing the wild dogs!" Ian and Jackie, 12.07.14

 

"We have had such a lovely time, far, far more than we expected. All the staff are so friendly and kind. Special thanks to our guide Saduro and our lovely driver Zahoro! We will be back and don’t want to leave today. Many thanks to you all." The Haynes family, 17.07.14

Our Wild Friends - Elephants and friends of the night There has been a large increase of elephants in camp and they have been hanging around for longer. It has mainly been the breeding herd with the calf named Dundee. They have provided us with lots of entertainment as they have walked along the paths and in-between the tents.    We have not seen Lyagos in camp this month but have heard reports that he has been seen near our neighbour camp Mbuyu. We have had another bull elephant appearing on several occasions where he has appeared to be fairly relaxed amidst our camp.  Several of our wild friends are rarely seen as they are nocturnal but we can see they have been round by the prints they have left on the paths and during the night. Common tracks seen regularly are the small paw prints of Genet and Civet cats. We were fortunate in catching a glimpse of both the Genet and Civet in camp this month thanks to a camera trap that we had set up.  Selous civet at night Selous Civet at night Selous genet at night For a duration of 4 nights we had a Leopard roaming around the camp. We heard it a few times and the ever watchful Maasai saw it on several occasions, it even came right past the main lounge though unfortunately everyone had long gone to bed at that point.  In the last two weeks we have had some very noisy Bushbabies (Greater Gallago) in camp at night. We have seen them in the trees by the lounge a few times while eating dinner as well as hearing them climbing in the palm trees and calling to one another throughout the night.   Another frequent night time visitor in the camp is the hyena, we frequently hear them but rarely see them except for when they cross our camera trap. One night a hyena was feeling particularly brave and he stuck his head in to our office and managed to find one of the bright torches that the Maasai use. The hyena thought it very interesting and ran away with it managing to switch it on in the process. The Maasai on duty noticed the bright light being taken off in to the bushes. The hyena played with the torch for a bit but then left it and moved on to find more interesting things to chew. Luckily we were able to get the torch back, still working, though missing part of its casing.  
 
Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to watch picture galleries. 

from Rebecca, Steve, Samuele and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania! 

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Lake Manze Camp June 2014 Newsletter


 

Lake Manze Tented Camp - June 2014 Newsletter

News from the Environment

 

A new season has started at Lake Manze and there are a few new faces to be seen around the camp as there is a new management team consisting of Rebecca, Steve and Samuele. We are a multicultural team with Rebecca having grown up in Southern Tanzania, Steve coming from the UK and Samuele from Italy.

We arrived to a lush green Selous  where  the heavy rains from the last few months had created swollen lakes and erosions along the roads. In camp we could see the water from the lake had been right up and flooded the bathroom next to the lounge. Luckily the water levels in camp dropped so that on the opening night we were able to have dinner under the stars.

One of the difficulties that we have had to suffer at the start of this season has been the unusually large amount of water cabbage in the lakes and channels which has been brought in by the high water levels. The water cabbage has blocked the passage between Lake Manze and the channels. We have had to move all the boats in to the channels and start the boat safaris five minutes drive from camp. Thankfully the water cabbage has started to disperse and we hope to have boats back in Lake Manze from the start of July.

Lake Manze, Aerial shot

One of the benefits of having the high water levels and fast currents in the channels is that those of our guests who have ventured out on a relaxing afternoon fishing trip have had the fortune of catching tiger fish as well as usual catfish.


The tiger fish are the more dificult fish to catch due to lower numbers but also as they are known to be fighters and their sharp teeth can easily cut through the fishing line if a wire tracer hasn’t been attached. Upon returning from fishing trips our chefs prepared both types of  fish for the guests to sample and the verdict has been that the tigerfish is the more tasty fish of the two though harder to eat due to the many bones.

Some good news for our guests and our vehicles is that we had graders in to scrape the surface of the roads in to camp and the surrounding areas leaving the roads in a much better condition and smoothing out some of the bumps. 

News from Sightings

 

We have had a good start to the season in terms of wildlife sightings with lots of animals seen in the area despite the large amount of surface water still present throughout the park. Though there has been a noticible increase in the number of animals drawing closer to the lakes over the last month and some big breeding herds of buffalo and elephants have been seen in the area throughout this last week of June.
Our guest have seen plenty of the usual herbivours, giraffes, hippos and crocs as well as frequent sightings of lions, hyena, buffalo and elephants.
Some guests have been lucky in seeing wild dogs, both the Limping pack and the Beho beho pack have been sited - thanks to Micheal Coste to have shared his picture with us. The elusive leopard has also been spotted on various occasions and even a porcupine was briefly seen on one game drive. 

 Wild dogs

Highlight sighting this month have been observing and photographing a herd of elephants from a boat safari, the herd was cooling off in the river and some of the younger elephants were being very playful.
Another great sighting was watching a pack of 9 wild dogs (the Limping Pack) stalk a herd of Impala though unfortunately we didn’t see if the hunt was succesful as once the chase set in they dissapeared out of sight as the light was fading from the day.

Selous Wild Dogs

Selous wild dogs

Arguably the best timed sighting was seen by a few guests who had just landed in the Selous and on their way to camp came across a leopard stalking a herd of impala and witnessed the leopard succesfully take down the impala. To add to the excitement as several hyena then came along and managed to steal the impala away from the hungry leopard.

Selous Leopards 

Your Tracks on our Path

paw prints

 


"What a place! Fantastic! Just walked down for a beer and there was a herd of Impala walking next to the path. Hippos were right by our tent last night and the call of the hyena can be heard every evening. The highlight was a river crossing by a herd of 30 elephants in the morning light. Food was great, staff very friendly and helpful."

Rob, 11.06.14 

 

"Everything perfect! Particulary friendly and efficient staff/managers which has enhanced our pleasure and excitement in seeing so many different animals on our first visit to Africa. Bakari and Mgoma were a wonderful guide/driver combo. Very knowledgeable, amusing and flexible. The “professor of poo” was very interesting and entertaining and we loved the early morning walks/drives here. Sunset during the lake trip on the boat was lovely. Delicious food and drinks served by very professional and charming staff.
Good luck and thank you to everyone."

Mike and Jane, 11.06.14

 

"Thank you so much for such a fantastic experience. We loved Tent 1 and felt very close to the animals. Really enjoyed completely switching off and using lanterns at night. We thought the staff were great and the guides were fantastic. We were also very grateful to the Masai who looked after us at night and kept the hippos away! Thanks for making our honeymoon amazing."

Iona and George, 18.06.14

 

"Thank you for a marvelous first experience in Tanzania. From the moment we arrived our guides Hillary, Rashid and the “new” managers Rebecca, Steven and Sam went out of their way to make my Birthday special. To have a floor show of Elephants coming to my party, what more can I ask for. Except the wildlife and my favorite Giraffes!"

Renee, 18.06.14

 

"We love Selous Lake Reserve- wonderful, wonderful guides Victor and Rashid with our very safe driver – very skilled – all of them. It was a journey we will always remember. Food – delicious, company even better – if possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Auara and Alison (two happy American gals), 22.06.14

 

 

Our Wild Friends - Elephants and Dogs

 

One of the best experiences for us new managers this month has been meeting all the Manze wild  “friends” who frequently cross our paths.

First we met the big male impala who sleeps on the driveway behind the kitchen every night.

Then after a few days in camp we were very fortunate to meet one of the breading herds of elephants that hangs out in this area. They quickly became personal favorites as they have regularly appeared in camp throughout the month. Especially one little elephant calf (who is easily distinguishable by his lack of tail and short trunk) has become our very special friend and we always look out for him whenever we see some elephants.

Selous Elephant

We kept hearing about a bull elephant who hangs out around the camp known to the staff as Laygos. For the first few weeks there was no sign of him and we were starting to worry that something might have happened to him.

Then one morning we woke up and there he was strolling right through the middle of camp looking very much at ease. Staff and guests alike were thrilled to have such a magnificent elephant back in camp.

One of the packs of wild dogs which our guides have been following for many years, known as the limping pack, were seen again at the start of this season. From the first sighting it became obvious to our expert guides that she was heavily pregnant. This is very exciting news as it means the pack should be looking to den fairly soon and stay in the area for around two to three months until the pups are ready to venture out.

Wild dog, Selous - alpha female 

 

 

From Rebecca, Steve, Samuele and all the staff at Lake Manze Camp

Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to wa wish you a great safari in Tanzania! 

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Lake Manze Camp - November 2013 Newsletter


News from the Environment

Lake Manze 

November in Manze has been hot, hot, hot! After ever few days of sweltering heat the clouds have built and with darkening skies have threatened the stormy rains that we have been craving. But we still wait. The majority of Impala mothers have dropped their little bundles; lots of cute little lambs are now prancing around. But they too still wait. Trees and plants have flowered but not without rain wither.

So we are all waiting…anticipating, surely they must come soon. One Storm did come, well almost. We heard a report of heavy rain at Mtemere gate on the eastern edge of the reserve. Then later our neighbouring camp also in the east reported a big rainstorm.

So we waited in anticipation, it was coming.

Thunder and Lightning rumbled and crackled in the near distance. Stood in an open patch of ground in front of camp we felt the unusual sensation of humid warm air brushing our faces immediately followed by a burst of refreshing cold air. We were standing where a cold front and a warm front meet. A few fat heavy raindrops fell and after ten minutes a tiny little puddle had formed in front of my feet, and then it was gone! Moved off to the north/west. It was as if we at Manze were at the eye of the storm, peaceful calm whilst all around us the winds swirled violently and the rain pounded the earth.

As I sit here writing this newsletter, with still some days left in November for rain to come, the winds are picking up and I can hear thunder rumbling in the distance. African palm swifts, usually not a gregarious bird, are gathering in groups above the lake, are they anticipating a glut of flying insects which rain would bring? I ask myself. Maybe. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

Africa can be unpredictable; it’s a big part of why we love it!

News from Sightings

More and more migrant birds are being spotted after their winter absence from Selous.

There are plenty of white- throated bee-eaters around the Manze area and more and more Northern carmine bee-eaters are arriving.

Lions of course are an ever present. Lots of Impala lambs prancing around and every family of warthog have little tiny babies in tow, which are extremely cute!

All this and more has bee punctuated with increasing Wild dog sightings.

Selous Leopard 

But really notable this month has bee the amount o leopard sightings we have enjoyed. With some really nice sightings too, not just the flash of a tail disappearing into the bush.

Selous Leopard  Selous Leopard

One that really stands out was a sighting of a young leopard who had killed an Impala and stowed it up a Terminalia spinosa tree, first seen on an evening drive, but then stayed for the following 2 days, posing in various positions for us, before finally leaving the area on the third morning when a herd of elephants caught his sent and amongst their trumpeting he slipped away.   


Your Tracks on our Path

tracks

"This was our first stay in Tanzania. Thanks to all the positive comments in the Internet, we chose Lake Manze Camp. We’ve loved it here. Not only nature, but the many who have helped to make our stay so memorable we can’t thank enough. It’s so peaceful. The animals come and go through the camp as though it wasn’t there. Congratulations to Phil and Trish for keeping everything so spoilt. Well done everyone, and thank you. "

Ednis and Heinz

"An amazing 3 days on safari. Our first trip to Tanzania and what a wonderful first experience! The staff in camp have been brilliant, the guides and drivers wonderful, full of knowledge and nothing was too much trouble for them. Fantastic." 

Steve and Dot Behrend (Nottingham, UK) 

"I don’t know where to begin so maybe I’ll just do a quick summary: incredible. From the expertise of our guide Victor and our driver Daniel, we learned so much and were able to see so many unique things. The staff at the lodge itself also greatly contributed to our experience – from the delicious meals to the housekeeping staff and all the smiling faces, and especially the Masai warriors – we thank you all for making our first visit to Africa truly incredible."

Maggi and Andy 

"We have had a fantastic four nights in this magical place. Where else could we watch an elephant walking past whilst taking a shower under the stars.. we loved having no electricity, so no emails or mobiles. All the staff were so friendly and couldn’t do enough to help. The guides were very knowledgeable and helped to make the whole stay a truly wonderful experience."

Andrew and Carol, England 

 "Again – a great stay at Selous Lake Manze. 10th time here and will be back! Great staff, great game, great camp!"Jim and Karen 

Click here to read more November guest comments.   

Our Wild Firends - Hippos and Buffalos

A couple of animals frequent the area around camp who rarely get a mention in “our wild friends” but are actually always around, al be it at a reasonable or safe distance but they are there and we see and hear them daily. Maybe not top of every ones list because they are not the prettiest of creature. I mean of course Hippo and Buffalo.

Lake Manze hippos 

Our hippo’s can be seen submerged in the water of the secondary lake in front of camp but even if we cant see them we are always reminded of their presence due to their frequently heard throaty laughs, aptly called a wheeze-honk.

At night they emerge from their watery homes to graze on the short grasses in and around camp.

Selous buffalos 

Our Buffalo bulls hang around the muddy shallows around the edge of the lake. These are usually the old men and never really come into camp but almost daily pass across the front of camp and can be seen regularly wallowing and bathing from a seat on your verandah or in the lounge area.

The stars of the show at Manze have always been our elephants but when they are not around, lets not forget that those hippo’s and buffalo are also impressive and they too are always here!   

 


Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to watch picture galleries.

from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

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Lake Manze Camp - October 2013 Newsletter


News from the Environment

Fireball Lilly, Ruaha

It is truly wonderful to be able to witness how nature responds to a change in weather! At the end of the dry season if you were to squat down and examine a single herbaceous plant or grass, it would seem completely desiccated; to look at it, it must surely wither and die! But then the rains come. The heavens open, and a big fat raindrop of precious water hits the ground at the base of the plant with a splash and a puff of dust. Another trickles down a yellowed leaf blade and our forlorn hopes for the plant’s survival quickly change. Once dormant cells reawaken with newfound hope. Roots greedily soak up moisture, pumping it to the farthest dried out limbs; and with it chlorophyll shines once again in emerald green.  

Before you know it splashes of colour appear as flowers suddenly come into bloom, like the spectacular Fireball Lily (Scadoxus multiflorus) or the canary yellow balls of the Coastal Whistling-thorn Acacia (Acacia zanzibarica). This is what October has brought, but this is just the start! So for those of you coming to Selous in the upcoming months, look to the life being lived in the miniature, then as you stand and observe the ecosystem as a whole and if you look with open eyes and you choose to see, you will see that all life in the Selous right now is vital and vibrant.  

Whistling Thorn 

News from Sightings

The onset of rains does not mean the big game sightings stop. We have been enjoying sightings of large herds of buffalo on an almost daily basis. The impalas have started lambing providing visitors with plenty of joy, one set of guests even witnessing a birth, but even just to watch these delightful little lambs cavorting around is great fun. And of course our predators are thriving with such bountiful game around, including our lions and their juvenile cubs which themselves have provided us with great and frequent sightings this month. We have also been lucky on the boats, not usually a mode of transport conducive with seeing big cats; but this month lions were spotted and amazingly one family was lucky enough to see not just one, but two, leopards stalking impala. They were unsuccessfulin their attempts, but a very special sighting viewed from the water.

The more we progress into the rainy season the more glimpses of migratory birds we are seeing. We have spotted various species such as Wahlberg’s Eagle, the stunningly coloured European Bee-eater and even a few early Northern Carmine Bee-eaters, who once the majority arrive here will number in the thousands and be areal spectacle for visitors in the months to come. Broad-billed Rollers, who have been here a while, have nested in the Baobab just outside camp, while weavers of various species busily build their woven nests in the overhanging trees and bushes which line the lakes and channels have got the local water monitor lizards’ tongues flicking excitedly tasting the air for the hint of a tasty egg!   

Monitor Lizard

Your tracks on our path

prints

 

Adrian and Sophie, Leamington Spa, England, 2.10.2013  

Thank you for a wonderful few days! The camp blends into the landscape and seeing the animals wander through is a great experience. The Selous is fabulous as it is so full of wildlife and so quiet with other game viewers. Please keep it like this. A perfect few days!

Julie and Ken Wilson, 2.10.2013 

What a privilege sharing so much of your African wildlife! Thank you to our boat and Landrover drivers for sharing your profound knowledge about the birds and animals that we saw. Wow! All fantastic- even the rain! (overnight 28 mls) Thanks to the cooks – we were certainly well fed. The bed in no. 7 was so very comfortable. 

Trevor Blundall 7.10.2013 

Returning after 5 years and my first visit in 2008; it was like coming home. Some staff still the same, Elton especially. A reminder of the true spirit of African hospitality and fun I treasured from 2008 both here and also at Mdonya Old River Camp. Many thanks – Godbless and have mercy on you all! 

Tom and Andrea Carver – Calgary Canada, 15.10.13 

Wow, everything has been beyond our expectation from first arriving at the airstrip through to the wonderful starlit dinner. The whole camp is beautifully thought out and we felt so safe and looked after every day. A huge thank you to Tricia and Phil for the excellent planning of our days; we can’t believe how much we fitted in. Your staff are superb and their smiles will remain with us. A special thank you for our wonderful guide Victor and our great driver Kamkumba; our drives were memory making and our rainy day was one of the highlights. We will definitely safari again! 

Our Wild Firends - Wild Dogs

 

Our wild dog pack has proved elusive for parts of this season.

After denning in June on the eastern edge of the reserve, once the pups were big enough they swiftly disappeared for over 2 months!

A few reports came in that they had been sighted outside of the reserve to the east. But that was all. We speculated as to where they had gone and when they would return, with most of us hoping that they would return before the rains started and the impalass started lambing, with the view that once there were so many impala lambs around and the game had spread in response to the rains that wherever they were would no doubt have plenty to keep them occupied.

But then they were seen, and good news, not in the east but near the centre of the reserve around Lake Nzerakera – a favoured stomping ground. With 4 sightings in September, sightings increased in October when we saw them on 7 separate occasions. So they are back and looking good. They are 9 in total including 2 pups, who are quickly growing and well fed. With so many little impalas around they are spoiled for choice and look set to thrive!

Here are few pictures (click on the beautiful picture here above to see others) of one great sighting where they delighted all present with their playful antics in a seasonal pool!


Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to watch picture galleries.

from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

 


Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to watch picture galleries.

from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

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Lake Manze Tented Camp - August 2013 Newsletter


News from the Environment

It may surprise some people to learn that a large amount of the Tanzanian population have never seen a lion or an elephant or may never seen their national animal: the giraffe. Some may never have the opportunity to visit any of the vast natural wilderness that is their national heritage.
So we were delighted to welcome a group of school children from Shekilango Primary School in the Kinondoni District of Dar es Salaam to Lake Manze camp for the day.
On a game drive which ended up at camp, they were treated to their first ever glimpses of many magnificent animals such as lions, elephants and giraffe as well as lots of hippos and crocodiles.
Once at camp they were given a guided tour of camp from assistant manager George Chambika, during which George explained how a camp works and the challenges faced in each department.
Everyone then congregated in the lounge area of camp, where George, camp manager Phil Bennett and nature guide Victor Mafumba, hosted a talk for the students, followed by an enthusiastic question and answer session.
The students were all very interested in a wide range of aspects such as guest demographics, camp logistics, Lion pride social structure, elephant reproduction, conservation and poaching and the important role of the game wardens, as well as an overview of the Selous Game Reserve.


It was a very enjoyable day for all of us. For us in camp we were happy that they were able to come and enjoy Selous for a day and felt that these children showed an encouraging future for Tanzania. These opportunities may be what encourages some of there children to become the next generation of game wardens or conservationists or maybe even the next policymakers on the protection of natural resources!

News from Sightings

Guests have had some amazing sightings this month. Big herds of buffalo continue to move through the area: fairly regularly, Eland herds of 25+ have been spotted; as more commonly seen, but no less beautiful or interesting large numbers of impala, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe.
As for the predators, they continue to provide us with action and excitement!
Numerous leopard sightings this month have included a couple of brief glimpses of two small cubs. Although no one has managed a picture of the cubs, we have caught mum on our camera trap!

And in other sightings, guests watched a big male leopard chase two warthogs, however the warthogs also included a big male that ended up turning the tables and chasing the leopard away!
The lions of course will not be left out of all the action. We have seen their full range of interactions this month, from a mating pair, to various hunts some successful while others not. More spectacularly guests have witnessed lions fighting. Our guide Samuel Chambo captured a video of the action when a lioness found herself in hostile territory and surrounded! Which can be seen here   (please be aware that the content of this video contains graphic images of violence between animals.)
And we haven’t even mentioned the antics of our hyena pups at their baobab den, but you can see another of Samuels videos here   of when one cheeky little hyena pup came to check us out.

Your Tracks on our Path

 

Dawes and Botham Family (here in the picture), 24.08.13

"Wonderful holiday! The animals were amazing. The service and guides and drives are fantastic.
Thank you x"

Dave and Lesley Dickson, 1.08.13

"We came on honeymoon to Lake Manze to go on safari. We have had the most amazing time – have seen so much and many many animals! The staff here are fantastic – so so so helpful and the guides were excellent- so full of knowledge. Trish and Pippa were very welcoming and helpful. All in all a fantastic holiday – one we will remember forever! An experience of a lifetime! Thank you so much for everything! We will definitely recommend!
PS. Bakari and Alfred were legends!"

Tim, Kerry, Natalie, Lauren, Patrick and Keziah x, 5.08.13

"What an amazing adventure! We couldn’t have asked for friendlier people and a better view of the animals in and out of camp. Bush breakfast – got to be done. It may be a long day but the hot springs are definitely worth visiting. Great fun hunting for leopards, even if you don’t quite manage to see one. Fishing is a lovely relaxing morning – you might even hook the catch of the day! Yum! We will miss the sounds of the animals eating their dinner at night. We hope everyone else has an amazing time like us and we’ll see you again soon!"


Our Wild Friends -Elephants and more...

Our Elephant herds with young calves continue to visit camp regularly, which is always a spectacle and of course Lyagus is never far from camp and visits often to shake our palms or just have a little siesta.


This month though we have also had lions come through camp on a few occasions.
Some guest have even watched lion hunts from the comfort of their verandah, once in a failed attempt for an impala; then later for a giraffe but the chase was given up very quickly.
Having not had much success hunting in camp, the next time they passed through they gave up on chasing our resident plains game and instead spent a few relaxing hours sleeping next to the solar water tank of Tent 12.


Life at Lake Manze Camp!

 


Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to watch picture galleries.

from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

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Lake Manze Tented Camp - July 2013 Newsletter


News from the Environment

July has been a long, dry month in Manze; the first month since November that our area has seen no rainfall. From the scorched earth dust devils spring up, and no surface is safe from the dust carried on the winds. Old roads along the lakes re-emerge with the receding waters. The last green plants spring up in its wake as a sharp contrast to the burnt yellow grasses just beyond. 

The newly exposed muddy and sandy shores attracting parties of waterbirds to probe for molluscs and worms, whilst herons stand frozen in the shallows, ready to shoot out spring loaded necks armed with sharp stabbing bills at any fish which may come into range. Fledged Sacred Ibis, Egret spp and African darter chicks in the lake’s islands have made way for the now nesting African Spoonbills and late nesting Open-Billed Storks.


June’s long, golden grasses are already short, well-grazed by large herds of impala,  buffalo, wildebeest and zebra revisiting the river system as their summer water holes dry up.

The returning concentrations of herbivores come just in time, as news of the first sightings of lion and hyena cubs and wild dog pups circulate amongst excited Selous visitors. 

News from Sightings

There have been lots of amazing sightings this month at Lake manze camp.
Large herds of buffalo have been grazing in the area’s around the lakes and have provided exciting veiwing on foot from our walking safari’s here at manze, from a safe distance, veiwing a force of nature such as a large herd of buffalo is a real experience and totally different from viewing  such a mass of large herbivores from the elevated position of a landrover. Other highlights included fantastic veiws for nearly all guests in camp at the time of a young leopard with a porcupine kill stashed up a milkberry tree.

Porcupine is a bit of a delicacy for a leopard but not always easy to catch, in fact on many occasions the leopard will come off second best in an interaction with this prickly customer. These lovely shots here are courtsey of Amy Vater and Dean Brooks. Thank you! Great pictures. Some new arrivals were spotted too, these cute little lion cubs delighted us with their antics playing with and stalking their older brothers!


And our birders were not disappointed either with special sightings of a Yellowbill, a large strange looking bird thought to be related to the cuckoo family which is usually shy and sticks to thick forests, and a great veiw of the rare Cuckoo Hawk.

Your Tracks on our Path


 Phil Moore and Imma Vitelli, 5.07.13

"A beautiful location with incredibly friendly and kind staff made two wonderful days nights in Selous!
The boat ride with Elton (and his patience for our exigencies!) showed us an untouched part of Africa and its wildlife in a way that I have never seen in my three yeas of living in- and extensively traveling around- the continent. Thank you all"

From Lauren and James (Britain), 2.07.13

"Excellent time our first time on safari and this has got us hooked for life. Firstly, Manze camp is beautifully run, staffed and located. Everyone is really friendly and helpful. Secondly, wildlife! Even on the drive from the airstrip we saw more things then we imagined possible. To crown it all we were privileged to witness lion pride hunt, take down and eat a poor wildebeest. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity and we are both so grateful!"

Aisling, Ireland

"Incredible experience! It’s hard to leave. I’ve loved the natural feel of the camp, the warmth of the staff and the knowledge of the guides. The communal dining made the whole experience very sociable. Most of all, I will miss the elephants. I hope that this is the first of many experiences here. Thank you!"

Mike, Chicago, USA

"What an amazing and magical place. The ride from the plane was more than worth the travel, the boat ride and dinner under the Milky Way. Magnificent."

The Norman family, Cambridge

  "Awesome animals, baby baboons, cranky crocodiles, daring driving, epic elephants, fab food, giant giraffe, hungry hippos… and so much more!
Had a fabulous time. Many thanks for the warm and attentive welcome!"

Our Wild Friends - Elephants

Frequently, our resident bull elephant, Lyagus, is found in camp. He is seemingly taller than last season and has a newly found swagger, but it has been breeding herds that have stolen Lyagus’s limelight this month, spending full days, non-chalantly browsing the many Doum Palms around camp.

We have experienced special sightings with one herd in particular, which has a very young calf amongst them. On separate occasions, we have watched this youngster attempt to master its trunk, picking up palm fruits and successfully – alright, not on the first try! – getting them into its mouth.


On a recent morning, while learning the benefits of tannins in dried leaves from mum and aunt, this little one had enough! Plopping itself into a pile of leaves, most ungracefully, it gave up on the deliberate maneuvering of leaves from ground to mouth, with a trunk it has not yet mastered the use of and resorted to the time-tested, effective method of lying flat on its side and using its trunk to instead shovel the leaves into its mouth ... providing a good laugh for all who witnessed this event!

If the conservation of the elephant population is your interest, we adivse you the reading of this article.


from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff...  we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

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Lake Manze News June 2013


Lake Manze Tented Camp - June 2013 Newsletter

News from the Environment 

Ruaha birds

On our return to the Selous after the long rains, we found previously used roads submerged by swollen lakes and covered by tall grasses. With few to no travelers in the Selous for two months, nature had reclaimed the expansive plains and woodlands. And the rains were good. In total, we measured over 644 mm of rain between the short and long rain seasons. This ensured plenty of food for our herbivores further afield and kept us searching for large herds of wildebeest, zebra and buffalo early in the month.

Our first week in camp, the lush, green grasses attracted swarms of red-billed quelea seeking grass seeds. Flying from the ground to trees and back again, the beating of thousands of wings created an audible rush that surged through camp. Elephant herds of over 20 individuals came through touting their young as they browsed the many trees and bushes in their path.

High water levels and fast currents early in the month allowed our guests the fishing challenge of catching tiger fish – a feat rarely available in the channels around Manze.

But the water was not just for the fishermen. Boat safaris were also a birders delight. At the end of last season, various birds nested in the islands on Lake Manze creating a heronry. In June, we witnessed a variety of immature herons and egrets stretch their wings for their first wobbly lessons in flying.

News from Sightings

It’s been a spectacular start to the season this month at Lake Manze Camp. The herds are making their way back to the lakes and the game viewing has been great! We are now starting to see the large herds of buffalo arriving back and the lions are already taking advantage. Mary and Macy and the rest of the Manze pride (look out on the website for more on our Manze lion prides coming soon) continue to show off their hunting prowess this new season with guests watching two successful hunts of wildebeest and a spectacular buffalo hunt as well. Thanks to Stefan Hellstrom, Hanna and Sandra Pettersson for these spectacular photos of the event!

lion kill

Our wild dogs are denning at the moment but we have still seen them a few times on their morning hunting forays. The Beho Beho pack of 15 dogs have also put in an appearance on a couple of occasions and there have even been a few sightings of the elusive leopard; particularly one great sighting of a big tom stalking impala, even though unsuccessful. For those avid birders out there, Manze is and has been a fantastic birdwatching destination this month with special sightings of African Scops Owl (rare here in Manze) and even this Striped Crake, thought to be the first on record in Selous.

Striped Crane

Your Tracks on our Path

footprints

Tracie & Paul Hunt, West Yorkshire:
"We came on safari to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Breakfast in the savannah with giraffes and impala, champagne on the river bank with hippos and the most wonderful sunset. An anniversary I will never forget. Perfect. Phil & Tricia –brill hosts.  Peter and Mgoma, the best guides. This week has surpassed all expectations. Absolutely fantastic. Will be back.
Thank you all"

Jane and Richard Bialosky: "Again, we have fallen in love with Tanzania. The graciousness of your staff is something rare in this world. We are indebted to them for keeping us safe and providing delicious meals. Their kindness and consideration for our every need are truly refreshing. Phil and Trish were knowledgeable and charming hosts. Our guides on the drive and on the boats know their plants, and animals and are excellent spotters. The setting is sublime. Altogether, we are now able to see the world anew. Tanzania has a precious, limited resource that we must protect. Thank you for opening our eyes and our hearts."

Jackie and Adam
"
I think we can say this is the best holiday (and honeymoon) we could have gone on. Oh to be charged by elephants every day… Thank you so much for a wonderful adventure!
Best wishes, x."

Our Wild Friends - Elephant

Mdonya Elephant

For us who live here at Manze its been a tense month of waiting, hoping everyday that today will be the day our resident bull elephants return to the Manze area. For three and a half long weeks we waited wondering if they were okay. Probably they just have moved far away in response to the abundance of green vegetation and nutrient rich plant life in faraway corners of the Selous. We hoped this was the case and that they would return again soon as the savanna dried out. It was a worrying time with the whole of Africa locked in a battle to save the elephants from poaching a problem which is at crisis levels all across the continent. We hoped and prayed our magnificent bulls were okay! And then one day one appeared striding through camp, his great bulk and tusks to match made him instantly recognizable as one of the big old patriarchs of the area. It was fantastic to see him after so long and our eyes immediately started darting around to see if he was accompanied by one of his frequent companions, our friend and camp favourite, Lyagus, but on that day Lyagus was not with him. So the wait continued. But we only had to wait for two more days, when on one morning Lyagus was here at the office to say hello then doing his trademark lap around the dining area feeding and generally giving everyone a great show, before deciding he was not getting enough attention and came back up to the office area, pushing over a bamboo partition to get to fallen doum palm fruits.

Click on the pictures to enlarge them and to watch picture galleries. 

from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania! 

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Lake Manze News February 2013


Lake Manze Tented Camp - February 1013 Newsletter

News from the Environment

Selous is still lush and green with a respectable amount of rain in the month of February. One night we had a downpour of over 70mm. Consequently the following day all the dry rivers that drain water down into the lakes and the Rufiji were full and flowing, providing guests with some exciting river crossings. But as these sand rivers drain and the water levels drop, it can provide us with some interesting sightings. As the water drained it left small pools bubbling with trapped fish. A feast that in Selous will be taken advantage of! African fish eagles, maribou storks, herons, egrets, and yellow billed storks, push, shove, snap and grapple for fishing space at the teeming pool.

 Marabou Stork

Another spectacular site at this time of year is the Northern Carmine bee-eater, not just one but thousands upon thousands are here in Selous for our wet season before they migrate back to their breeding grounds in the northern tropics of Africa. Guests will remember these stunning birds from having flocks of them daring around our moving safari cars hawking the insects the car disturbs. And just as spectacular the huge flocks that darken the skies as they flock in mass to their roosting grounds on the islands of Lake Manze in the evening and then back out to warm in the sun’s first rays and forage at sunrise, making a morning or evening boat safari on Lake Manze an essential experience. 

Ruaha animals and birds

 

News from Sightings 

Ruaha wild dog

Selous Game Reserve and Lake Manze Camp really have to be one of, if not the best, place to see the endangered African wild dogs. These animals need huge areas of wilderness to support a sustainable population, for example in Selous it is believed that a single pack can have a home range of up to 850 sq. km! This month we have seen four separate packs of dogs. And some lucky guests even saw three separate packs in one day! Our guests who came at the start of this season (June/July) will remember 2 lone females, who would run through camp often, even killing an impala close to the dining area one breakfast time. Well they have been spotted again this month and have been joined by a male. 

Our most frequent dog sightings have been of our usual pack of 8 (was 10) and they have been seen hunting many times this month (see Lake   Manze Facebook   for pictures on one such hunt). 

But apart from these we have seen a pack of 15 on the western side of Lake Manze, thought to spend most of their time in the Beho Beho area. And a new pack we have not seen before of 18, we think must have been out on the southern reaches of their home range. But no matter how often we see dogs they never get boring, always socializing making every sighting a wonderful display of animal behavior. 

Your Tracks on our Path

paw tracks

1.2.13

"We just loved it all - marvellous welcome, excellent food and accommodation, brilliant guides, good company  - the Emmanuels were superb, and we saw even more wild life than we expected. The rainstorm on the last morning didn't damp our spirits, it added to the excitement and we enjoyed the breakfast!  Best wishes to you all" Chris, Belle and Adrian Lee 

19.2.13

"We stayed at Lake Manze for two nights and 3 days, and they were great! Having done the northern circuit we were looking for a more rustic safari. Of the two, Selous was our favorite, with the animals more ‘wild’ - it feels like you are taking a peak into their lives -as opposed to the animals of the north who practically stop to pose for pictures. It was the authentic safari we were looking for. We especially loved the variety of activities on offer and how well organized it was. The staff are brilliant - happy to help with anything to make our stay better, and the camp itself, beautiful. Thank you for unforgettable stay. We will recommend you to all our family and friends and would hope to return the day to see the elusive leopard!" Best wishes. Kumara and Taufiq, London, UK 

28.02.13

"Wonderful, wonderful experience! So many elephants and hippo grazing around our tent at night! We did a lovely mix of drives and boat trips. Food was delicious. Staff all charming, helpful and knowledgable. Pippa is fabulous – friendly and fun! All guides went out of their way to find us what we wanted to see and hear about. Lake Manze Camp seems to have the perfect location in the park surrounded by so many animals. Thank you for the special birthday treat!" The Pendreds (UK)

Our Wild Firends - Baboons

We have many camp guards patrolling the tents and keeping us safe. I don’t mean our Masaai guards. I don’t even mean our magnificent bull elephant sentinels. I mean our resident baboon troops! 

Ruaha baboons

If there is danger around they will make absolutely sure that everyone in ear shot is fully aware of it. With the baboons intermittently going crazy, barking and angrily shaking tree branches throughout the day, we knew there must be something lurking in the bushes down by the lake. So thick though were the bushes they were directing their attention at, that we dare not go to check in case we startled the mystery offender at close quarters. 

But as usually happens with patience in the bush, we were rewarded when as the sun arced towards the horizon a beautiful lioness woke from her slumber amongst our bushes and sauntered down to the lake to have a drink in front of the dining area before walking off past tent 1 and off into the wilderness. 

Our primate guards also turned predator in camp this month. Just before we sat to lunch, the baboons started making a huge commotion. It turns out a young impala, a few months old and already fairly big, obviously strayed too close to the big dog baboon, who took the opportunity to grab it and dispatch the hapless youngster. With the baboons in camp there is never a dull moment.

Yellow baboon


from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff...  we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

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Lake Manze News January 2013


Lake Manze Tented Camp - Newsletter January 2013 

News from the Environment

Red-billed firefin

Now is a time of plenty here in the Selous. The “short rains”, which started reasonably late in November this year, were still falling in late January. Over the three months, they produced a good 283mm in total in the Manze area.

The abundance of food available as a result of these rains means we get to observe a variety of fascinating feeding behaviours. From a comfortable seat in the lounge area, I watch a troop of vervet monkeys moving across the open ground. With a constant air of mischief about them, they don’t stay still for long as they are not quite as comfortable on the ground, while plucking and shoving handfuls of succulent shoots into their mouths. Next along is a troop of baboons. With a much more measured and calm approach, they saunter along. One big male arrogantly walks right past the lounge to the bottom of a huge Borrassus Palm tree. He calmly lifts one of the orange fruits from the ground, and holding it under his arm like a rugby player, wanders back past the lounge and takes a stately seat in the open area to survey his domain.

It can be just as fascinating watching the various feeding techniques of birds at this time of year! Mixed groups of red-billed fire finches and cordon bleus hop around the ground amid the short grass seemingly randomly in their search for seeds; but with ten or fifteen of these beautifully coloured, tiny birds, they complete a thorough search of an area of about 2-3 square meters before moving on to the next piece of unsearched ground. 

News from Sightings

 Lions mating
Love is in the air in the Selous. Someone should tell these animals that Valentine’s Day is in February! It seems that which ever direction we went in this January, we found animals mating. The lions to the east at Lake Nzerakela are mating. The lions to the southwest are mating. You arrive back to camp to hear strange noises from the lake… Hippos are mating!

Ruaha Hippos

 
Some lucky guests even came across two leopards mating! And if they are not mating, they are giving birth. Baby zebra and wildebeest are shakily trying to keep up with their respective mothers. Lion cubs have been spotted near Lake Siwandu! And then there are the infant elephant calves.
 
  Ruaha baby elephants
Our guests have been delighted to be able to watch these little baby elephants on a number of occasions this month, as they try to figure out what the big, long thing on the front of their face is and how to control it!. 

Your Tracks on our Path

tracks

 

"A great, big thank you to all the staff and especially our guide, Victor! It was a great experience with all the animals so close. A happy New Year we would like to wish you all!"

Bronner Family, Sweden,1.1.13

"Thank you for a wonderful 4 days. At first, I was concerned at the fact there was no electricity in our tent, but it didn’t take long to adapt. All that we really needed was provided. To shower under the stars was very special! I’m actually pleased we chose your camp and would certainly recommend it to friends. Our guides (Ali and Bakari) were exceptional – please thank them again for us." 

Barbara and Peter, 1.1.13

"Having been on several safaris before, this provided a very unique experience with animals freely roaming around camp. It was fantastic to have elephants so close to your tent, not phased by our presence. All the staff are amazing and Guides very knowledgeable. Both the boat trip and full day game drive to the hot spring are very worth doing! Thank you all at lake manze camp."

Leena, Reena and Priya, 4.1.13 

"Thank you for a wonderful safari experience! It has been our first safari and we have thoroughly enjoyed it, Samuel and Emmanuel in particular played a huge role in our trip. Thanks all."

Jenna and Adam, 7.1.13 

Our Wild Firends - Elephants

Elephant at Lake Manze camp

 
The highlight of many of our guests’ holiday is the elephants, which regularly frequent Lake Manze Camp. Rarely does a day go by without an elephant. The real stars of the show are the bulls, which stop by and sometimes stick around most of the day. We are familiar with a number of these bulls, and each has his own unique personality. I have written often here about Lyagus (the lazy one) who is a gentle giant and genuinely seems to enjoy our company. But another we have come to camp frequently is a bull we call (for want of a better name, any suggestions??) Trouble. Trouble comes to camp with mischief on his mind and his favourite past-time is to chase our unsuspecting waiters as they ferry food and fruit back and forth. When Trouble is in camp, he keeps our Masai working hard! He is just a young bull showing off how big and brave he is! But this month, Trouble came to camp one day with a nasty cut in his trunk. We are not sure how he acquired the cut; perhaps a snare. He came peacefully straight up to our camp host Pippa and seemingly offered her his trunk to inspect. He is still coming to camp, more subdued now. We hope he will be okay. I have come across elephants, which have lost whole sections of their trunk and have been okay. So fingers crossed!

from Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff...  we wish you a great safari in Tanzania! 

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Click on the pictures to enlarge them


Lake Manze News December 2012


Lake Manze Tented Camp - December 2012 Newsletter

News from the Environment

A key feature of the Selous is the Rufiji River – its oxbow lakes and various channels. This permanent source of water is obviously vital to the flora and fauna of the reserve.Its principle tributaries being the Great Ruaha River and the Kilombero and Luwegu Rivers, which converge inside the Selous to become the Rufiji River. On the northern banks of the river, due to changes in the river’s course, a number of lakes have formed. Lake Manze is one of these and we get to enjoy the benefits (rare in African Game Reserves) of boat safaris and fishing. Water levels are good this time of year and across the year in general has seen good water levels in the channels around Lake Manze and the lake itself.

  

We are lucky that we have such a large catchment area because one of the main tributaries, the Great Ruaha River can no longer be called a perenial river; in recent years it has been drying out in large sections during the dry season. The Ruaha River has its headwaters in the Kipengene range but before running down into the Usangu Wetlands and Ruaha National Park, vast quantities of water are being diverted for irrigation – mainly for rice crops – having a huge impact on what was a healthy waterway. Then, before it gets to us in the Selous, it has been dammed twice, with Mtera Dam and Kidatu Dam generating a large park of Tanzania’s electricity. Yet still with all these issues farther afield, at Lake Manze we are still able to enjoy fantastic boat trips with hippos, crocs and the many varieties of water birds on show. And of course catch the odd fish for dinner!

Click on the picture to see them larger and Click here to read about the river status by Sue Stolberger. 

News from Sightings

With thick green vegetation and standing water spread throughout the reserve, we have to search a little more for the game now.

But frequency of sightings remains great and all the more rewarding having had to search them out. Sightings of true breathtaking quality have presented themselves, including watching some elusive predators attempting hunts.

Our pack of 8 wild dogs have wowed guests on numerous occasions with high speed and prolonged hunts of impala and hares. Keeping up with the hunts is incredibly difficult, and often staying with them relies on some intuitive driving from our drivers. Even though no one has managed to see the actual kill this month, it has been fascinating and exciting for our guests. One such wild dog hunt was sandwiched by two fantastic leopard sightings of the same leopardess all in one lucky group’s afternoon drive. Just ten minutes out of camp the leopardess was spotted lounging in a tree then ambling into a thicket. Five minutes later, the guests came across the dogs. After spending an hour with the dogs and returning to the open clearing from where they had followed an exciting hunt from the dogs, our guests stopped to catch their breath – only to spot the same leopardess stalk out of the bushes after an impala! The hunt was unsuccessful but what an afternoon!

Click here to see a photo gallery of the pack of 8 hunting hares...

Another sighting of two elusive species stands out from December. Guests were thrilled to see a leopard (always top of the wish list). But in an unexpected turn of events the leopard went down a hole; a few moments later a porcupine came bursting out of it – a very rare sighting in itself! The leopard never emerged, which begs the question,

what else was down there? 

Your Tracks on our Path

 

A proposal at Lake Manze

We would like to congratulate Tom Evans and Esther Bartholomew who recently got engaged in truely romantic fashion. After enjoying an afternoon fishing trip along the channels, they set out on an impromptu drive to a beautiful sundowners spot in front of a large termite mound. As they watched the sun settle behind the BehoBeho hills, Tom got down on bended knee to ask Esther to be his wife. When they returned to camp, Tom ecstatically told us he caught the biggest fish when Esther said yes! From the whole Lake Manze team, we wish you a lifetime of happiness! 

 

Click here to read more December guest comments... 

Our Wild Firends - Leopard

 

One of our many visitors to camp this month would usually ghost through camp in the dead of night, not hanging around, just passing through.

Usually we would wake up the next morning safely tucked up in bed absolutely clueless to the fact that a leopard wandered through camp during the twilight.

The leopardess mentioned in the news from sightings section, lives close by to camp in an area along the channel, where three ancient Boababs stand amongst low bushy palms.

I have seen her spoor there many times over the last couple of months, along with the spoor of a youngster, although we haven’t seen the cub since the beginning of the year.

We have seen the leopardess several times; but not in camp.

 

  

 

She visited at dinnertime and she didn’t just pass through. She was curious about all the activity and the smells of the kitchen. Sitting for 5 minutes up by the game drive meeting point, she watched the cluster of wide-eyed onlookers flanked by the imposing ranks of Masai guards.

She then wandered off back into the savannah, only to turn up fifteen minutes later to sniff around the kitchen – the door having been quickly closed on her approach by our chef, Sulieman.

She soon clearly decided that beef curry was not to her tastes though, and disappeared into the bush. 

Phil, Tricia, Pippa and all Lake Manze Camp Staff... we wish you a great safari in Tanzania!

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Lake Manze News November 2012

 

Lake Manze Tented Camp - November 2012 Newsletter

News from the Environment 

In early November, the rains finally arrived here at Manze and when they come they come in style. Just as guests were heading out on afternoon activities, a small rain shower started to fall. Many of us stepped out to enjoy the first drops after a long, dry season. But then, out of seemingly nowhere, torrential rain and very strong winds chased us inside, scrambling for cover and holding down anything movable. It was certainly dramatic!

The rains ended just as quickly as they had begun, but just one hour had dumped 55mm of rain! Whilst our guests were drying out in their tents, the clean up operation began. All of our staff came to the main area and we began to right upside down chairs, clean up the broken crockery and save the many files and reports which were quickly making their way from our office to the lake in small, fast-moving streams that had appeared all around camp. The effects could also be seen out on the manze flood plains where several iconic tagalala (Terminalia spinosa) tree’s had been ripped up and dump upside down on their crowns! November has brought us a total of 113 mm of much needed rain. Large parts of the reserve have now become a lush emerald green with standing water throughout. Our long suffering herbivore populations are now spreading out again, utilising more of the reserve, after being restricted to the areas around the lakes, river and channels for so many months.  

News from Sightings

The Selous at this time of year is arguably at its most beautiful. Whilst on safari, whether it be on drive, boat or walk, you get a wonderful feel for the rich diversity of the Selous as the savanna bustles with life.  Numerous bird species arrive, having migrated from far and wide, to feast on the vast emergence of insects. After the rains, thousands upon thousands of elate (reproductive caste) termites emerge, prompting a real feast for birds big and small. Coming across a ‘bird party’ feasting on localised emergences of this type can be a magical spectacle.

Sightings of large mammals continue to be plentiful too through. The coalition of 6 young male lions has been seen regularly and rarely are they withought a buffalo, which they are proving to be more than efficient in the capture of. The Manze pride continue to thrive and killed a giraffe on the day of the big storm not more than a kilometer from camp. Wild dogs have been elusive this month, although we have still had a few sightings – and one of which was of a pack of 21! Click here   to watch some picture from Tony Halliday. 

We have also had a number of leopard sightings – one of which stands out as a special sighting when early one morning a big male was spotted in a tree close to camp feasting on an impala, sticking around until the afternoon for our lucky guests to get a second viewing. Click here   to see Davis Mbaga, one of Lake Manze guide, pictures.

 

 

Your Tracks on our Path

 

"Thank you camp manze, it has been an amazing experience one we will never forget. A special thank you to the elephants for our early morning wake up call."

Ian and Jul Homerslay, UK, 15.11.12 

"We are so envious of everyone coming here today as we are so sad to be leaving. This was our first safari and always said we wouldn’t return as there are so many places to visit. This is one exception like ….. We’ll be back!! Staff has spoilt us as well as Tricia and Phil brilliant hosts. Thank you so much for excellent food, experience and a brilliant time. Be prepared to be very busy this haven is being recommended to everyone! Thanks so much."

Hilary and Peter Cooney, 1.11.12

"Happy thanks giving!

What an unbelievable  time! The best experience we have ever had. The staff the guides the maasai and everyone made us feel welcome at home. Is there a better safari camp in Africa! We think not. Thanks very much for everything we will refer all to lake manze camp. You guys are the best."

Self and Joan, 22.11.12 

"Our first safari, wow! Never dreamt it would be so fantastic even the storm. The staff are brilliant and we loved meeting new people. Thank you all so much."

Peter and Willow Cracrolt, 9.11.12 

Our NOCTURNAL Wild Friends 

 

We are often asked by guests: What was moving around outside our tent last night?

Well we know that camp has nightly visits from elephant and hippo, and for the most part it will be one of these two giants feeding peacefully outside your tent. But now we have got camera traps here at Manze to find out what else comes through at night. We set them up strapped to a tree trunk or similar and leave it over night, the camera then senses changes in heat or motion and takes a shot using infra-red light.

So lurking in the night around camp this month we have captured, of course lots of elephants, giraffe and Hippopotamus. But also the odd hyeana and a civet. Our resident genet is always around and is frequently captured on camera. One night we even had a lioness passing through! (click on the picture to see it bigger).

So even while we sleep, safely tucked up in bed in our tents, the action never stops at Manze! In addition to monitering the nightly action in camp, we also staked out a burrow in a grand old hollowed out boabab tree! Here you can see a couple of our resulting shots in camp. To see more camera trap pics from camp and find out who lives under the boabab (they are Prickly little customers)

 


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Lake Manze Game Diary October 2012


News from the Environment

Clouds building, Ruaha

Selous is dry, dry, dry, with no rainfall over the month of October – last year the first rains came in late September. The sun-scorched earth is providing very slim pickings for Selous’ herbivore populations. The lambing season of the Impala is usually well timed, with the majority of lambs born just after the onset of the rains, which stimulates new growth. The new growth provides cover for the lambs and vital nutrients important for the females in the process of lactating.

Impala calves

But for a good three months so many herbivores have been restricted to the areas around the permanent water and relatively lush vegetation of the lakes and river, that there is now precious little left to browse or graze on. Our Impala, usually in big herds, with a lively and frolicking nursery group and many eyes for protection are now being forced to move away from the protection of the group in search of browse/graze without worrying about competition for food from within the herd. They are looking more and more malnourished and weak. The predators are of course taking full advantage of our herbivores’ plight. But every day the clouds are building and the promise of rain surely will arrive soon. For the big longing eyes of the Impala, it can’t come soon enough.

News from sightings

The lions have been the stars of the show in Manze this month. With a group of six, very confident, young males moving into the area, the resident prides seem to have made space for them; choosing to move over to the other side of Lake Nzerakera, avoiding conflict. Our three females with cubs have been cautiously keeping their distance too from them. Although that they have been spotted with fresh wounds on two separate occasions suggests they have possibly been forced to protect their cubs from these males. Even though still young, these males have been showing that they are a force to be reckoned with, killing at least four buffalo in the space of ten days. Here a Glynn Farrar picture showing 4 of them on 6, resting between a meal and an other one.

Lioness takes Kudu down

Lioness kill

Lioness kudu kill

Although one standout sighting this month starred a lioness! Whilst a group of guests enjoyed breakfast out in the bush, they were amazed to witness a lioness burst from the bush taking down a Kudu right in front of them! After quickly retiring to the safety of the vehicle,Vicky and Justin Dyson were able to take some spectacular shots of as the scene developed before them. Thanks to Vicky and Justin Dyson for these photos.

Our Wild Friends

In camp we are joined by creatures great and small! From the procession of herds of gigantic Elephants passing through camp most mornings to the hypnotic light display of tiny Fireflies at night. Our Genet is growing increasingly bold, often hunting along the edge of the light thrown from the dinner table and fires in the evening, causing everyone to forget their food whilst engrossed in her antics. Its bigger cousin, the Civet, waits until the dead of night to prowl around the back of house area in search of any scraps. Watch this space for pictures from our new camera traps this coming month.

Wasp Spider  Wasp spider

One fascinating episode witnessed in camp this month captivated all who witnessed it: a Spider-hunting Wasp, doing just what its name suggests. Although adults feed on nectar, females hunt for spiders, paralyzing them with a venomous stinger before dragging the spider off to their nests/burrows where they will lay an egg in the spider’s abdomen and then close the spider and egg within the nest. Here the larvae will have a ready-made meal to develop through its five in-star stages to emerge as an
adult. And we got to watch this whole drama unfold as the wasp tackled a baboon spider many times its own size!

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Lake Manze Newsletter July 2012



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Lake Manze Newsletter March 2012


Lake Manze March Newsletter

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Lake Manze Newsletter February 2012


News from the Environment

Lake Manze camp

February has been hot, humid and without rain for the most part. But the threat of rain has always been present, seemingly just over the horizon, building, accumulating, waiting to sweep in to black out the sun and announce the arrival of the rainy season with sheets of driving rain. Finally it happened after a few exceedingly humid days on the 23rd.
Suddenly out to the north the sky blackened! Immediately we understand…Its coming!

Rain covers were unfurled and secured, poncho’s were frantically brought out of storage and dusted down. With barely 5 minutes warning rainy season had arrived in Selous in earnest. Now at the end of February, we have only a month left before the rains put a temporary halt to safaris and we close for 2 months before reopening for a fresh new season in june. 26 Sunrise’s, 26 sunsets still to be enjoyed at Manze this season though.
Still time to come and enjoy the beauty of the Selous.
Still time to come and witness the plants and animals in their never ending battle for survival in the savannah of Selous.

News from Sightings

Selous lion cub

Of course as always in our game rich area of Selous, sightings of a variety of game such as Giraffe, Buffulo, Elephant, Crocodile, hippo’s and our many species of elegant Antelope come everyday and in great numbers. Even numerous sightings of Liechtenstein’s Hartebeest this month and a good few sightings of the impressive Eland. Our Lions continue to be spotted on pretty much a daily basis. This month between their long bouts of sleeping and being generally lazy, we have seen them on Giraffe, Zebra and wildebeest kills. Some really special sightings of Leopards. On a couple of occasions it’s even been possible for us to sit with them for up to an hour.

Wild dogs

And of course sightings of the amazing wild dogs have been great too. Six “new” dogs have been spotted many times in the area this month. Once (to the stunned amazement of us all) they even chased a group of impala right through camp. Who are these new comers? What does this mean for our current wild dog population? You can look forward to hearing more about them in next months Our wild friends...
Thanks to our guide Davis for the dogs pictures.

Our Wild Firends - Pythons

Python
Southern Rock Python. (Python natalensis).

An Apex Predator.
5m in length and 60kg in weight.
Now we have one living in camp: a female, still impressive at around 2.5m, living in long disused termite excavations just behind the staff village! She emerges from her underground nest to bask in the midday sun. A beautiful but shy animal. The pythons danger to man is often much exaggerated: not a venomous snake, the python kills its prey by constriction. A large specimen may catch and ingest mammals as big as an adult impala or the young of our larger antelope species.
Just to have the opportunity to see her so often is a real privilege, but now it turns out she has babies!!
This really is fantastic to see, as few reptiles are know to show any parental care. But the python will stay with her eggs during incubation and even for a couple of weeks after hatching. And we get to witness it!!

Pythons

Althought she will not actively protect them from danger and is always the first to retreat to the safety of the nest, we should not venture too close. The babies are already showing signs of going “into the blue” whereby they will shed for the first time! Which probably puts them around 9 or 10 days old. Soon they will disperse, but its been fantastic to witness these little ones around the staff village. And hopefully mum will stick around and produce another batch in 2 or 3 years time.

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Lake Manze Newsletter January 2012


Environment

Lake Manze camp from the lake  Manze sundown

The rains have almost finished here in Selous, in the whole month of January we only recorded 16mm, but there has been so much consistent rain up in Ruaha, that our lakes here are huge and they completely flooded the shore around, that is usually dry.
Some roads have disappeared now under water; water is so close to the camp that we can now see some of the animals that usually prefer to stay close to it: like for example the big water monitor lizard I found yesterday on the veranda of tent no. 12, basking in the sun looking at the landscape that the lake offers now.
The water also opened up the way to the airstrip. Sometimes the guests are collected by boat as the channel to the Rufiji is open, with the water being so high. Straight away they can experience an adventurous boat safari for a couple of hours on the way to the camp.

Sightings

Selous lion cub on tree

A mum lioness this month has been the star of the game drives. She and her two cubs showed up almost every day with long sessions of playing and stalking little lizards and squirrels. We see them growing up and this is great.

Doing the same are the pack of 18 wild dogs we found around Beho Beho area. It seems to contain lots of half grown puppies who are now learning how to hunt, looking at the efficient strategy their parents use.

Bark Snake, Selous

Together with the big animals’ sightings we can also mention the tiny and inoffensive bark snake we found in camp a few days ago. It is a Hemirhagerrhis nototaenia, very agile climber on quite vertical and difficult tree trunks.

Our Wild Firends - Genets

2:00 p.m., the sun is high in the sky, silence around, everybody is having a little nap before the afternoon activity, waiting for the sun to go down a little bit. Phil and I are sitting in the office, doing our daily duties, when we hear a strange crying sound just a few feet away. It’s a few weeks that we haven’t seen “our” genet.

It seemed to have disappeared, and we have been quite concerned for her, so we both run to the entrance in order to look outside hoping to see her. We hear it again, we look, we search but nothing! Once again, and again, and finally it’s there! No! It’s not her, it’s her kitten. Not one but two of them. She’s had kittens.

Lake Manze Genet Kitten

This is great news, she had disappeared to give birth to two fantastic tiny sweet kittens! One is right in front of our eyes, near enough to touch it if we wanted, but he was so quiet that we almost couldn’t spot him. The one making the noise is now probably experiencing his first outing from the nesting place. He’s literally running away from the mum, down the Doum palm here beside us. Mrs genet is running around trying her best to catch at least one of the kittens wandering around. When one is caught by mum’s mouth, by magic the other one leaves his games and follows the mother diligently, back to the nest.

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Lake Manze Newsletter December 2011


Environment

Raining on the Rufiji

Considerable downpours of rain this month (some storms bringing upwards of 30mm) have provided our guests not only with some adventure, but also with an insight into the sort of challenges that faced early explorers and naturalists such as Fredrick Courtenay Selous. Seasonal water courses which remained dry for the majority of the year suddenly became raging torrents!
On a morning safari to the airstrip to pick up new guests, I find myself waist deep and struggling against the current to keep my feet, in what was the previous day just a trickle across the track leading to a small puddle! “Not Crossable” I call, turning to the driver Bakari, who stands beside the land rover with a poorly concealed smirk on his face. Clearly delighted to see his manager struggling through muddy water whilst stating the obvious! We eventually did find a way to the airstrip and the guests had an adventurous drive back to camp, however for the following couple of days the river crossings became impassable and our new arrivals would, having landed after the picturesque small passenger flight to Selous, be met by our boat operators to be driven via the Rufiji river to the camp on Lake Manze by boat.
These seasonal events never fail to fill you with a sense of awe and a feeling of isolation in an already remote wilderness.

Sightings

Elephants fighting  Selous lion cubs

Boat safaris this month have offered the usual fantastic views of crocodiles and hippos, the occasional sighting of waterbuck, antelopes and of course incredible birding and photographic opportunities. Game drives offer a chance to witness some wonderful animal behaviour, such as lion cubs playing, bull elephants practicing their fighting skills against each other and wild dogs chasing hyena.

One exciting and unusual series of events happened when a warthog became stuck on the lake shore, unable to get back up because of the overhanging banks. Here he became surrounded by crocodiles! Mounting a courageous defence against these hungry predators, he charged repeatedly, slashing at the crocs with his dangerous tusks! However the crocodiles could afford to bide their time and eventually one large croc darted forward from the water to drag the tired warthog under.

Our Wild Friends - Leopard

Selous Leopard

A silent hunter prowls in the night around Lake Manze. A huge leopard male. The ultimate hunter, going unseen, ghosting from shadow to shadow, using the natural cover of thickets and drainage channels, the most elusive of the big cats. This resident territorial male is rarely seen.
His haunting calls in the night or finding his spoor in the morning passing behind the kitchen and between the manager’s tents are often the only things giving away his presence.
Twice this month though guests have spotted him. Once on a walk: over the festive season one lucky group of walkers saw a fleeting glimpse of a leopard as it moved away from the group! On closer inspection the group noticed an impala kill hanging from the branches of a Terminalia tree. The group were then led away from the area, so as not to disturb the leopard further. A rare and exciting encounter!
The second encounter happened early one morning as he was spotted dashing for the cover of a thick stand of doum palms close to camp. We decided we should go back in the late afternoon to see if he was still around. After a little searching on the edge of the thicket, we spot the tiniest of movements; a slight nervous twitch of his tail was all that gave away his presence barely ten meters away. Recognizing instantly that he had been spotted, he slunk further back into the bush and picked up the body of an impala which lay cleverly concealed.
Then he was gone, disappearing, impala and all, into the impenetrable bush.

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Lake Manze Newsletter November 2011


News from the Environment

Selous White-throated Bee-eater  Selous Elegant grasshopper

Selous bustles with life at this time of year. Some of the trees and Plants are in full flower. The pink of morning glory can be spotted amongst the lush grass land. Tamarind trees have taken on an overall russet hue amongst the sea of green and the striking scarlet blossoms of the Burning Bush Conbretum draw the eye. Plenty of rain this November (43mm) has ensured that water is readily available and widespread.

Herbivores are now spoiled for choice, with nutrient rich plants and grasses also now widespread and plentiful. Insects are flourishing in this season, much to the delight of insect eating animals and birds. Some beautiful migratory birds such as Broad Billed Rollers and White Throated bee-eaters are just a couple of the multitude of visitors here to feast on the Selous’s living bounty. Selous is so full of life right now, its hard to take it all in. But we will try…

News from Sightings

Selous lions

There is always something new and exciting to see here at Manze. Elephants, buffalo, hippo and crocs in their hundreds, lion sightings continue come thick and fast, in fact on some days it seems around every corner we bump into one or more of these big cats resting in the shade of a tree.

Selous wild dogs greeting

November has also produced a handful of Wild Dog sightings and we have also spotted porcupine and a couple of times we’ve seen the elusive leopard.

Martial Eagle, Selous

Some special sightings include:
A Marshal Eagle who had caught a young Impala.
A huge Python who had also managed to secure a valuable meal, again a young Impala.
But most unusual of all, was a spectacular sighting of a group of fifteen rare Sable Antelope.
Even Victor our Guide was amazed to see so many of these beautiful Antelope especially as it was only his second glimpse of Sable in the 4 years he has been guiding in the Selous.

Our Wild Friends

Njan 'urru - elephant at Lake Manze camp

Last month I wrote of Njan 'urru, a young bull Elephant who came to sleep lying flat on the ground behind my tent! Well he has been back, twice! Both times to do exactly the same thing: sleep in the shadow of a tent in camp. Its breathtaking every time and he is a welcome visitor! However camp has some smaller friends too...

Selous Genet cat at Lake Manze camp

We have regular visits from a small spotted Genet, who recently has been putting on a bit of a performance at dinner. Showing off her hunting skills by stalking and pouncing upon unsuspecting insects literally a few metres from the dinner table!

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Lake Manze Newsletter October 2011


News From the Environment

The Emerald season has arrived in the Selous.

Manze rain clouds  Selous lions - rains

The effect of September’s rain has been to breath life into a seemingly barren landscape;
Plants and grasses which previously appeared to be withered and dead are now a lush emerald green.
Yellows, pinks, scarlet reds and whites of a variety of flowering plants add splashes of vivid color.

Impala lambing season is in full flow, migrant birds are arriving daily, some to nest and rear chicks as well as taking advantage of Selous flowering plants and some to predate on the huge diversity of insect life now emerging.
Insect life is fascinating in itself and essential to all life here in the savannah.

In October and looking forward to November, Selous is overflowing with bio-diversity.
A visit to the Selous at this time of year can provide to those who choose to look, a complete picture of “the circle of life”.

Sightings

Buffalo  Eland

Sightings at lake Manze continue to amaze.
Hippo’s fighting, hippos mating, elephants coming daily down to the lakes and channels, crocodiles galore, one even grabbing one unlucky fisherman’s catfish before he could land his catch.
The lions have been very active in the general area around camp.

Selous lions with car

Many hunts have been viewed by our guests this month, lots unsuccessful, but a few times kills were made in front of our astonished visitors.
Some lucky guests watched a lioness catch an Impala and then other members of the pride attacking a Porcupine. Porcupines are much prized meat for a predator such as a lion, however can be tricky to kill. This time the lions gave up on the prospect of this tasty morsel in the face of the sheer determination of the rodent and its many sharp quills.
Other sightings this month include multiple sightings of buffalo, huge herds of Eland, the endangered African Wild Dog, leopard, black and white Colobus monkey and much, much more.

Our wild friends

Elephant sleeping

We have a handful of elephant bulls who hang around the camp, rarely does a day pass without one of these giant pachyderms stopping by.
Recently “Njan’ urru” has been spending time in camp, it has been a while since we have had a visit from him. He has acquired a few new notches and tears around the ears and whereas he used to be quite nervous around humans, at this moment he is up there with the most relaxed elephants in the Selous.
As I write this newsletter I am sat barely five metres from him.
Amazingly he has decided to lie flat on the ground right outside my tent and sleep..
It is rare to see an adult elephant sleeping lying down, they often sleep for short periods standing up, lent against a tree or an incline such as a termite mound. Big mature bulls almost never lie down as their bulk, especially around the head and tusks, make getting back up very difficult.

An estimate of Njan’urru’s age would put him as being a young bull in his twenty’s.
But what an amazing experience to be in such close proximity to this gentle giant, such trust he has afforded us, in deciding to lie down flat on his side, in such a vulnerable fashion, in the middle of a busy human camp.

Every now and again the African wilderness provides us privileged visitors with memories that will last a lifetime……

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Lake Manze Newsletter October 2010



click on the picture to see a larger image

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Lake Manze Newsletter September 2010


Manze Newsletter Sept 2010
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Lake Manze Newsletter June 2010


Manze Newsletter June 2010
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Lake Manze Newsletter March 2010


Rafiki eye to eye with Richard

I was visiting Lake Manze Camp a couple of weeks ago, when one of the Masaai askaris came by with a big grin on his face.
"What are you laughing at, Moses?" I asked him.
"Rafiki is lying down by tent 9 and he won't get up!"
"Are you sure he's okay?"
"Ah, he's just sleeping in the cool sand."

I grabbed my camera and followed Moses Lekoriyo to tent 9, and sure enough there was our friend - the elephant nicknamed "Rafiki" (friend) by our guests. He was lying down near the entrance to the tent.
I must admit it occurred to me he might be dead - it did seem like unusual behaviour, though elephants do sometimes lie down. Moses approached him.

The Masaai askaris at our camps are simply amazing. They have no fear of the animals - because they know them and their behaviour so well and know exactly how close they can go to them.
Moses got closer and closer to Rafiki, who did not seem to be aware of him, breathing deeply.

Moses and Rafiki  Rafiki gives up

Suddenly the elephant rose to his feet with a rumble of complaint - he had enough. As he ambled off through the trees I reflected that the danger to these wonderful creatures is growing - poaching is on the increase due to more and more demand for ivory in the Far East.

Some African governments are lobbying the UN for special exemptions from the Worldwide ivory ban.

Let us hope they do not succeed, we all hope Rafiki will be around for a long time to come.

Flo Montgomery
Adventure Camps of Tanzania Marketing

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Click here to read:
Diary of a trip made by Paul Shilliam to Manze and Mdonya camps in February 2010

 

Lake Manze Newsletter October 2009


Leopard cubs, Selous   Young impala, Selous
Leopard cubs and newborn Impala in Selous

October 2009 – Lake Manze Camp Selous

The season of impala birthing is starting. Also some tiny leopard’s cubs were recently born and a lot of baby baboons can now be seen jumping off from their mothers’ back.
Everybody is starting to live except the most important thing: vegetation!
Rain doesn’t come and very dry weather heralds the first steps of the hundreds of little impala newly born, the baby zebras who cannot find fresh food around and the many little giraffes testing the last leaves still on the trees.
If the rain will not come soon animals will be at risk.

Wild dog, Selous
Alpha male of the Manze wild dog pack with young impala kill - Selous

Good news is that the pack of dogs that were denning near Manze until last August are now being seen again frequently and all 4 adults and 6 cubs are fine, and taking advantage of the plentiful supply of baby impala…

From Sarah, Malcolm, Richard and all the Lake Manze Camp Staff.
We wish you a great Safari in Tanzania!

..if you would like to learn more about wild dogs, visit this site:
http://www.africanwilddogwatch.org/

..and you can contact us at:
www.facebook.com/lakemanzecamp
and www.selous.cc

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Lake Manze Newsletter August 2009


  wild dog puppy June 2009  wild dog pup Manze jun 2009

Wild dog puppies in June 2009, near Lake Manze

Wild dog pups in July 2009  Wild dog pups july 2009

Wild dog pups in July 2009

August 2009 Lake Manze Camp News

For the past eight weeks our guests have been delighted by almost daily sightings of hunting dogs. A family of four established a den not far from the camp, so we could almost guarantee an encounter with them, usually with their seven pups. We could follow their progress, week by week, as they grew bigger and bigger. It is not an easy job for such a small pack to raise pups successfully. With only a small number of adults to go hunting, they have a hard time to bring back sufficient food to regurgitate for seven growing young ones. However, it was frequently commented that the pups looked well fed. Unlike in lion society where the biggest and strongest eat first, in dog society it is the young that eat first. And what formidable killers these adults proved to be. One evening, about 6.30 p.m., they killed an impala by the edge of the lake, near the place where our guests embark for their boat safari. Unfortunately, the kill was stolen from them by a crocodile. Amazingly, only half an hour later, they were spotted eating another impala about 50 metres away from tent no.1. About three weeks ago one pup disappeared and we never found out what happened to it. Then a week ago, the entire family disappeared. Clearly, the pups were now old enough and strong enough for the pack to resume its very wide-ranging lifestyle. The home range can be 150-250 sq.km. in the Selous and as much as 2,000 sq.km. in Ruaha National Park. They go with our thanks for giving our guests so much pleasure and our hopes that the pups will continue to flourish and become healthy adults.

  elephant with doum palm

Meanwhile, back at the camp the doum palms have been fruiting for the past few weeks and this has attracted many animals, both large and small. The elephants and the baboons find them irresistible. It is only the male elephants who come to this feast. Some of the elephants have learned how to bring down the fruit. One cannot but be filled with awe at the sight of an elephant laying his trunk vertically up the trunk of the tree, leaning against it with his great bulk and giving it a vigorous shaking. The tree trunk bends under the assault and the elephant is usually rewarded with a pitter-patter of fruit falling to the ground. The fruit of the doum palm is known to help human beings with high blood pressure. Does it have the same effect in elephants?

From Richard and all the Lake Manze Camp Staff

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Wild Breakfast - 10th June 2009


Wild dog breakfast

Time: 07.05

Guests were just finishing their tea and preparing for their walking safari, when there was a shout of “Dogs!”

Coming from the direction of tent no.7 and running across the dining area was a young impala, hotly pursued by two hunting dogs. The impala was clearly tired and the dogs were closing rapidly. Not 50 yards from us, they caught the impala, killed it, and proceeded to devour it before our astonished eyes.

In 15 minutes it was all over. A few bones, some pieces of skin were all that remained. The dogs departed in the direction whence they had come, and immediately had a confrontation with two young elephants just beyond the dining area. One elephant adopted a threatening posture, ears extended and trumpeted a couple of times, but it was nothing serious. The elephants moved off in one direction, the dogs in the other, and we were left looking at each other. The words “amazing”, “incredible”, and “fantastic” do not do the incident justice. Perhaps the best expression is simply “Wow!”

Richard and the staff at Lake Manze Camp Selous

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The New Season begins - 4th June 2009


Leopard near Lake Manze   Wild dogs near lake Manze

We’ve been back in Manze since 23 May getting ready for the start of the new season on 1 June. The level of the lake is quite high, even though the rainfall in the Selous has not been very good. It’s been raining further upstream in the catchment areas for the Kilombero and Ruaha rivers, so the Rufiji and the lakes have reasonable levels of water. However, already the vegetation is drying out and we are only at the start of the dry season.

For the first week, we had no guests and we worked in the office in the quiet of the night. Each evening at almost exactly the same time, about 7.45, we heard the heavy footfalls of a running animal. By the light of a torch we could see a hippo running smartly towards the staff quarters. It happened so regularly each evening that we began to wonder just why this animal should keep up this nightly activity. Could he perhaps be in training for a hippo Olympics, we speculated? He was evidently getting faster night by night, so the training programme was doing some good.

A day before we were due to open, our faithful visitor, Rafiki, put in an appearance. All the staff were assembled in the lounge and the subject of wages was being discussed. Rafiki came right up to the building and waved his trunk in greeting as if to say, “What about my pay? Do I get an increase, too?”

Yesterday, 3 June, was a remarkable day for game viewing. The first guests to leave on a game drive reported the sighting of a leopard, with a freshly-killed impala. The guide reported the location to us on the radio, so we were able to send off the other guests to see the leopard too. Then the first car saw a pack of four hunting dogs right next to a den, and they could hear sounds from within the den, indicating that there must be pups inside. This is a most exciting development. Although this pack of four was seen regularly last season, this is – as far as we know – the first time they have had pups. We certainly hope they will raise them all successfully. To round off the drive, the guests came across a lioness eating a young giraffe which she had just killed. The news of these sightings was also reported to the camp by radio, so we could arrange for the other guests to see these animals too. Last night we heard lions roaring and a hyena whooping not far from the camp. What a great day and wonderful start to the season!

Richard, Micol and the staff at Lake Manze Camp Selous

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Lake Manze Newsletter - end of the season March 2009


End of Season

The season at Lake Manze Camp is drawing to a close. Nearly ten months have passed since we opened for our second season. The first half of the season saw us consistently beating all records for occupancy. More recently, however, the world’s financial problems have penetrated even as far as Southern Tanzania. The number of guests has declined at little, but nothing like as much as other camps in the Selous. Could it be because word is getting around that the game-viewing at Manze is consistently good and the camp has a wonderful ambience, simple but natural, and represents outstanding value for money? Whatever the reason may be, we thank all the wonderful guests who have visited Manze during the last 10 months. We are grateful for your support and we look forward to welcoming you here again...... to read more please click here

 

February 2009


Leopard

Wild dog  Wild Dogs


Lake Manze Camp, February 2009

Manze does it again! We are happy to report outstanding game-viewing during the past few days.

In the space of one day, guests have seen a pride of 12 lions, a pack of 21 hunting dogs and a solitary leopard (plus of course all the usual animals such as elephant, giraffe, impala, hippo, crocodile, waterbuck, etc.)

The pride of lions is the pride seen regularly between Lakes Manze and Nzerakela. A week ago they were seen only a few hundred metres from the camp; now they have moved a little further away. Their dominant male has not been seen since mid-August. So we have to conclude that he is dead, but we do not know whether this is due to natural causes, a fight with another male or some other incident. He was looking very battered and a bit frail, which suggests he was nearing the end of his lifespan (approximately 10-12 years). This has left a vacancy for the position of dominant male. It is interesting that no other male has arrived to take over the pride. There are four adult females in the pride, so perhaps they have been able to drive away any would-be dominant males. Young nomadic males are rare in the Selous, and other dominant males are already fully occupied with their own prides. Perhaps the present situation may continue until the cubs in the pride reach the age of about 2-3 years. Then the females will come into season, which will attract the attention of a number of suitors, one of whom may become the next dominant male.

The pack of hunting dogs is also a pack which we see from time to time. They too have been visible from the camp, near to where the lions were seen earlier in the week. The half-grown pups seem fit, well and full of energy. Two of the adults were seen to be carrying injuries, but due to the co-operative nature of dog society, there is a good chance that others will share meat with them and allow them time to recover.

During the drive of only a few hundred metres from the dogs back to the camp, guests were delighted to catch sight of a beautiful female leopard. She was very close to Tent no.1 and sat quietly in the shade of a bush, apparently unaware of all the excitement she was causing in the watching Land-Rovers.

The following day, some of these same guests who had seen so much the previous day witnessed the same lions making a kill. The guests realised that the lions had spotted a lone buffalo, a pregnant female. The lions wasted no time in attacking the buffalo, and the guests had a close-up view of the event. Two lionesses clung onto the hindquarters and one clamped her jaws over the buffalo’s nose and mouth, so that she eventually suffocated. A grisly sight perhaps, but the lion’s got to eat!

Paolo, Daja and Richard at Lake Manze Camp

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January 2009


January 2009 - Lake Manze camp now has a resident genet cat, just like Mdonya Old River!

Can you spot the genet?!

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Lake Manze News - November 2008

Wild dogs near Lake Manze

16th November 2008

Hunting Dog Update!

Last week we sent you news about a pack of 20 dogs seen near Lake Manze Camp. They continue to provide our guests with thrilling game viewing. Yesterday afternoon, 15 ovember, only 15 minutes' drive from the camp, guests found the pack looking to hunt. Such is the dogs' reputation that there were already some vultures in the trees - perhaps in anticipation! The guests watched the dogs as they hunted and killed an impala. The dogs had nearly finished eating the animal
(it doesn't take long for 20 hungry dogs to devour an animal the size of an impala weighing only 50 or 60 kg.), when three lions arrived. This cranked up the tension again. These were youngish males, in the
prime of life, and the dogs knew better than to risk a skirmish with them. One dog managed to run off with the impala's head, but the remainder of the carcass was left to the bigger and stronger lions. This was mostly just bones and a couple of fleshy parts, but that was all.

Lake Manze is probably not the best place to be if you are an impala, but it's a great place for visitors. This pack is confirming the hunting dogs' reputation as the most successful of all carnivores when it comes to making a kill. (Note to anxious guests: there is no report of dogs ever having attacked man!)

We also have some interesting information from Micol (who used to managed Selous Impala Camp, and is now running Mdonya Old River in
Ruaha). She made a detailed study of the two packs of dogs seen in the Manze area, and she reports that one female from the larger pack of 20 has now moved from this pack to the smaller pack of 3 and has been accepted by them. This is good news indeed. By increasing the size of the smaller pack this helps to make it more viable as a unit for raising puppies successfully. Good luck to them!

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wild dog and impala kill

07th November 2008
News Flash - Lake Manze

Manze is the Hunting Dog capital of Africa.

For the past three days a pack of 20 hunting dogs has been seen near Lake Manze Camp.

One guest, who has been coming to Africa for 20 years wanting to see hunting dogs, had his wish fulfilled. While he was watching, the dogs started to hunt an impala. Although he did not see the kill itself, he caught up with the dogs only a minute after they had made the kill. The pack includes juveniles as well as adults and they made short work of the impala. The guest took over 200 photos to record the event. Such are the benefits of digital photography.

This morning at 7.00 am one of our Maasai watchmen reported dogs close to tent no.1. Instantly breakfast was abandoned, eggs left uneaten, and coffee went cold while everyone grabbed cameras and binoculars and rushed off to tent no.1. There, just a hundred yards away were 20 dogs, clearly visible! We quickly organised two vehicles, everyone piled in and they set off to get closer. The dogs had killed a male impala and already nothing remained except bits of the skeleton. The dogs were clearly still hungry and were fully alert, sometimes walking, sometimes trotting. There was a small herd of impala some distance away, but as soon as they spotted the dogs, they started running. Rafiki, our resident elephant, was close by, but he ignored the dogs and the dogs ignored him. Two giraffe were also ignored as the dogs moved on, but by now the guests were already late to leave for the airstrip, they had to return to camp. They may
not have had much a breakfast, but they had certainly had a thrilling end to their stay at Manze.

A little later on some more guests followed the pack and watched as they started to chase a male impala. In order to escape from the dogs, the impala took refuge in Lake Manze and started to swim to safety. Alas for the impala, it was out of frying pan and into the fire. The impala attracted the attention of some crocodiles and soon there were ten of them tearing chunks of flesh off the carcass. The crocodiles do this by clamping their jaws onto part of the body and
then spin round like a top to rip off a piece of meat. Crocodiles have no lips and cannot chew their food like other animals, so they swallow it in lumps. They are known to swallow stones, equal to about 1% of their body weight. It is not known for certain why they do this. The stones may help them to sink down in the water, or they may be used to help grind the meat in their stomachs.

The dogs were left on the shore, growling in frustration.

Richard and the Manze camp Team

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Lake Manze News - September 2008

Lions and crocs
Crocs and Lions fighting over Impala foal


23rd September 2008

Lake Manze is definitely the place to be! Guests on a recent game drive were treated to two unusual sights. The first was a pride of 4 lions in confrontation with over a dozen crocodiles. They were about 100 metres away from the shore of Lake Manze and they were disputing the remains of an impala. From the look of the lions’ bellies, they had fed well but a substantial amount of remaining carcass was in the mouth of one crocodile. One lioness had a piece of a leg, while another chewed on the stomach and intestines. A third lioness was in direct confrontation with a crocodile over ownership of another chunk of meat. The lioness bared her teeth, growled and snarled impressively, but the crocodile refused to be intimidated and eventually it was the lioness that backed down. Lions are not invincible!

Feeding crocs, Selous

Crocs feeding near Lake Manze

Only 200 metres further away was a male impala, about a year old. He was lying on his right side. He could move his back legs and his left foreleg, but not his right foreleg, and was struggling to stand up. It was not possible to determine the nature of his problem, and game drive continued leaving the unfortunate impala lying as he had been found. The guests came back along the same track about 45 minutes later. To their astonishment, all that remained of an animal so recently alive was the head, a little of the neck and some bare bones. On top of the carcass and all around was a mass of about 50 vultures, hissing, fighting and squabbling over what little was left. It is amazing that so many vultures had arrived in such a short time and had completely devoured the impala so quickly. There was no sign of any other predator.

And now, a note for the birders: Guests on a boat safari were thrilled to see a Fish Eagle swooping down to catch a fish. These birds target their prey from far away then glide down silently until, just before making contact, they lower their talons and seize the hapless fish. In this case however something very unusual happened. Just as the eagle was lowering its talons the fish leapt out of the water and landed several metres away. This caused the eagle to abandon its attack at the very last moment and fly off without a catch. This suggests that the fish was able to see the eagle coming and take evasive action. Given the murky quality of Lake Manze’s water, it is pretty surprising that the fish could see the attack coming. Perhaps the bird cast a shadow which alerted the fish. We cannot say for sure.

Paolo, Daja and Richard
Lake Manze Camp Selous

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Lake Manze News - August 2008

Pearl spotted Owl    Lake Manze boating

The dry season gets drier. This brings both benefits and a few problems. The benefits are that animals are concentrating closer to the lake. Our favourite elephant, Rafiki, is now sharing the camp with a number of other elephant visitors. Some are solitary bulls, and some are families of 10 or 12 animals. One family has two calves which we judge to be less than a year old. They glide quietly through the camp at all times of day and night.

Sightings of the rarer animals are becoming more frequent. Five nights ago the guests in tents 8 and 9 awoke about 2.00 a.m., looked out over the side of their canvas bathroom and saw a leopard dragging an impala kill past their tent. We also had a pride of four lions spend the day about 200 metres from Tent no.1. Two parties of guests have been thrilled to see leopard on their way from the airstrip to the camp, and one family saw hunting dogs, leopard and lions all during the 45-minute drive from the airstrip to the camp. When we enquired what they had seen during their drive, their reply was, “Everything!”

One problem, however, is that the falling water levels mean that the boats can occasionally run aground. Don’t worry – our staff are ready for any challenge and they got back to the camp with all six legs intact!

And here is a short note for the bird lovers. We have a Pearl-Spotted Owlet in the camp. This bird has been seen several times, perched in an acacia tree, being mobbed by white-browed sparrow weavers that clearly object to its presence. These owlets are partly diurnal and can prey on nestlings and birds as large as doves, so the sparrow weavers’ anxiety is understandable!

Paolo, Daja and Richard
Lake Manze Camp
30.8.2008

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Lake Manze News - July 2008

Paradie Flycather chick2
Paradise Flycatcher Chick - Lake Manze camp


July 2008

For those of you who have been following the story of our two paradise flycatcher chicks, the story ended with mixed results. For several days both chicks remained in the improvised nest, a cardboard box filled with grass. Despite the strange appearance of the nest, the parents continued to feed both chicks. Sadly, however, Chick no. 1, who had the damaged wing, got steadily weaker and died after four days. On the other hand, Chick no. 2 got stronger and took to standing on the edge of the nest, flapping his tiny wings vigorously. The next day he managed to flutter from the box to a palm tree next to the office, and later that day he disappeared completely. We cannot say for sure what happened to Chick no. 2, but a couple of days later, near tent no. 11, adult flycatchers were seen feeding a small chick and we’d like to think that this was indeed Chick no. 2. We wish him the best of luck!!! Safari njema!!!

Our resident bull elephant, Rafiki (friend in Ki-swahili), continues to delight our guests with this daily wanderings through the camp. We have the skull of a long-dead elephant near the camp and it was interesting to watch Rafiki standing next to it one day. He spent some time investigating it with his trunk, turning it over and touching it carefully. Then he rested his back foot on it for a few minutes before ambling off to the reception area. Elephants have been observed spending some time with the bones of their fellows, and we can only speculate as to what is going on in the minds of these fascinating animals.

Lake Manze Camp
Paolo, Daja and Richard

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Lake Manze News - June 2008


Rafiki  Paradise Flycatcher
"Rafiki" and Paradise Flycatcher at nest, Lake Manze Camp

June 2008

The camp re-opened at the beginning of June after the usual closure for the rainy season. Actually, the rainy season this year did not produce as much rain as it should have and already the park is looking drier than it should do at this time of year.

The first guests were welcomed back by Rafiki (friend in Ki-swahili). He is a young bull elephant who often comes into the camp. He is very tolerant of human beings and, although it would be foolish to approach him closely, he has never displayed any aggressive tendencies. One evening he walked around the entire dining area during dinner and could be clearly seen by the light of a torch, stepping gently past the two fires – which are meant to deter animals!

Game viewing has been good, with frequent sightings of a pride of lion, consisting of one male, three females and seven cubs. The different sizes of the cubs indicate that they are from two different litters. However, they suckle freely from either of the lionesses in milk. Some people say that this shows what good mothers lions are, freely giving milk to any cub. Other people say that this shows what poor mothers they are, being unable to discriminate between their own cubs and those of another mother! Be that as it may, the cubs have entertained our guests by playing and romping, without any apparent concern for the delighted guests and the continuous clicking of their cameras. There have also been sightings of a pack of three wild dogs, and the occasional leopard. Osprey have been seen from the boat on Lake Manze.

Perhaps the most exciting event occurred during dinner a few days ago. We were astonished and delighted to see a leopard walk quietly through the camp. It was easily visible by torchlight and all thought of food was forgotten as guests jumped up to get a good view. We know that leopards do pass through the camp during the night when it is quiet, but to see one at 8.30 in the evening was a new experience.

We also have two temporary additions to our staff in the form of paradise flycatcher chicks. The parents built a nest near the kitchen and one day it was seen that the nest and the chicks were over-run with small ants. The chicks were removed from the nest and the ants removed. The nest was also cleaned and the chicks replaced. Happily, the parents continued to feed them. Then we found one chick on the ground, some yards from nest. Close inspection revealed a nasty wound to the right shoulder and damage to the young wing and its feathers – possibly the result of an attack from a squirrel. It seemed most unlikely that, left to themselves, the parents would be able to take care of the chick. So it was transferred to a new “nest” – a cardboard box filled with grass. We attempted to feed the chick by hand, but it refused all offers of butterflies, so we tried leaving the box near the true nest and to our delight the parents have continue to feed the chick. Two days later a second chick was found on the ground, apparently in good health, but too young to fly. Perhaps it had fallen out of the next. So this chick has joined his/her sibling in the cardboard box, and amazingly the parents are continuing to feed both of them. Yesterday, there was an alarm when a green, tree snake was seen snooping around near the nest, but it was successfully scared away.

We cannot predict what the outcome of this episode will be, but we are hoping that at least one chick will fledge successfully. Wait for further information in our next newsletter.

Lake Manze Camp
Paolo
, Daja and Richard

 
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