• High style in luxury tree-top suites
  • The only lodge in a small national park rich in wildlife
  • Spotting tree-climbing lions and leopards and rare birds
  • Scenic sun-downers and picnics beside a flamingo-filled lake

Hemingway thought Lake Manyara was East Africa’s loveliest. As a Rift Valley lake, it has some serious competition, but there’s no denying that this flamingo-lined, alkaline stretch with dramatic escarpment views is staggeringly beautiful. Almost as stunning are the ten tree-top suites that make up Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, the only hotel in this enchanting game reserve. Perched high amid the great boughs of an ancient mahogany forest, they are frequently described as the ‘world’s best tree houses’ by press and visitors alike.

Image gallery

In more detail

The only lodge in diverse and wildlife-rich Lake Manyara national park, this small collection of tree houses is crafted from indigenous wood and coconut fronds. That might sound basic, but Lake Manyara Tree Lodge is the last word in luxury, with sumptuous and spacious suites sitting high among the branches, all ten surrounded by a private deck and a canopy filled with birdsong. Gleaming wooden floors meld indoors and outdoors beautifully. And, there are huge beds and oversized baths within, with gorgeous leafy views, outdoor showers and comfortable seating on deck to get closer still to the surroundings.

And such surroundings, a soda lake set against the extraordinary angles of the Rift Valley escarpment, saturated with flamingos and pelicans, eagles and falcons. That’s not to even mention the elephant, leopard and rare tree-climbing lions. The lodge quips that the lions have learnt the skill to spend a night or two in their sumptuous rooms, and who could blame them, with treetop luxury including a swimming pool and lots of lounging to be enjoyed in the expansive sitting room.

While the lions don’t come that up close and personal, they are easy to spot on excursions, like the rest of the wildlife, as the park is relatively compact. Game drives lead back to baths filled with bubbles and rose petals, after which delicious dinners are served. The kitchen here is interactive, so guests can personalise menus which can be served picnic style by the lake, in the dining room overlooking the forest, on private decks, or in the boma fire below, a fabulous space in a forest clearing. Night game drives to spot nocturnal creatures offer further fascination.  


Read more