Riverside Lodge and Camp
Compare Lake Manyara National Park Hotel Rates (5.8km away)
Riverside Lodge and Camp Manyara Reviews
Upscale lodge and campsite tents in one location Jul 10, 2013
The good thing about this place, located in a walled enclosure not far from Manyara National Park, is that it has both fully furnished rooms in a lodge for those wanting to splurge a bit as well as a spacious campsite that travellers and safari companies can use to pitch tents if they want to do it on a budget. Several safari operators use it, along with camps like the nearby Sunbright. Safari vehicles usually bring their guests here first from Arusha to drop their luggage and have lunch, and then take them for a late afternoon drive through the Manyara National Park - bringing them back late evening for dinner and the night, before starting off again next morning to Ngorongoro or the Serengeti. This seems to be the general itinerary for several group safari operators - who carry their own tents, cooks and ingredients with them, and then share the lodge/camp facilities with other operators, for their respective guests.
I opted for a lodge room as I was somewhat tired that day and didn't want to rough it out in a tent. The room was large and lovely, with a separate sitting area, a private verandah, a huge well-equipped bathroom, and a very comfortable bed with mosquito net. It was a bit pricey, but worth it. Everything was clean, functional and new. Outside of the lodge, guests had the option of dining in a restaurant meant for lodge guests, or eating food prepared by their safari cook on the camp lawns. I opted for the latter so that I could hang out with my four friends who I did the safari with, three of whom chose to stay in tents on the campground. It was great exchanging notes on the day's safari with them, over beers and dinner cooked by our cook, in a vast campsite.
The place is otherwise okay - more luxurious lodges than this do exist in the area, but this seemed to serve the purpose quite well. It is quiet, there is a shopping area nearby, an ATM just outside the campground, and staff are helpful enough.
Part of the Africa 2013: Lakes, Genocides and Safaris travel blog
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