Manyara Ranch Conservancy's 8-Tent luxury camp operates within a private concession of 35000 acres (18000 hectares) between Tarangire and Manyara National Parks. The conservancy's focus is on providing activities amongst wildlife in collaboration with the local Masai inhabitants.
Originally a cattle ranch, the focus has shifted to conservation and tourism. This is a pioneering project that helps protect the important Kwa Kuchinja wildlife corridor linking Lake Natron Game Controlled Area, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, the Manyara / Tarangire ecosystem and the Maasailands to the South.
To help sustain Manyara Ranch, a tourism program was initiated which now offers facilities for visitors to experience wildlife and culture in and around this wilderness area. Guests enjoy a range of activities, some of which are rarely offered elsewhere in Tanzania.
There are several large dams on the ranch that attract and retain the wildlife to the conservancy. There is a significant resident population of wildlife including groups of large bull elephants, breeding herds of giraffe, many lesser kudu, wildebeest, zebra, gazelle, oryx and eland. There are also predators, including lion, cheetah, leopard, hyena, jackal and bat-eared foxes. For many years, wild dogs have denned on the ranch.
The resident game population is continually being increased by wildlife moving through the migratory corridors. There is a large variety of birds including many raptors on the ranch. Manyara Ranch has several distinct habitats, which include open savannah, acacia woodland, bush and riverine forest.
The green season occurs in April, May and June and again in November and December and brings with it a lush environment very different from the golden grass and reduced foliage that characterizes the dry season. Throughout the year, the Conservancy remains a haven for wildlife moving between the parks and protected game areas surrounding the Conservancy.
Manyara Ranch Conservancy is located about an hour’s drive from Arusha and Arusha airport. From the camp, Tarangire Park is a 30 minute drive away while Manyara Park is about 40 minutes away. Trips to Ngorongoro Crater can be arranged, although the drive is long.
Visitors may leave the established tracks and roads to reach more remote areas.
Late afternoon game drives can extend into the night after a sundowner in the bush. Night drives enable visitors to see nocturnal game rarely seen during the day. Spotlights are used by trained guides in a manner that ensures animals are not disturbed.
Experienced, armed guides will take those interested in exploring the Conservancy for game walks from camp or while out on a game drive.
Neighboring communities are an integral part of the project. Communities benefit directly from all visitors to the Conservancy in exchange for their having set aside the land for protection of habitat and wildlife. The Maasai are pastoralists with a rich cultural heritage. Guests will have the opportunity to visit nearby villages.
The African Wildlife Foundation helped relocated a primary boarding school from the heart of the Conservancy to an area just outside the Conservancy with easier access to main roads and villages. The school was built with donor funds and now provides a much higher standard of facilities than previously. The move also reduces human pressure from within the Conservancy.
Tarangire and Manyara parks are located either side of Manyara Ranch Conservancy a short drive from our luxury, tented camp. The Conservancy is an excellent place from where to visit these parks on day trips without having to relocate to a new camp or lodge. An ideal stay would be for guests to spend a few nights within the Conservancy with day trips to the nearby parks.
An important part of the Manyara Ranch Conservancy experience is to leave your vehicle and explore the wilderness on foot. To support this concept, the camp staff provide outdoor dining and sundowners at specially chosen locations.
A number of hides have been established where visitors may wait unseen for game to come to drink or gather at a water-hole. There are also some sites that are frequented by leopard.