Isoitok Camp Manyara
The camp is set in a rich wild savannah bush location with an altitude of 1075 metres above sea level. It backs onto the Losimingorti mountain range acting as a natural wildlife corridor from the Ngorongoro highlands through to Manyara conservancy and on into Tarangire National Park.
Isoitok Camp Manyara offers a little more than just a place to put your head after a busy day of game drives and we do urge you to slow down as to fully appreciate the essence and importance of time relaxing and soaking in the African bush and her sounds with a few nights under canvas with us at Isoitok Camp Manyara.
Time is completely on your side to forget work and recharge your internal batteries so you can actually leave Tanzania not needing another holiday once you get home.
A grass-root experience since 2007
Isoitok Camp Manyara started back in 2007 and after a few name changes here and there, a makeover that begun early in 2012 has changed the profile, size and operation of this beautiful bush location into an intimate private camp for those who allow a day or two to enjoy and experience a little piece of Africa as you had always imagined and dreamed it to be.
We do not offer 5 star services or an endless swimming pool but we do offer a grass root cultural experience and a true look behind the scenes into Maasai culture.
All in all, we sincerely hope and trust you enjoy a good night’s sleep. The night chorus in the form of crickets, cicadas and tree frogs is always present; and to pull you from your dreamy sleep state the following morning, a chorus of bird song follows thereafter to be enjoyed with freshly pressed Kilimanjaro coffee.
Families and slow-paced safaris
Isoitok Camp Manyara location in relation to three prime wildlife areas is a plus for those who like base themselves for a few days and unpack those bags.
Experience has proven that this works well with families with young children as the camp acts as a suitable, safe base to conduct day trips out to the likes of Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National Park and also the Ngorongoro Crater (ask your chosen tour operator for a suitable itinerary that fits to the pace you would like the safari to unfold).
In between game drives there are cultural activities and walks to keep even the youngest guys and girls entertained and being as the camp has a natural living fence surrounding it you can relax a little without having to worry about your child’s every movement.
The Isoitok Team
Isoitok camp and the owners are not new to Tanzania or tourism. Both Chris Pilley and Ingrid Vaes have witnessed over a decade of changes and growth in the tourism industry and with the new trends and popularity of tourism in Tanzania they too have developed and added another root with this positive growth.
Chris has been playing with timber since the tender age of 13 years young when he got involved in the trade of an antique restorer during his summer holidays back in the Island of Jersey C.I, his birth place. He later progressed into a traditional cabinet maker and shop fitter.
Chris lived a life of travel for many years using his trade, on and off, to finance such wanderings before settling in Africa. During his globetrotting days he picked up a lot of great ideas and concepts related to tourism architecture and enterprises. Over the years of being based in Tanzania his woodworking skills have been utilised over and over with some fine furniture of his own designs leaving the workshop doors. His eye for detail and flair to work with natural materials is obvious throughout Isoitok Camp Manyara’s layout!
Tents and furniture being designed and built at large by Chris and his small dedicated team who all worked super hard to make his crazy sketches come to life. From arrival this is evident as you are guided through the manicured natural bush rock gardens entering into the doors (not zips) of the concept tents with lush timber furnishings and warm soft finishing to complement each other in a swash of earthly colours. Chris often comments when asked about the camp! “The exciting thing about furniture and camp design here in Africa is the freedom to work and think outside of a BOX!
With a creative mind one can bring life, style and character through the use of natural materials for all to enjoy”. Chris often visits and host at the camp and enjoys nothing more than a little bush TV and sharing a tale or two over a few fire side drinks. A keen birding guide and given a slight excuse to head out walking, he will uncover some of the amazing birds species found in and around the area during a choice of nature trail walks, he and the Isoitok team have put in. He has a wealth of knowledge on Maasai culture, beliefs and traditions and is the main driving force behind “The African Roots Foundation” (ARF) if wanting to know more on the ARF and how to help with on-going projects be sure to drop him a mail.
As for Ingrid, originally coming from the south of Holland she would never imagine in her wildest dreams that she would leave her creative florist days go and say goodbye to the freezing bleak mornings to find herself living and running a healthy growing company along with raising her son in Tanzania.
No partnership is complete without the support and organization that comes from the office team which Ingrid managers flawlessly. With Chris out of the office for over two years on and off during the building works, Ingrid was there to ensure all supplies, financing and support were in place.
Ingrid’s skills in communication, logistics and execution are supreme which are a crucial link and a key element to a successful running camp.
Ingrid has a strong relationship with the Maasai women’s group which she is proud to be part of and always has a friendly ear for all. Her grasp of the Swahili language is outstanding which goes a long way when explaining tourism concepts and ideas back to the local community often leaving the Swahili’s and Maasai alike wandering how a Mzungu (white person) speaks Swahili better than the locals.
She would love to learn Kimai (Maasai language) and be more involved with the “African Roots Foundation” which acts as Isoitok Camp Manyara’s responsible tourism platform in giving back to the Maasai community of Esilalei.
For now however, all can rest assured knowing that this busy women although not present at camp is very much at large in ensuring that a stay at Isoitok Camp Manyara will be one that you wished you had allowed longer for.