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“Superlative Experience - take more than two nights...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of MamboViewPoint

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MamboViewPoint
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PO Box 157, Lushoto 1234, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
lexington ma
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Superlative Experience - take more than two nights...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

My son and I splurged on their honeymoon cottage (270 degree view) for two nights in October 2012. To say that our eyeballs exploded would be an understatement. Although we spent 3 hours in traveling there from the tarmac road, I'd have done a day on bumpy roads to get to this glorious spot, atop a peak among the Usambara mountains. Herman and Marion, the kind and socially conscious lodge owners, outfitted us with a very nice woman guide for our day hike in the village. Even in the foggy early part, the scenery was surreal. It cleared up very soon and the terraced gardens lining the hillsides came into full view - stunning. Lodge food is local, but very delicious to this western palate. The charcoal stove in our cottage was inadequate to heat us much. Bring warm clothes, even if you're sweating down on the tarmac, this place is elevated. Truly the high point of my 20 odd weeks in Tanzania. Would return in a heartbeat. Understand that it is a 2 hour cab ride from Lushoto to MamboViewPoint. Herman is extremely prompt in responding to electronic communications.

Room Tip: Originally we'd reserved a luxury tent, but opted instead for the more expensive cottage. We we...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    47
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    5
    2
    2
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2012

I like staying in places that give back to the local community (or where you know the profits will be reinvested in the local area). The hotel has numerous projects that you can get involved in if you choose and by choosing to stay here, you help the local community anyway.

We stayed in a luxury tent - I wouldn't call it luxury, but the beds were comfortable and we had access to plenty of blankets as it did get chilly at night. Each afternoon they would bring us a bucket of hot water to shower with, which was fine. The tents have a great view over the valley and it was nice to see it change over the course of the day with the clouds and different light.

It was very quiet, except for the excitement of any kids (or adults) who jumped on the trampoline. The hotel has a great play area for kids, which also includes a swing and slide.

It is a two hour taxi ride from Lushoto (longer by bus and with a very limited timetable), so it really is the type of place you need to spend a couple of days. There are plenty of walks to do or you can just relax. The villagers are shy but friendly.

They also do laundry and it dries really quickly because of the dry air. It can get hot during the day, but early morning and evening you may need a sweater.

The only thing they could improve was the food. Eating beef 3 nights in a row was a bit monotonous, I did ask the chef for some goat/lamb but it never appeared. I appreciate it is quite remote and not easy to source a variety of food (they do also cater for vegetarians).

Lunch was probably a bit overpriced at $10 for soup/salad. The breakfast on the first day was good; eggs, chapati/bread and fruit, but by the third day we only had chapati/bread. When we asked for eggs the chef said they didn't have any. If you walk down to the village, they have banana's etc, so I am not sure why we weren't able to have a variety of fruit for breakfast.

It's worth the long drive to experience a community that is not very touristy and we will probably return.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Dar es Salaam
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

Herman and Marion welcomed us like dear old friends to Mambo ViewPoint, one of the most beautiful spots we have been to in Tanzania. The accommodation has spectacular views, the food is excellent and prepared with love. On offer are guided walks in the surroundings and contact with the village. This truly is a place away from the ordinary.
Iris and Achim

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2012

Mambo was a very beautiful place! The staff was very welcoming and kind, always there to help you! If you want a quiet relaxing place to stay this is it! The only downfall is the hike up the mountai from the village, but it was defiantly a good workout.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Maidstone, United Kingdom
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is an Eco-hotel so don't expect pampering! We loved our four-day stay there and hope to be fortunate enough to be able to return one day. The highlights were the view: from the cliff-top out over miles of plains below and occasionally a wonderful view of Kilimanjaro rising above the clouds; and meeting people from all over the world. The food is described as European-style, using local ingredients; each meal is a buffet and I genuinely enjoyed the food, but it's not to everyone's taste - heavy on the (white) rice and also a sort of pancake. Not much meat, some local cottage cheese and some very inventive vegetable dishes.
The hot water to the bathrooms hasn't worked but you have only to ask for a bucket of hot water and it will be delivered to your room - suggest you ask for warm or it will be too hot to use for ages! Our bathroom was very dark and had no mirror but our daughter's, in an adjacent luxury tent, was much lighter and had a mirror.
Think carefully before going on the trips; I'm in my late 50's and thought I was reasonably fit but I really struggled on the uphill climbs because (I tell myself) of the altitude. However, I survived and the feeling do achievement makes it worthwhile! We had an excellent guide in Anthony, really knows his stuff and if he takes the less obvious route it's for a reason, believe me.
Really this isn't a hotel, it's a community, and the highlight (no pun intended) of my stay in Tanzania.

Room Tip: Our room was called "Chameleon" and had a magnificent view - don't know how the others...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MamboViewPoint, Owner at MamboViewPoint, responded to this review, October 3, 2012
Thank you for your positive review!
Yes, the mirror in the Chameleon cottage was broken and the mirror shop is on 8 hours drive from our place. But we managed to get a new one and also we replaced the light in the bathroom with a brighter one!
Karibu tena! (Welcome again)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

We heard about this ecolodge from our Swahili teach who described it as one of her favourite places in Tanzania. We decided to try and out for a few days and ended up staying a week. The ecolodge is located on the edge of the usambara mountains close to mtae at mambo. It has a beautiful view over the plains, really breathtaking. There are multiple hiking possibilities in the area, we did them all and loved them all! Especially the trip to the rainforest where we saw Colobus monkeys was great!
The food is delicious, there isnt an a la carte menu but there are many different dishes in a buffet where you can eat as much as you want for 15usd. Dinner is a commual affair at a long table or in front of the fireplace. During many after dinner conversations we heard of the many great projects Herman and Marion are doing in the community. This dutch couple is really doing great work to help the local community, from more efficient cookers to prevent illegal lumbering and consequent erosion to teaching the locals skills so they can have other sources of income than agriculture.

We were travelling on a budget but were able to stay in the volunteer guest house for a cheaper price. Soon they will also build an affiliated backpackers lodge. Getting to mambo can be a bit difficult but Herman and Marion explain all on the website or through email. we took a taxi from lushoto but there is also a bus from moshi to mtae (its called fasaha or something like that)

We highly recommend this place! It s truely great!

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Denver, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2012

I think one should read Sportsman11500's review below first, and then ask if possible to flip it all around in one's mind. To explain, Mambo View to me is unique for a number of reasons, but the bottom line is that it allowed us to access an interesting and very scenic part of the world -- and to see how the majority of people in the world actually live -- in a way that was both comfortable and yet, perhaps ironically, did not make us feel like colonialists or ugly Americans. To explain, Mambo View itself is basically a community development project by the Dutch couple who own it, Herman and Marion, who were very welcoming. All the people that are employed there are locals, including the local guides. They are also using the hotel as a platform to do other development work in the area. Thus, when one goes out and about, one is actually helping the local community if one uses the guides (very reasonably priced) and my sense is that the local communities like the fact that the hotel is there and believe that it is bringing benefits to the area. Yes the area is very poor, but despite that, I don't sense that people are unhappy because of that or hostile to outsiders. The contrary is true. The lodge itself is situated on an amazing location -- a mountain top with a steep cliff face. Incredible views from almost every angle at the lodge, and there are many interesting walks to do -- all very invigorating because of the altitude changes. The accommodations were comfortable and the food was hearty and flavorful. I should mention that Herman and Marion have now partnered with an Englishman who is going to try to develop the touring offerings at the lodges -- the walks and tours in the immediate area, but also with the addition of some touring to other areas including the nearby new national park (as the crow flies not far away, but a tough drive). Tony is very knowledgeable and is taking the same approach as Herman and Marion in terms of relying on and training local people. In summary, we wanted to spend a few days someplace in Tanzania after a safari to experience Tanzania off the beaten tourist track. Mambo View more than met our expectations, and I would go back in a heartbeat if I could. If at some point later I can add photos, I will, although they still need to be developed.

Room Tip: I would get one of the cottages.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about MamboViewPoint

Address: PO Box 157, Lushoto 1234, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Tanga Region > Lushoto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Lushoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
MamboViewPoint is an Eco Lodge which is situated close to the village Mambo in the Usambara Mountains in Tanzania. Enjoy breathtaking views from your platform. ... more   less 

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