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“Gorgeous and Socially Responsible.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Friendly Gecko

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Friendly Gecko
Manyara Drive | Africana/White Sands, Dar es Salaam 84516, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Rancho Cucamonga, California
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Gorgeous and Socially Responsible.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014 via mobile

The Friendly Gecko is exactly what I look for when I'm traveling. The actual hotel is beautiful, the atmosphere is extremely friendly and homey, and it is socially responsible. I had an opportunity to visit the orphanage that the profits from the hotel support and the children and staff were amazing. 100% recommended! Asante Sana Sana!

  • Stayed June 2013
    • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this review, February 3, 2014
We are so happy to hear that you also appreciate our favorite part of the Gecko--our relationship with help2kids! Thank you for your support and we are glad that we can offer like-minded travelers an opportunity to share comfortable accommodation in a friendly environment.
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37 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    24
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (6)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • German first
  • Portuguese first
  • Any
English first
Manama, Bahrain
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2014

From first booking the stay until we left, the staff communicated quickly with our questions. They helped arrange transportation and their services were perfect! We didn't have a very long stay, just two nights bookending travels to Arusha and Zanzibar, but they have great activities for longer stays around Dar and to tour their NGO, help2kids.

Room Tip: We had a private room because we were a little sick, but the dorms looked nice and there were not ve...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this review, January 21, 2014
Happy to hear that our services worked well for your needs. We do tend to have a nice mix of volunteers and travelers staying here which can be helpful and fun when sharing stories :) Thank you for the positive feedback!
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Melbourne, Australia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 15, 2014

I stayed in the dorms at the Friendly Gecko in December. I was just there for a few days but it was great. The staff were super friendly, food was great and house was nice and clean. Close to northern beaches of Dar es Salaam and away from the hussle and bussle of downtown Dar. Would recommend to anyone passing through Dar or looking for a longer relaxing stay.

Stayed December 2013, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
Thank you so much for the feedback! We are very glad that you enjoyed your time here and in the beautiful area. We will continue to strive towards excellence in giving all our travelers this experience.
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Olympia, Washington
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

We stayed at the Friendly Gecko back in October and really loved it. It is beautiful, reasonably priced and near the White Sands area of Dar es Salaam which is much nicer than some other areas. We were so happy we stayed here. The only thing is that it's a bit far from the bus station, but they do have a taxi driver (Jacob) who can pick you up (although our taxi fares did add up quite a bit as we needed an early morning ride to the Rangi Tatu bus station another day). The hot water is just warmed from the rooftop so showers aren't super hot, but that's not really necessary in Tanzania often anyways :) There were several people staying there for a few months or so doing volunteer work but my husband and I just stayed 2 nights. We would definitely stay here again if we came back to Dar.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
Thank you so much for the insightful review! We are glad that you enjoyed the distance from the City Center as it does tend to be quieter and more relaxed in this part of town. Although, we completely understand transport expenses can start to add up especially when traveling at night and early morning as public transport becomes more difficult. Thank you again and we would love to welcome you back to the Gecko the next time you are in Dar :)
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Stonetown
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2013

I have stayed for a week at the Gecko (together with two friends) and I am really glad we chose this option. It's not in the centre of Dar (which - I think - is an advantage), but to us this didn't matter at all. Anyway, there are also many things to do in this area (like White Sands or Mbudya Island), so why would you want to live in the crowdy and hectic centre?
The staff and the volunteers, who normally stay there for a couple of weeks or months, are really helpful and easy-going, the house is nice and really gives you a "taste of an own home far away from your home". They provide dinner in the evenings at a reasonable price, there's beer, sodas, water, so you do not worry about where to buy (and carry) these things and breakfast is included.
"Their" taxi is nice and trustworthy as well.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Dar, then consider the Gecko!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FriendlyGecko, Manager at Friendly Gecko, responded to this review, January 16, 2014
We are always happy to hear the phrase "a home away from home" as that is the warmth we are hoping to give our travelers from good company and hospitality, not just the Tanzanian heat :) We can't take credit for the beautiful landscape in the area, but the close beaches are certainly a favorite for those staying at the Gecko. Thank you for the lovely review!
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Eindhoven, The Netherlands
2 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 8, 2013

It was great staying at the gecko. I did my internship in Dar so I stayed for a long time. It was a nice place and a good location, far away from the hectic city. As solo traveler it is ideal to meet new friends here and go do stuff in the weekend. It was nice that every evening after an "hard" day of work the food was served and it was good! I really liked staying here! There were bikes available to go to the beach, which was really close to the house. After a good weekend of going out it was nice to have a beach nearby where you can fight your hangover.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2013

Although I was only at the Gecko for a few nights it was absolutely wonderful. After a day and a half of traveling from Arusha and then through Dar it was a welcome site indeed. I had a pick up from the driver Jacob, who was awesome. It was amazing how he navigated the streets to get us there....really...it was so amazing. I was told about Lauren the manager, and she was super sweet, a real gem-- Down home Canadian Girl....well, it felt like home. The rooms were large and so spacious and very, very clean and I even had my own bathroom!! A must in TZ. They had mosquito nets, a fan (sounds like basics, but a must in TZ and not every guesthouse has them). They had a house girl who did a fabulous job keeping the house clean. The house was filled with volunteers from all over the world and it was great to talk with them and share experiences and ideas. Everyone was laid back and non-stressy. The house was quiet after dark, wasn't alot of partying so you could actually get some sleep. The food was great, cooked by a local Tanzanian women (forgotten her name) but she was so nice and helpful, she did a great job on the eggs!. The house is located walking distance from the beach, so it was great for relaxing. I didn't have time to go out, but it's located close to a few spots that are big for expats. Had an amazing time.

Room Tip: Call in advance to see about room availability. They fill up fast.
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled solo
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Friendly Gecko

Address: Manyara Drive | Africana/White Sands, Dar es Salaam 84516, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Dar Es Salaam Region > Dar es Salaam
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 29 Specialty Lodging in Dar es Salaam
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Friendly Gecko Guesthouse is a socially responsible hostel in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. We aim to offer convenient and safe accommodation for a reasonable price. Since we accommodate around 10 volunteers year round from help2kids, we consider ourselves to be more of a home than a hostel. We love to meet new people and travelers from all walks of life and share our daily experiences. Our Guest House is located a bit outside of the city center of Dar es Salaam (around 40 minutes by car) in a safe and quiet neighborhood. With our large garden and community areas we offer a convienent and relaxed place to recover after a hectic and hot day in downtown Dar es Salaam, or a nice stop before heading to Kili or Zanzibar. ... more   less 
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