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“Great concept and strong execution” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Kiboko Lodge

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Kiboko Lodge
Ngurdoto Village, Arusha, Tanzania   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #4 of 72 Specialty lodging in Arusha
Arusha, Tanzania
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great concept and strong execution”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

As the "eco tourism" business picks up speed, the idea of a community-focused and sustainable lodge experience is clearly a step above the rest. That it pulls it off shouldn't be a surprise - the foundation that runs it focuses on strict training and apprenticeships to meet rigorous standards.

We were fortunate enough to be there for the unveiling of their pizza oven - and perhaps with the exception of Blue Heron, it was the best pizza we've had in Arusha.

The location is a bit of the beaten path, but it offers a great views of Meru, a feeling of immersion in nature, and a great concept to boot. The rooms are just the right size, have nice showers, and even a fireplace.

That said, there were a few key improvements:
- dinner one night was half an egg over rice with the previous night's curry sauce and tomato soup. It seemed like an accident, as we had great chicken curry the night before and a huge meal of kebabs, chicken, and pizza the following day for lunch. A simple explanation would have helped.
- they "arrange" transport, but at a listed price of $50 each way, that's the cost of a night there. While the road is rough, they need to find a better solution, perhaps by building it into the price of operations.
- the "full board" didn't include drinks - of any kind. Water, wine, and beer were all charged to the bill. None of this was mentioned, and they freely offered "would you like anything to drink" very courteously, but just be forewarned. Furthermore, without a selection of anything (e.g. one red, one beer), they were significantly overcharging on each.

Bottom line: recommended, but just know what's in the package.

Room Tip: Room 1, Simba is great
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    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 (9)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

We stayed at Kiboko lodge as a base for exploring Arusha National Park. The staff were welcoming; indeed the word "karibu" or "welcome" was repeated often. We had a delightful bungalow overlooking the swampland and were told that there was often had a resident hippo visiting during rainy season. The bungalow was very comfortable, with an interesting layout separating shower and toilet area. There was free wifi in the lobby. The meals were simple but of excellent quality and the staff went out of their way to attend to our every need. We really enjoyed our stay and recommend Kiboko Lodge and the staff highly. Given the aims of the project funding the lodge (supporting the occupational training of children from the streets) we would encourage others to come and see what it's all about!

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 11, 2013

Kiboko Lodge is run by former street kids who have been trained to the highest standard. This is a wonderful place to stay.

It is located in rural Tanzania about 45 min drive from Kilimanjaro. We stayed for 3 nights and could have stayed longer. All staff are well trained and attend to your every need.

We asked at the very last minute I it was possible to organize a safari into the Arusha national park and by the next
Morning there was a car waiting and we had a brilliant day out.

We paid for full board and the food was amazing. Plenty of food cooked brilliantly! It was incredible that it was the cook's second day after graduating from their training program.

The beds are huge and extremely comfortable and it's breathtaking to look up at the sky after dinner and see a sky lit up with stars.

Extremely well priced accommodation, with an added bonus that by staying there you are helping to support a fantastic place, who helps boys improve their quality of life.

  • Stayed January 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
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Oakville, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2013

At first look, Kiboko Lodge was a bit daunting. It is an 8km. drive down a very bumpy dirt road from the main highway and it would appear that you are driving into the middle of nowhere. Well, in a way, that is true. It is an oasis in the middle of jungle and banana plantations.
The staff are lovely boys who are striving very hard to improve their way of life and take great care of each and every guest. Their english is to be applauded. No request is too big for them.
Food is excellent. In fact, my only complaint would be that they gave us too much!
Very delightful place to visit. I would go back again in a heartbeat. Cried all the way to the airport when it was time to leave and still keep in touch with some of the staff.
100% recommended!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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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Monduli, Tanzania
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
26 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2012

What a find this little lodge was! Absolutely perfect. I went just for a one night get away, needing a bit of downtime, peace and quiet and that's exactly what I got. The rooms are very clean and well appointed, with a private outside seating area looking out over the beautiful landscape and the big beds are very cosy and comfortable. In a region which suffers from water and power shortages, both are handled extremely well and the hot shower in the evening was very welcoming.

The food was excellent - beautifully cooked and presented and I really cannot fault the service. The staff are so friendly, smiling and welcoming and attentive to your every need.

The grounds are beautiful and very well looked after, with lots of natural trees (many of them labeled) which attract the many species of birds. There are many places to just sit and enjoy the natural surroundings, with a boardwalk leading to a "tearoom" which is a great place to sit and watch the world go by.

In my opinion the lodge offers extremely good value for money when compared with other similar establishments in the area and it's great to know that the profits are all going to help really valuable community projects. I could have stayed there a lot longer and will definitely return, even though the access road is very bumpy and dusty! Well worth every bump.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2012

This was teh second place we stayed in Tanzania. The rooms (chalets) are beautiful and spacious, with an excellent and large double bed. From your personal porch you look out over a swampy area (hippo's!) and a beautiful sunset on mount Meru. Lots of weaverbirds around and at night a large flock of ibis are sleeping in the trees near the swamp.
The staff are great, very polite without being overly present.
Only drawback is the 45 minutes or so drive over a very bumpy dustroad to get there. If you take the bumps for granted, this place is a great reward on its own. One of the best places we stayed.

Room Tip: Chalet "Simba" has a great view!
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Zwolle, The Netherlands
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Our visit to Tanzania this July ended at the Kiboko. It was so special! The evening started with a nice cold Mt. Kilimanjaro beer as we sat outside looking right at Mt. Kilimanjaro. Then the delicious dinner with local specialties was served with care and flare. There were some introductions of the guys and even a couple of songs. As we stared at at the million stars, that you can see so clearly, we realized how lucky we are to have made this special trip. Ending here was great! Everyone was very attentive and kind. Walking down the risen walkway with the lights lighting up the greenery around us made us feel like we were in a paradise full of flowers, trees, and birds.

We walked to the fire pit to warm up a little and met the other guests sitting by the cozy fire. It was so nice to hear their stories and share ours as well.

The next morning we had a delicious breakfast made to order at the lodge/hut - again surrounded by the beautiful trees and flowers- eggs anyway you like, bacon, toast, fruits, and the best pancakes :))

The attention to our needs was very nice and we truly would like to recommend the Kiboko to anyone. We only spent one night there, but it would have been a pleasure to have stayed longer!

Thanks guys for making our stay so special!

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Additional Information about Kiboko Lodge

Address: Ngurdoto Village, Arusha, Tanzania
Location: Tanzania > Arusha Region > Arusha
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 72 Specialty lodging in Arusha

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